Thomas James Bakewell (known and enlisted as Charles George Walklate)

First Name: 
Charles
Middle Name: 
George
Last Name: 
Bakewell
Date of Birth: 
Sunday, January 5, 1890
Mother's Name: 
Ann Bakewell nee Bickerstaff
Father's Name: 
George Bakewell
Date Enlisted: 
Tuesday, August 11, 1914
Rank at Enlistment: 
Private
Rank at Discharge: 
Captain
Unit: 
Naval & Military Exp, Force (Tropical Unit), 18th Battalion, 20th Battalion, 4th Battalion
Service: 
Infantry
Awards: 
Military Cross Mid
1914/1915 Star
British War Medal
Victory Medal
Date of Death: 
Thursday, July 28, 1966
Details: 

Thomas James Bakewell was born in Walshall, England and served in the Royal Marines Light Infantry from 28th February 1906 until 4th February 1912.

Thomas came to Australia after 1912 but no record relating to his arrival in Australia can be found.

On 11th August 1914 he enlisted in the Naval and Military Tropical Force as Charles George Walklate (Service No 65), and embarked from Sydney on HMAT A35 Berrima with the Machine Gun Section, 1st Battalion on 19th August, with the rank of private.  On his papers Thomas stated that he was 26 years old, single, working as an electrical crane driver and living at Harbour Street, Wollongong, N.S.W.  He returned to Australia with the rank of Corporal and was discharged in 1915.

On 8th March1915 Thomas enlisted in the AIF, again using the name Charles George Walklate, and was assigned Service No 295).  He embarked from Sydney on HMAT A40 Ceramic with A Company, 20th Battalion on 23rd June 1915 as the QuarterMaster Sergeant.  He arrived on Gallipoli on 20th August 1915 and saw service there.  Charles was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant on 8th October 1915.  Charles was one of the last men to leave Gallipoli.  War diary records state that as part of C2 Party Lieutenant Walklate and all machine gunners left between 1.55am and 3.31 am on 20th December 1915.

After returning to Egypt, Charles was promoted to Lieutenant on 15th March 1916 and arrived in France on 26th March 1916.  He saw service on the Western Front surviving the Somme battles and on 21st August 1916 was promoted to Captain.

While serving in France Charles was awarded the Military Cross. The citation for the Recommendation of the Military Cross reads: 'For meritorious service with the Battalion from the time of landing in France to the present. Throughout he has worked with keenness and enthusiasm, and has handled his Company with ability and judgement. In the fighting he has shown skill and sound judgement in the handling of his men. He is a fearless and dashing leader. To Captain Walklate is due in a considerable measure the success of a raid on the German trenches by the 18th battalion at BOIS GRENIER on 26th/27th June last. He was recommended for recognition at the time. With the exception of 2 days in CAIRO in January last Captain Walklate has been continuously on duty with the Brigade since it left Australia. He was with the New Guinea expedition.'

On 7th November 1916 Charles was seriously wounded in action, and evacuated to hospital in England for treatment of gun shot wounds to his face, both legs and hands.  

On 18th November 1916 Charles was Mentioned in Despatches and this was awarded and proclaimed in the London Gazette on 4th January 1917, and Commonwealth of Australia Gazette on 29th June 1917. 

Charles was returned to Australia in March 1917.

On 31st October 1917 Charles embarked on HMAT A14 Euripides with 25th Reinforcements, 4th Battalion and arrived in England on 26th December 1917.  On 19th April 1918 he joined 18th Battalion in France where he served until the end of the War, finally returning to Australia in June 1919.   Charles was discharged from the AIF on 8th October 1919.

On 5th June 1919 George Walklate signed a Statutory Declaration stating his real name was Thomas James Bakewell.  In November 1919 he changed his name by deed poll to Charles Walklate.  

In 1921 Charles married Muriel Alcock and they had a daughter in 1922.  She enlisted in the Womens Air Force in World War 2.

On 3rd June 1940 Captain Walklate enlisted in 2nd AIF.  He was living in Sydney when he enlisted and stated hus occupation as business manager.  Charles served in Australia for the duration of the War and on 14th September 1942 was promoted to Major.

After the Second World War Charles and his wife travelled to England regularly and he is noted as being Major Walklate.  

Charles died 1966.

Sources: 
NAA: B2455, WALKLATE CHARLES GEORGE

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