Tag Archives: H.A.C. Cemetery

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 1915 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

H.A.C. Cemetery – France

H.A.C. CEMETERY

On 6th September 2014 Stephen and I drove to the H.A.C. Cemetery, which is located about 800 metres south of Ecoust-St. Mein, which is a village between Arras, Cambrai and Bapaume.

According to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website http://www.cwgc.org/, the village of Ecoust was captured by the 4th Australian and 7th Divisions on the 2nd April 1917. This cemetery was started to be used after this battle by the 7th Division. After the Armistice further graves were added to this cemetery for soldiers who had been buried on the battlefields of Bullecourt and Ecoust and other nearby burial grounds. There are now almost 2,000 soldiers buried or commemorated in this cemetery. Over half of these are unidentified.

There are two Coo-ees buried in this cemetery – Charles Arthur Finn, a blacksmith who joined the Coo-ees at Gilgandra, who was killed in action near Bapaume on the 7th April 1917, and  Charles Alfred Hampson, a machinist who joined the Coo-ees at Lithgow, who was killed in action two weeks later at Ecoust-St. Mein on the 28th April 1917.

The photograph below shows Charles Finn’s headstone (centre) at the H.A.C. Cemetery.

H.A.C. Cemetery at Ecoust-St. Mein, France (Photograph: S. & H. Thompson, 6/9/2014)

H.A.C. Cemetery at Ecoust-St. Mein, France (Photograph: S. & H. Thompson, 6/9/2014)

A photograph of the headstones on Charles Finn’s and Charles Hampson’s graves will be placed on their individual blog entries, and form part of a Roll of Honour for the fallen Coo-ees on this blog.

Charles Arthur FINN

Charles Arthur FINN

Sapper C. A. Finn, of Gilgandra killed in action (Newspaper unknown, ca. 1917)

Sapper C. A. Finn, of Gilgandra killed in action (Newspaper unknown, ca. 1917)

Per his military service record (regimental no. 6289), Charles Arthur Finn was born at Mt McDonald, N.S.W.[1] He gave his age as 27 years and 3 months, his marital status as single, and his occupation as Blacksmith. He completed his medical on 7th October 1915 at Gilgandra and was attested by Captain Nicholas on 9th October 1915 at Gilgandra. He claimed to have had no previous military service.

After completing the Coo-ee March he went to Liverpool Camp as reinforcement for the Engineers.

On his embarkation roll his address at time of enrolment was Gilgandra, N.S.W., and his next of kin is listed as mother, Mrs Eliza Finn, ‘Rosevale’, Everdon, Gilgandra N.S.W.

Sapper Finn departed Sydney on the HMAT A26 Armidale on 21st March 1916 with the 15th reinforcements for the 1st Field Company Engineers. He arrived in Egypt on 24th April 1916.

On the 28th May 1916 Sapper Finn left Alexandria aboard the SS Briton bound for England where he trained before being sent to France on 18th August 1916.

He marched into the 4th Division Base Depot at Etaples on 18th August 1916.

Sapper Finn was transferred to the 13th Field Company Engineers, and was one of 15 reinforcements who marched into the 13th Field Company Engineers on  27th August 1916, whilst it was resting at Pernois, France.

On the 29th November 1916 he was evacuated sick whilst the Company was conducting works in the forward area in the vicinity of Delville Wood, France

On the 1st December 1916 he was admitted to the 14th General Hospital at Boulogne, France, with Influenza. On the 9th of December 1916 he was transferred to the 1st Convalescent Depot at Boulogne. On the 16th of December 1916 he was sent to the 25th General Hospital suffering from piles. On the 3rd of January 1917 he was transferred to the 7th Convalescent Depot.

On the 14th February 1917 Sapper Finn was sent to the No.3 Large Rest Camp. On the 18th February 1917 whilst at the Number 3 Large Rest Camp Sapper Finn was charged with Whilst Being On Active Service Being in Bed One Hour after Reveille. He was awarded Five Days Confined to Barracks.

On the 26th February 1917 Sapper Finn marched into the Australian Engineers Base Depot at Etaples. On the 15th March 1917 he rejoined the 13th Field Company whilst it was in Reserve at Baizieux, France.

On the 7th April 1917 the 13th Field Company was conducting road maintenance, and locating and repairing wells and looking for mines, in the vicinity of Bapaume, France when he and another member of the Company were killed by a high explosive shell. According to his Red Cross Wounded and Missing report, Sapper Finn and another soldier ‘were taking detonators out of a German unexploded mine when a shell came over and killed them both’, and they were ‘both buried at Noreuil, where they were at the time’. [2]

His body was exhumed from this grave after the war, and he was then buried at the H.A.C. Cemetery, Ecoust-St. Mein, Arras, Nord Pas de Calais, France.

 

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

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

Sapper Finn’s name is commemorated on panel 23 on the Australian War Memorial First World War Roll of Honour.

His name is also listed on the Gilgandra War Memorial, and the Cooee March Memorial Park Gateway at Gilgandra.

 

[1] NAA: B2455, FINN C A

[2] ‘6289 Sapper Charles Arthur Finn, 13th Field Company Engineers’, Red Cross Wounded and Missing Enquiry Bureau Files, 1914-1918 War 1DRL/0428, https://www.awm.gov.au/people/rolls/R1486776/