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Charles Robert Merchant

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Charles Robert Merchant
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Personal Information
Date of Birth not known 1894
Place of Birth Karridale, Western Australia
Death 29 Jan 1953, aged 58
Place of Death Shenton Park, Western Australia
Age at Enlistment 21 years, 3 months
Description 5'10" (1.78m) tall ; 157 lbs
71.214 kg
; fresh complexion ; blue eyes ; light brown hair
Occupation Horse driver
Religion Church of England
Address Holyoak, Western Australia
Next of Kin Mother , Mrs Emma Hall
Military Information
Reg Number 3194
Date of Enlistment 13 Sep 1915
Rank Lance Corporal
Unit/Formation 28th Battalion, 7th Reinforcement / 7th Brigade, 2nd Division
Date of Embarkation 18 Jan 1916 ‒ 16 Feb 1916
Ship Embarked On HMAT A7 Medic
Date of Return 1 Jun 1919 ‒ 8 Jul 1919
Ship Returned On SS Somali
Fate Return to Australia
Monument Jarrahdale Honour Roll
Medals British War Medal
Victory Medal




Pre War

War Service

After six weeks basic training, Charles was allocated to the 7th reinforcement draft for the 28th Battalion and travelled with the draft to Egypt arriving at Alexandria on 16 Feb 1916.

In Egypt, on 12 Mar 1916 he was transferred to the 2nd Pioneer Battalion, and embarked in Alexandria for France a week later on 19 Mar 1916 aboard HMHS Llandovery Castle. During the voyage he was charged with disobeying ship's rules in that he was smoking between decks. Punishment was the loss of 5 days pay and 120 hours of Field Punishment No. 2.

After arriving in France, on 7 Jul 1916 he required treatment from the 1st Australian Field Ambulance and the 1st Canadian Casualty Clearing Station for a sprained ankle (accidental) and was hospitalised in the 8th Stationary Hospital in Wimereux on 9 Jul 1916. It must have been a severe sprain as a short time later he boarded HMHS St Denis for England. Charles was admitted to the 2nd Western General Hospital in Manchester from 12 Jul until 4 Aug 1916 before he was granted furlough after which he reported to Perham Downs.

At Perham Downs on 7 Oct 1916 Charles was charged with overstaying special leave from midnight 1 Oct 1916 until 2:00pm 2 Nov 1916 for which he was admonished and forfeited a days pay. More seriously, on 2 Nov 1916 he was charged with Gambling in that he was playing a prohibited game in the tent lines "Crown & Anchor" for which he was awarded 168 hours detention. Soon after (10 Nov 1916) he was admitted to hospital with VD, and it was not until 10 Feb 1917, 84 days later, that he rejoined his unit.

Charles proceeded overseas to France through Folkestone on HMT Arundel on 4 Feb 1917 to join the 2nd Pioneer Battalion in the field. He remained with them until 28 Jun 1917 when he sought treatment for syphilis from, in turn the 7th Australian Field Ambulance, the 5th Australian Field Ambulance, the 9th Casualty Clearing Station, the 2nd Canadian General Hospital in Rouen, and the 39th General Hospital at Calais who released him on 22 Aug 1917.

From 1 Mar to 1 Apr 1918, Charles was detached to the 184th Tunnelling Company, before, on 10 Jun 1918 when Charles was appointed Lance Corporal. In Oct 1918 he was hospitalised again, this time in Abbeville for a week with influenza. Charles moved back to England on 10 Apr 1919 after receiving treatment for scabies.

Post War

During 1924 Charles married Margaret Mary Josephine Ryan. Although enlisted as a follower of the Church of England, he was buried a Catholic. Margaret died 28 Feb 1986, aged 86 in Inglewood.

Electoral Roll entries - 1925 Jarrahwood, teamster; 1926 Claymore, mill hand; 1931 Nannup settlement, teamster

Notes

Charles gave his mother's address as Jarrahwood, South West Railway. Given that the township of Jarrahwood is south east of Busselton, it is thought that he was referring to Jarrahdale Junction (i.e. Mundijong), or Jarrahdale itself.


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