Tag Archives: Charles Henry Maidens

Charles Henry MAIDENS

Charles Henry MAIDENS

Per his military service record (regimental no. 4930), Charles Henry Maidens was born at Doncaster, England.[1]  He gave his age as 38 years and 1 month, his marital status as single, and his occupation as labourer.  His description on his Certificate of Medical Examination was height 5 feet 5 inches tall, weight 10 stone, with a fair complexion, light brown eyes, and brown hair.  His religious denomination was Church of England.  He claimed that he had 6 years and 11 months previous military service in England, and had been invalided with fever.

He completed his medical examination at Molong on 22nd October 1915, and was attested by Captain Nicholas at ‘Molong (8 miles east)’, along with several other Coo-ees, on 22nd October 1915.  He was made Acting Corporal on the Coo-ee March on the same day.

After completing the Coo-ee March he went to Liverpool Camp as a reinforcement for the 13th Battalion.

He initially retained his rank of Acting Corporal when he was a Liverpool Camp.[2]

However, on 21st February 1916, Acting Corporal Maidens was charged at Liverpool with being drunk and incapable of performing duty on 19th February 1916. He was reduced to the rank of Private and fined 20 shillings.

On his embarkation roll his address at time of enrolment was General Post Office, Sydney, N.S.W.[3] His next of kin is listed as his father, C. Maidens, 91 Catherine Street, Doncaster, England.

On 8th March 1916 Private Maidens, along with many of the other Coo-ees, departed Sydney on the HMAT A15 Star of England with the 15th reinforcements for the 13th Battalion, and arrived in Egypt on the 11th April 1916.

On 7th June 1916 Private Maidens left Alexandria aboard a transport bound for France.  He arrived at Marseilles on 14th June 1916.

On 18th July 1916 Private Maidens was admitted to the 26th General Hospital at Etaples, France, suffering Cystitis. On 22nd August he was discharged to No. 6 Convalescent Depot.

Private Maidens was taken on strength of the 4th Australian Division Base Depot in France on 7th September 1916.

On 25th October 1916 Private Maidens marched out to the 1st ANZAC Headquarters in France with a draft of P.B. [permanent base] men.

On 13th December 1916 Private Maidens was sent to a rest station suffering from Influenza. On 2nd January 1917 he was transferred to the 20th Casualty Clearing Station at Heilly, France. On 3rd of January 1917 he was admitted to the 8th General Hospital at Rouen, France, with debility. On 21st January 1917 he was sent to No. 2 Convalescent Depot at Rouen for base details. On 23rd January 1917 he marched in to the 4th Australian Division Base Depot at Etaples, France.

On 4th April 1917 Private Maidens was detached to the 1st ANZAC Salvage Corps at Etaples.

A Medical Board found him medically fit for duty on 9th May 1917.

On 26th May 1917 Private Maidens rejoined the 13th Battalion, when it was training at Doulieu, France.[4]

Private Maidens served with the 13th Battalion for almost two months on the Western Front until 23rd July 1917, when he was sent to the 13th Australian Field Ambulance, suffering D.A.H. [disordered action of the heart]. On 24th July he was moved to the 2nd Australian Casualty Clearing Station. On 25th July he was placed aboard the 38th Ambulance Train, and moved to the 4th General Hospital at Rouen, France. On 4th August 1917 he was discharged from hospital, and marched into the 4th Australian Division Base Depot.

On 15th August 1917 Private Maidens went before a Medical Board and was found medically unfit ‘Age V.D.H.’ [valvular disorder of the heart].  He was placed aboard a ship at Le Havre and sent to England. He marched into the No. 2 Command Depot at Weymouth on 16th August 1917.   He was classed as P.B. [permanent base] by a Medical Board the same day.

On 29th August 1917 Private Maidens was charged with smoking on parade. He was awarded 3 days Field Punishment No. 2.

On 18th September 1917 Private Maidens was transferred to the No. 4 Command Depot at Codford, England. A medical report in his service record dated the same day recorded ‘Very nervous. Slight tachy cardia. Age 46’.  [So his age appears to have been about 44 when he joined the Coo-ee March, not the 38 years and 1 month that he stated on his Attestation Paper].

On 7th November 1917 Private Maidens was sent to the Group Isolation Hospital at Hurdcott suffering Scabies. He was discharged on 15th November 1917.

On 24th November 1917 Private Maidens was transferred to the No. 2 Command Depot at Weymouth, England.

On 18th January 1918 Private Maidens was charged with being absent without leave from 2130 on 16th January 1918 until 2220 on 16th January 1918. He was awarded 3 days Field Punishment No. 2.

