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Charles Henry Linklater (MC)

Charles Henry Linklater (MC)


4th Battalion, 2nd Battalion & 33rd Battalion


Charles Henry Linklater (MC) - Information

Charles Henry was a son of Charles Hay and Mary Linklater. Charles Hay and Mary were natives of Tingwell in Scotland. Shortly after they were married, they migrated to the colony of NSW in the early 1870s. After residing in Sydney and adding to their family, the Linklaters settled on a property in Glenfield they named Tingwell. Here, they were blessed with more children, including Charles Henry born on the 17th of December 1883. Charles grew up in Glenfield with his six siblings and attended Liverpool Public School. Charles did well at school, and started to train in wool classing. He eventually became a wool merchant and served in the militia for 6 years. In 1912, he married his sweetheart, Dorothy Gwendoline Boyd in Sydney. Charles and Dorothy then found a place at 27 Gilles St in Wollstonecraft. They were then blessed with a daughter, whom they named Dorothy. When Charles was 30 years old, he applied for a commission in the AIF on the 16th of December 1914. Charles was appointed Captain and assigned to the 4th Battalion and was shipped out onboard the HMAT Seang Choon, leaving Sydney on the 11th of February 1915. He left behind his wife and young daughter.

Charles disembarked in Egypt, and was transported to the Gallipoli Peninsula. He reached Anzac Cove on the 26th of April, and joined the 2nd Battalion in the lines. Since the landing, the Anzacs and Turks had been engaged in heavy combat, trying to break the stalemate. On the 14th of May, Charles was slightly wounded but remained on duty. However, he began to feel rather unwell as an infection developed. On the 15th of July, he was taken ill to an aid post. The following day, he was evacuated to hospital on Lemnos Island. On the 17th, he was transported to Malta to the Imtafa Military Hospital. He was suffering with influenza and enteric fever. Unfortunately, he relapsed in early August, and received orders to be taken to England for treatment. However, Charles of course preferred to go to Australia. Leaving Malta on the 8th of October, he proceeded to Australia. Reaching Sydney, he was treated at the 4th Australian General Hospital in Randwick. Luckily, he was able to see his family. After he recovered from his illness, Charles returned to duty as Camp Commandant in Armidale. He was then sent back overseas now assigned to the 33rd Battalion. He departed Sydney on the 4th of May 1916, onboard the HMAT Marathon.

Charles stepped off the ship in Devonport, England on the 9th of July. A week later, he was marched out to Revolver School in Weymouth. He then left Southampton for the Western Front in late November. At the time, life in the trenches was miserable with freezing temperatures, heavy rain and snowfall. Charles was then wounded in action on the 28th of January 1917, receiving a gun shot wound to his back. He was rushed to the 1st Canadian Casualty Clearing Station by the 10th Field Ambulance. His wound healed, and Charles rejoined his unit on the 7th of February. Charles was an inspiration to the men in his company. Resultantly, he was awarded special mention in despatches that reached Commander-in-Chief General Sir Douglas Haig in early April. His unit was geared up for a new assault in early June. During the Battle of Messines, Charles and his men were positioned to St Yves from the 7th of June. Here, he displayed great courage keeping his men in high spirits despite fierce fighting. They attacked a German post, captured it and established a new line. On the morning of 11th of June, he was waiting on news from a party that went forward towards the enemy. However, he had not heard from them for some time. Worried, he then went after them with his Company Runner. However, Charles never reached his men, or was heard from again. Subsequently, he was classified as missing in action on the 11th of June. No one knew what happened to him. Sadly, on the 7th of August 1917, his name was reported on a German death list. This meant that his body was found by German troops during the battle. His identity disc was sent through the channels from Germany to Headquarters. Dorothy was then informed that her beloved Charles had been killed in action on the 11th of June. She now had to raise their child alone. In late August, Charles was posthumously awarded the Military Cross for conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty, recommended for his courage and splendid leadership at St Yves. The location of his body is still unknown. His name was later recorded on the Menin Gate Memorial in Ieper (Ypres), Belgium.