Charles was a farmer at Rowsley, VIC - near Bacchus Marsh - when he enlisted (3) at Bacchus Marsh in the AIF on the 26th of January 1916, aged 28⅔. He embarked aboard the HMAT A32 Themistocles with the 14th Reinforcements, 22nd Battalion in late July and disembarked at Plymouth, England in September.
In November 1916 Charles proceeded overseas to France and joined his unit in the field in early December and was promoted to Lance Corporal in October 1917. He spent a week at a Field Ambulance in March 1918 where he was treated for scabies. In August Charles was promoted to Corporal and six days later his actions saw him awarded the Military Medal:-
At BLACK WOOD near HERBECOURT East of VILLERS BRETONNEUX on the 28th August 1918, this N.C.O. led a bombing party along an occupied German trench in spite of strong resistance succeeded in clearing the trench and establishing a post.Source: Recommendation for the Military Medal
Shortly afterwarsd [sic] the post was determinedly counter attacked by a superior enemy force. Corporal WEST'S men were all of a new draft and had not been in the trenches before, but he rallied the men and going forward into a dangerous and exposed position bombed the enemy himself. He remained throwing bombs which were handed to him by the remainder of the party, to such an effect that the attack was completely repelled. His personal disregard of danger and initiative materially assisted the operation.
Shortly after this event Charles was promoted to Lance Sergeant - for gallantry in action. In April 1919 Charles was further promoted to Temporary Sergeant and returned to England. He embarked aboard the Port Darwin in June, returning to Australia in late July and was discharged from the AIF in September.
Charles enlisted at Tatura, VIC in the Australian Army in June 1940, aged 53 - he put his age down by five years when he enlisted. He was discharged from the Army in October 1945 with the rank of Lance Sergeant, his last posting, Murchison POW Group.
Charles died at Elmore, VIC in 1964, aged 77.
He is listed on the Roll of Honour for Bacchus Marsh, held by the RSL at Bacchus Marsh and also on the Roll of Honour of St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, Bacchus Marsh, held by the Bacchus Marsh Uniting Church.
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Last updated by lee, Sun, 07 Jun 2015 13:01:53