Charles Henry Rawlings

Date of birth: 1886
Place of birth: Southampton
Service No.: 2922
Rank: Lance Corporal
Regiment / Division: 4th Company Australian Machine Gun Corps
Battalion: 16th
Died: 1st May 1917 aged 30 years
Death location: Verden, Germany


Before the War
Charles was born in 1886 to James (1857 – 25/09/1930) and Fanny Rawlings (nee Bennett 1860 – 1897).  His parents were married in Southampton in 1884 and they also had a daughter Emma Lilian (1888).

On the 1891 census Charles is living with his parents and sister at 4 Beechmore Road, Battersea, London.  His father is working as an assistant at a Fine Art Gallery.

In 1898 Charles’ father James married Henrietta Buckerfield (1865 – 29/09/1951), in Bingham, Nottinghamshire.  The 1901 census shows the family is living at Bingham Road, Radcliffe-on-Trent, Bingham. James is a manager in the Wine and Spirit industry and his wife is a milliner.  Charles is a clerk.

By the 1911 census Charles’ parents are living at De Tracey Villa, Chilwell, Nottinghamshire.  His father is a representative for a Catering Company.

Charles emigrated to Australia and sailed from London on 24th December 1909 aboard SS Osterley.  He arrived in Brisbane on 6th February 1910.

Military History
Charles was working as a farmer when he enlisted as a private in the Australian Imperial Force at Geraldton, Western Australia on 22nd July 1915. He was posted to the 17th Australian Depot Unit and on 1st August 1915 he was transferred to the 9th Reinforcements, 16th Battalion.  On 4th October 1915 Charles was promoted to Lance Corporal.  On 5th October 1915 he embarked from Fremantle, Australia aboard HMAT Hororata: ship number A20, as part of the 9th Reinforcements bound for Gallipoli. After evacuation in December 1915 the Battalion returned to Egypt and on 7th April 1916 Charles was transferred to the 4th Machine Gun Company. In June 1916 he sailed to France.

Charles was wounded and reported missing on 11th April 1917.  On this date he was part of the assault on the Hindenburg Line in the First Battle of Bullecourt.  On 12th April 1917 Charles was one of 1170 Australians who were taken prisoner by the Germans.  He was taken to the Garrison Hospital at Verden a/Aller, Germany.  He had a grenade wound to his head and on 1st May 1917 he died from his wounds.

Charles was awarded the 1914- 1915 Star, Victory and British War Medals. The Memorial Plaque and Scroll were sent to his father.

Charles was buried in the Garrison Cemetery Verden, Grave 50, then exhumed and re-interred at Hamburg Cemetery, Plot 3, Row G, Grave 11.  Hamburg Cemetery was used for the burial of Commonwealth servicemen who died as prisoners of war.  Charles was one of 29 burials brought from Verden Garrison Cemetery in 1923 when it was decided to bring together those servicemen who had died all over Germany.

He is also remembered on the Australian War Memorial in Campbell, Australia.

Researcher: Jackie Chandler
Published: 22nd November 2013
Updated: Insert dates here

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