Charles Johns

Charles Johns

Charles JohnsCharles grew up in Ross and married Caroline Knowles from Tunbridge. When Charles signed up in September 1915, they had nine children, three of whom were still dependents. The family was living in the north east and Charles was involved with mine construction. He gave his age as 49, but he was over 50, the maximum age set for enlistment.

His interest was working with horses and he submitted a reference from Arthur Riggall which rated him as a ‘capable and trustworthy hand amongst horses’.

Charles served in the 1st Remount Unit in Egypt, responsible for the training of the horses of the Australian Light Horse. He arrived in May 1916, but it appears his true age was uncovered, and he was returned to Australia and discharged in December 1916. He returned to the Derby area, working as Road Overseer for Ringarooma Council, and later in the timber industry, operating sawmills.

Charles and Caroline’s son Charles (Chick) was killed at Pozieres in 1916. They lost two sons in the devastating 1926 bush fires in the Yarra Valley in Victoria. Charles died in 1951 and is buried in Scottsdale.

Clarles’ 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.