Charles Alfred HAMPSON

Charles Alfred HAMPSON

Per his military service record (regimental no. 4789), Charles Alfred Hampson was born at Petersham, N.S.W.[1] He gave his age as 17 years and 8 months, his marital status as single, and his occupation as machinist. He had worked at the Small Arms Factory in Lithgow prior to enlisting. His description on his medical was height 5 feet 2 inches tall, weight 108 lbs., with a medium complexion, grey eyes, and blue grey [sic] hair. His religious denomination was Baptist. He claimed that he had no previous military service. He completed his medical on the 31st October 1915 at Lithgow, and was attested at Lithgow on the 1st November 1915. His father’s signature giving his consent for his son to enlist is on Charles Hampson’s initial Application to enlist form.

His father Lightfoot Lamonby Hampson, with address Redgalein, Hassans Walls Road, Lithgow, N.S.W., was first listed as his next of kin on his Attestation paper, but this was changed to his grandmother, Mrs Dorothy Hampson, at the same address, after his father enlisted with the Coo-ees as well, catching up with them by the time they reached Lawson.

Although Charles Alfred Hampson gave his age as 17 years and 8 months on his Attestation paper, his birth certificate shows that he was born on 11 February 1899, so Charles had upped his age by one year, and was only actually 16 years and 8 months when he enlisted, which made him one of the youngest of the Coo-ees.[2]

After completing the march he went to Liverpool Camp as reinforcement for the 13th Battalion (along with his father).

On his embarkation roll his address at time of enrolment was Redgalein, Hussans [sic] Walls Road, Lithgow, N.S.W. His father Lightfoot Hampson was issued with regimental no. 4790, the next number after his.

On 8th March 1916 Private Hampson departed Sydney on the HMAT A15 Star of England, accompanied by his father Lightfoot Hampson, and many of the other Coo-ees. He arrived in Egypt on 11th April 1916.

On 16th April 1916 Gunner Hampson was transferred to the 4th Division Artillery at Tel-el-Kebir (along with his father Lightfoot).

On 21st April 1916 he was taken on the strength of the 10th Field Artillery Brigade and posted to the 10th Brigade Ammunition Column at Serapeum (along with his father). On the 27th May they were both taken on strength of the 4th Division Ammunition Column.

On the 6th June 1916 both Gunner Hampsons left Alexandria aboard the HMT Oriana bound for France, arriving at Marseilles on the 13th June 1916.

On the 29th June 1916 he was mustered as Driver. (His father was also mustered as Driver on the same day).

On the 2nd August 1916 Driver Hampson was charged with using insolent language to his superior officer, and not immediately obeying an order given by his superior officer. On 3rd August 1916 he was awarded 14 days Field Punishment no. 2 by the Commanding officer of the 4th Division Ammunition Column.

On 16th September 1916 he attended the Trench Mortar School at Berthen (along with his father). They both returned to their unit on 30th September 1916, when it was at Vlamertinghe near Ypres, Belgium.

On 5th November 1916 he reverted to Gunner at his own request. (His father also reverted to Gunner at his own request on the same day). On 2nd December 1916 he was admitted to the 5th Field Ambulance with chilled feet. On 17th December 1916 he returned to his unit from the Field Ambulance.

On 22nd December 1916 he was transferred to the 10th Australian Field Artillery Brigade which was in the Somme Sector near Flers, France, and was posted to the 110th Howitzer Battery (along with his father).

According to the 10th Australian Field Artillery Brigade unit war diary, on 28th April 1917 the 110th Howitzer Battery were carrying out a gas shell bombardment on the village of Riencourt-les-Cagnicourt during the 1st Battle of Bullecourt. Gunner Charles Hampson was killed in action on this day. The loss of the son who he had enlisted with, embarked overseas with, trained in Egypt with, and fought alongside in France with, must have been devastating for his father Lightfoot Hampson.

Gunner Hampson is buried in the H.A.C. Cemetery, Ecoust-St. Mein, Arras, Nord Pas de Calais, France.

Charles Alfred Hampson's headstone at H.A.C. Cemetery, France (Photograph: S. & H. Thompson, 6/9/2014)

Charles Alfred Hampson’s headstone at H.A.C. Cemetery, France (Photograph: S. & H. Thompson, 6/9/2014)

Gunner Hampson’s name is commemorated on panel 16 on the Australian War Memorial First World War Roll of Honour.

Gunner Hampson’s name is also listed on the Lithgow War Memorial.

[1] NAA: B2455, HAMPSON C A

[2] NSW Birth Certificate 6276/1899 HAMPSON  CHARLES A  LIGHTFOOT L  ROSE H  PETERSHAM

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