Charles Edward Street

First Name: 
Charles
Middle Name: 
Edward
Last Name: 
Street
Date of Birth: 
Sunday, January 31, 1886
Mother's Name: 
Delia Street
Father's Name: 
James Street
Date Enlisted: 
Thursday, June 29, 1916
Rank at Enlistment: 
Private
Unit: 
45th Battalion
Company: 
6th Reinforcements
Service: 
Infantry
Awards: 
British War Medal
Victory Medal
Date of Death: 
Sunday, September 30, 1917
Place of Death: 
Belgium
Cause of Death: 
Killed in action
Details: 

Charles Edward Street was born on January 31, 1886 to James & Delia Street, at Corrimal; he was one of seven at that point in time. When Charles was born his father was working in a local coal mine, but a few years later he bought a small farm where the family grew fruit, flowers & vegetables.

Charles’ brother owned a farm in Yanco/Leeton where he would often go to work as a farm hand. According to family, he smoked a pipe and had a very cheeky nature.

When war was declared in 1914, Charles was probably back in Corrimal to visit his family when he and his younger brother, Edwin, decided to enlist at the Corrimal enlistment office on June 22, 1916. He was thirty years old at the time. One week later, on the 29th of June, the brothers were sworn in at Barroul House, Kiama.

He sailed from Sydney on October 7, 1916, on the HMAT A40 Ceramic as part of the 45th Battalion, 6th Reinforcements, disembarking at Plymouth, England, on November 21, 1916. There the brothers were based at the Codford Training Camp in Wiltshire, near the Salisbury Plains. The battalion trained for months before they were allowed to leave for France in January 1917, but Charles wasn't with them; his teeth needed fixing. Charles rejoined the battalion in March 1917 as a trained sniper.

He was in hospital on numerous occasions with scabies and high fevers of unknown origins. After one such stay, he re-joined his unit and was given orders to head to the front line to participate in the Battle of Polygon Wood, an area 4 miles (6.4 km) south-west of Passchendale. By the time he had reached it, however, the password had been changed and he was shot and killed by Allied troops on September 30, 1917.

His effects were bagged & sent to nearby headquarters; his body was tagged for burial but it was never found.

His parents were notified of his death by telegram 6 weeks later, on the 19th of November, & received his effects on the 20th of May, 1918. Charles bequeathed his money to his mother & older brother, Daniel.

Charles was awarded the British War medal and the Victory Medal. His name is on the Corrimal Memorial as well as the Menin Memorial Gate at Ypres, Belgium.

Sources: 
Australian War Memorial, First World War Embarkation Rolls - Charles Edward Street, Australian War Memorial Canberra, 2014, http://www.awm.gov.au/people/rolls/R1971772/, viewed 30 October 2014.
NAA: B2455, STREET CHARLES EDWARD

Images

Three postcards each depicting Salisbury Cathedral and Stonehenge.
Front of postcard with a poem.

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