Charlie had a difficult upbringing. He was the illegitimate child of Eliza Templeton. She was frequently before the courts under charges of being drunk and disorderly. When Charlie was about six years old, he was indecently assaulted by two youths.
Charlie arrived in Gallipoli in May. In October he faced a Court Martial accused of stealing. He was sentenced to 112 days imprisonment, commuted to 90 days field punishment. In March 1916, Charlie was assigned to the 52nd Battalion. In June he suffered a gunshot would to the knee and in January 1918 he was gassed.
Charlie returned to Australia in 1919. He worked on properties in rural NSW and Queensland. He lost his leg in a railway accident in 1930 when he was ‘jumping the rattler’. Charlie had several run-ins with the law, usually for drunkenness and obscene language. He died in Sydney in 1953 after being struck by a tram.
Charlie’s story is part of our exhibition: Our Grateful Thanks and Loving Remembrance, a moving and deeply personal exhibition remembering the soldiers whose names are immortalised on the Ross War Memorial.