Charles Richard Irvine MM & Bar
From Our Contribution
|Date of Birth||c1893|
|Place of Birth||Fremantle, Western Australia|
|Death||16 Mar 1964|
|Place of Death||Jindong, Western Australia|
|Age at Enlistment||26 years, 11 months|
5'7½" (1.71m) tall ; 130 lbs|
58.967 kg; fair complexion ; yellowish eyes ; fair hair
|Religion||Church of England|
|Address||NOK Arthur Head, Fremantle, Western Australia|
|Next of Kin||Father , Mr Charles James Irvine|
|Date of Enlistment||17 Aug 1914|
|Unit/Formation||8th Battery, 3rd Field Artillery Regiment / 3rd FAB, 1st Division|
|Date of Embarkation||2 Nov 1914 ‒ 3 Dec 1914|
|Ship Embarked On||HMAT A7 Medic Fremantle to Alexandria|
|Date of Return||31 Oct 1918 ‒ 12 Dec 1918|
|Ship Returned On||SS Port Lyttleton|
Wounded in Action (gas) 29 Mar 1918 |
Returned to Australia
|Monument||Kelmscott War Memorial (North panel)|
Military Medal & Bar |
British War Medal
Electoral Roll entries - 1910 to time of enlistment at Arthur's Head, Fremantle as a survey officer.
Early records in relation to service in Australia are missing. It is likely that as part of an artillery unit, it also involved training in Victoria prior to embarkation. Appears to have travelled on the 1st Convoy to Alexandria. If so there is nothing in his records to cover the period from arrival in Egypt until he embarked for Gallipoli.
Embarked for Gallipoli at Alexandria aboard HMAT A32 Themistocles on 15 Nov 1915, arriving on the Gallipoli Peninsular on 22 Nov 1915 via Lemnos Island, just a month before the evacuation. Charles returned to Egypt on 22 Dec 1915 aboard the HMAT A38 Ulysses. On 23 Mar 1916 he departed Alexandria, Egypt for Marseilles in southern France, arriving on 29 Mar 1916. Two days later (31 Mar 1916) he was AWOL from a Muster Parade, forfeiting a day's pay and receiving 5 days Field Punishment No.2 for his lapse of memory. (See notes).
On 14 Oct 1916 Charles was admitted, ill, to the 5th Australian Field Ambulance, and after a day at a rest station was returned to duty on 16 Oct 1916. Then on 4 Nov 1916 he sought help from the 3rd Australian Field Ambulance, this time being passed on to the 38th Casualty Clearing Station the same day. Placed aboard Ambulance Train No 3 on 7 Nov 1916 he was taken to the 18th General Hospital in Camiers where he was admitted on 8 Nov 1916 and malaria was diagnosed. On 22 Nov 1916 Charles was evacuated to England where he was admitted on 23 Nov 1916 to the Guildford War Hospital. Released to the 2nd Australian Auxiliary Hospital on 29 Nov 1916, and then to the No. 4 Command Depot in Wareham on 2 Dec 1916. On 16 Mar 1917 he was posted to the Artillery base at Larkhill and then on 29 Mar 1917 he proceeded overseas to France through Folkestone.
After time in the Australian General Base Depot, he rejoined his battery on 10 Apr 1917. On 22 Jun 1917 he was awarded the Military Medal for Bravery in the Field. Sadly the wording of this award is not recorded - simply one of a list of names awarded the medal. Promoted Bombardier on 7 Oct 1917, the day that he was granted leave in England, returning to his unit on 22 Oct 1917. He reverted to Gunner in early Nov 1917, at his own request. On 6 Jan 1918 he was granted leave in Paris, returning 6 days later. He later reverted to gunner at his own request. From 17 Feb 1918 until 23 Feb 1918 Charles attended the Xth Corps Gas School. (This may have led to responsibilities back in his unit that contributed to his being gassed on 29 Mar 1918.)
On 29 Mar 1918 he was wounded in action (gassed). Treated initially by the 1st Australian Field Ambulance, he was transferred to the 2nd Australian Casualty Clearing Station on 29 Mar 1918 and then on 9 Apr 1918 he was passed to the 15th Casualty Clearing Station. Charles was next admitted to the 7th General Hospital in St Omer for treatment on 11 Apr 1918 and then transferred to the 16th US General Hospital in France where he remained until he was discharged to the Base Depot on 2 May 1918. While in hospital he received a bar to his Military Medal.
Promoted again to Bombardier on 18 Jul 1918, and from 20 Jul 1918 until 24 Aug 1918 he was detached to the US 54th Army Artillery Corps. Made a Temporary Sergeant on 23 Sep 1918 he remained with the unit until 12 Oct 1918 when he was as part of "A" Draft, (As a 1914 enlistment he was one of the first to begin the journey home), returned to England on the HMT Prince George, and subsequently Australia. Before his return to Australia he reverted to Bombardier.
Discharged by the 5th Military District on 17 Feb 1919.
Bar to Military Medal.
For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty near HOLLEBEKE. During the night of 28/29th March 1918 while the Battery position was under a heavy Gas and H.E. bombardment this NCO though suffering from the effects of gas passed several times through the heavy shellfire in his efforts to evacuate the wounded to a safer spot. He showed a splendid disregard of his personal danger in the carrying out of his duties and set a very fine example of coolness and determination to all concerned.
His connection with Kelmscott appears to be that, based on letters sent to his NOK Mr C J Irvine to advise of both MM awards, he had moved to Kelmscott. Charles lived in Kelmscott immediately after his return. He married Olive Rose Martin in 1925. Olive died in 1958.
Electoral Roll entries - 1918 at "Portaferry" Kelmscott, draughtsman living with father, a retired public servant; 1925 a pastoralist at Bedarlo station near Bencubbin; 1930-37 at Enaroo Station near Lake Brown (via Wubin) with Olive ; 1943 farming at "River View" Jindong south of Vasse with Olive (1954-58 + Diana Flora and Richard Yelverton); (1963 Diana and Alisa Laurel).
Field punishment could be awarded by a court martial or a commanding officer for any offence committed on active service. There were two categories of field punishment. Field punishment No. 2 consisted of heavy labouring duties, and several hours a day shackled . All offenders awarded field punishment would march with their unit, carry their arms and accoutrements, perform all their military duties as well as extra fatigue duties, and be treated as defaulters.
- Fourth Supplement No 30234 to the London Gazette dated 14 August, 1917, page 77, position 94
- "Government Gazette Proclamations and Legislation". Commonwealth Of Australia Gazette (219). Australia, Australia. 20 December 1917. p. 3377. Retrieved 29 June 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
- Second Supplement, No 30753, to the London Gazette, dated 12th June 1918
- "Government Gazette Appointments and Employment". Commonwealth Of Australia Gazette (173). Australia, Australia. 7 November 1918. p. 2113. Retrieved 29 June 2017 – via National Library of Australia.