Charles Edgar FitzWilliam FITZHANNAM

5th Light Horse Regiment, A.I.F.

Trooper, Regimental No. 604.

Killed in Action , 27 August 1915, Chatham's Post, Gallipoli, Turkey.

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

 

Biographical Details

Born: 23 July 1888 at Brisbane, QLD, Australia.

Father: Charles Fitzwilliam HANNAM.

Mother: Kate LOCK.

Marital Status: Single,

Education: Bowen House, Brisbane, QLD.

Occupation: Sugar Planter

 

Service and Enlistment Details

Enlisted on 10 November 1914 at Enoggera QLD.

Address at Enlistment: care of W. W. Holyoake, Chemist, Mackay, QLD.

Embarkation Details: Embarked Overseas on

21 December 1914 with 5th  Light Horse Regiment, A Squadron at Sydney, NSW on Ship H.M.A.T. A34 "Persic".

Cause of Death: Killed in Action on

27 August 1915 while serving with

5th  Light Horse Regiment at Chatham's Post, Gallipoli at the age of 27 years.

Burial place: No known grave.

Next of Kin:  Mother, Mrs. K. Holyoake, care of W. W. Holyoake, chemist, Mackay, QLD.

Religion: Church of England.

 

Commemorative Details
Memorials:

Panel 4, Australian War Memorial;

Lone Pine Memorial, Gallipoli, Panel No: 4.

Mackay Cenotaph;

Mackay Old Town Hall Honour Board;

Mackay Railway Station Honour Board.

Other Sources/Acknowledgements:

Daily Mercury

Notes:
The following are two extracts from letters written by Charles Fitzhannam to his mother Mrs Kate Holyoake after he was wounded at Gallipoli. The first letter was published in the Daily Mercury newspaper on 29 July 1915. The second letter was published in the Daily Mercury on 15 September 1915 just over two weeks after his death.

 

June 11, 1915 – We are in the trenches now as I write have been in about a week.  It is pretty tame just now – only a few shrapnel shells flying about.  We are giving the Turks a pretty rough time here.  I think they will give it up before long.  You need not worry about me. I never felt better in my life.  The battleships are doing great work here for us.  We have a few Indians here, and they think a terrible lot of the Australians and New Zealanders.  We have to sleep in dug-outs cut in the sides of the trenches; they are not bad you can get a good sleep when you get used to it.  If anyone showed you a hill in Australia like the one here that the Australians took at the point of the bayonet, you would not believe it.  It was simply marvelous.  No wonder the heads over here have a great opinion of Australians.  The day we landed we had a pretty hot time with shrapnel but there only a few wounded.  That night the Turks made a great charge and we were waiting under a hill ready to reinforce the fellows in the trenches if they needed us.  I can tell you it was pretty thrilling to lie out in the open all night and see the batteries all round you barking all the while.  We had a few casualties that night – about 100 – but the Turks, I believe, had about 5,000.  Anyhow they had to get about six hours to bury their dead.  The French and English are a few miles away from us, doing good work.  I can hear their artillery firing now as I write.  We are in the support trenches having a spell to-day, ready to go into the firing line again to-night.  We get very good tucker here considering the trouble they have in getting it to us.  They even have a canteen, where you can get groceries and cigarettes and tobacco.  We get supplied once a week with tobacco, cigarettes and matches.  We are camped in a very pretty spot quite close to the sea, and we go down for a swim occasionally; otherwise it is very hard to get a fresh water wash as there is no proper supply yet.  I managed to get a wash last night – the first for a week.  Best wishes to all Mackay friends.”

 

 

“I got shot in the hand with a machine gun bullet, but it is getting all right and will not affect my hand eventually.  I received your cable last night.  You get the casualties list very quickly in Australia.  It only happened on the 28th June.  I suppose you saw in the papers the account of the “Triumph” being sunk; it happened right in front of our trenches.  We saw the submarine and all that happened as plain as anything.  From our trenches to where she sank  is not more than half a mile.  We got a hot time the day we went out on the charge.  It is not too nice at first to be laying down on the grass and hear the shells going all round you, especially when a couple drop alongside you and you see three or four of your mates go up in the air.

That friend of mine I have told you of , Mr. Arndtzen, was the first to get killed that day.  I do not know how to explain the feeling you get at first under shell fire; at first it was all right when you found you were not hit, but one shell came right between my head and another man’s that was alongside me and it just got about 30 yards off and burst.  We both got knocked down a big gully and were dazed for a long while.  When I came to the first thing I thought of was getting as far away from shells as I could, and then I thought to myself, what a coward I was, to think of such a thing, so got back quick and lively as soon as I got my senses properly, I just got back to where I got knocked from and fired a few shots when I got knocked down the gully again, this time with a bullet through the hand, and so was knocked out of action.  Some people say they never knew they were hit until they saw the blood.  They could never have got hit with a Turkish bullet.  I felt as if my hand was swollen up to 10 times its size, and burst into a thousand pieces.  All the wounded Light Horse are going back to Maadi to look after the horses for a while, so I do not suppose I shall get over to Turkey again for some time, although I would sooner be there than in Egypt.  It is very hot here and the sandflies are awful.  This convalescent hospital is right under the pyramids and a little away from the Sphynx.  We have swimming baths and are well looked after.  The first hospital we went to was a beautiful building, which had belonged to the late Sultan of Egypt. There was a staircase of marble said to have cost quarter of a million pounds.  Hope all well. Don’t worry – Gar.”

 

 


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