On 15th April 1918 Private Maidens departed England aboard the H.M.A.T. Marathon bound for Australia, for medical discharge ‘over age D.A.H.’.

He arrived in Australia on 12th June 1918.

He was discharged medically unfit on 12th December 1918.

Note: In a letter in his service record dated 19th September 1935, he stated that he ‘had a dugout blown in on me. I received shell shock and D.A.H.’


[2] ROUTE MARCHES (1916, January 5). The Farmer and Settler (Sydney, NSW : 1906 – 1955), p. 3. Retrieved December 3, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article116676486

[3] Australian War Memorial. First World War Embarkation Roll, Charles Henry Maidens,  4930.

[4] Australian Imperial Force unit war diaries, 1914-18 War – AWM4 Subclass 23/30 – 13th Infantry Battalion, May 1917

The Coo-ees in Liverpool Camp

Transcription of an article titled ‘Route Marches : Gathering of the Clans : The “Cooees” winning praise in camp’  in The Farmer and Settler, 5 January, 1916, p. 3.

Gathering of the Clans

The lying rumors that have been spread — maliciously by enemy sympathisers, without a doubt — concerning the men that took part in the Gilgandra route march render it expedient that a few definite facts should be published to nail the lies like vermin on a barn door.

When the Inspector-General (General McCay) reviewed the troops in training at Liverpool camp the other day, he did the job thoroughly, taking them battalion by battalion, and company by company, criticising severely when the facts called for it, and giving a little carefully measured praise where it was due. When he had seen E company of the 13th Battalion he complimented the commanding officer on the appearance of his men, and said that they were “the steadiest on parade that day.” He did not know until later that E company was the present regimental name of our old friends, the “Coo-ees.” These men from the west had been in camp little more than a month, and the companies they were so flatteringly compared with consisted in some cases of men that had been drilling for three months or more; so the compliment was something for the “Coo-ees” to be proud of.

Another fact suggesting that the time spent in marching to the seaboard is not wasted: On the day of the great “round up” in Sydney, when every man in uniform outside the camps was called upon “to show cause,” the whole force at Liverpool was taken for a fourteen miles forced march over rough roads, on a stifling day under a broiling sun. “The Coo-ees did it smiling, while nearly all the rest were nearer tears” is the way in which an observer illustrates the contrast in condition between the men that had marched over the Blue Mountains and the others. So route marches not only bring the young men of the rural settlements face to face with their duty, but they have some definite value also in fitting men for soldiering.

Now for some statistics: The Coo-ees marched into camp 273 strong, and seven men were added from other units, because of technical knowledge or for other reasons. Of this number, unfortunately, twenty-one failed to pass the severe Liverpool medical test, and sixteen, for medical or disciplinary reasons, have since been transferred to the home defence forces, or have been discharged — not a large proportion to lose in comparison with the camp experience of other units. And although thirty men, at their own request, have been transferred to the Light Horse, it will be seen that the “Coo-ees” column is still substantially intact, an assertion that is further supported by the fact that every non-com. but one in the present E company marched with the column from the west. The company sergeant-major is S. E. Stephens, who, since his service with the first expeditionary force in New Guinea, has been on the “Farmer and Settler” editorial staff; he went to Gilgandra to report the route march for this journal, re-enlisted there, and marched into camp with the column. The platoon sergeants are: H. Davenport, of Wongarbon; L. R. Anlezark, of Orange; T. W. Dowd. of Wongarbon; and E. S. Taylour, of Wentworthville. Corporals: C. H. Maidens, of Molong; W. W. Smith, of Geurie; J. E. L. Hourigan of Parramatta; J. G. Cameron, of Gilgandra; J. McKeown, of Gilgandra; and Pay Corporal J. C. Gilmour, of Coonamble. Others of the men gathered in on that first route march are qualifying for the non-com. class; but unfortunately, as the “Coo-ees” are reinforcements for a battalion already at the front, and not part of a new battalion, these ranks may be only temporary. How well, on the whole, the “Coo-ees” are behaving, and how quickly they are assimilating the lessons to be learned at Liverpool is evidenced by the fact, that although they only marched into camp on November 14th, a fairly big draft has already been made upon E company to make up the 14th reinforcements for the battalion at the front.

The next time that the story is whispered that the “Coo-ees” proved to be a bad lot, the readers of the “Farmer and Settler” will be able to say that they know better; that the “Coo-ees” are the pride of their company officers, have been complimented by General McCay, came smiling out of a forced march, have lost very few men through misbehavior, and are getting fit so rapidly that they will very shortly all be in Europe putting fresh battle names on the proud colors of the “Fighting Thirteenth.”’

Click here to access the article on Trove: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article116676486