021 – Private Charles Wilson

Private Charles Wilson Killed in action
23 April 1918

Charles Wilson volunteered for enlistment in November 1916, as a 19 year old house painter from Launceston working for Mr Harry Goodluck. He was allotted to the 24th reinforcements for the 12th Battalion. On enlistment he stated that he had served in the Cadets and 92nd Infantry.

Despite having arrived in England in early May 1917, it was not until 10th April 1918 that he was taken on strength with the 12th Battalion who were about to leave the Amiens area. Whilst in England he had suffered a range of health problems requiring hospitalisation. Six days later, the 12th Battalion were at Pradelles. The four companies were distributed over the countryside with very little cover when the village was heavily shelled. Charles Wilson managed to survive the bombardment. From there the battalion moved eastwards to take part in the capture of Meteren.

On 23 April 1918, Private Charles Wilson was on outpost duty when he was killed by a bullet to the head. His body had to be left where it fell. According to his service record there was some confusion as to where he was later buried, but it would appear that this information was not recorded or lost later on. The name of Charles Wilson appears on the walls of the Australian memorial at Villers-Bretonneux.