Albert Thomas Charlton

First Name: 
Middle Name: 
Last Name: 
Mother's Name: 
Mary Ann Charlton nee Parker
Father's Name: 
Thomas Charlton
Date Enlisted: 
Thursday, March 4, 1915
Rank at Enlistment: 
Rank at Discharge: 
8th Battalion
1914/1915 Star
British War Medal
Victory Medal
Date of Death: 
Saturday, August 7, 1915
Place of Death: 
Gallipoli, Turkey
Cause of Death: 
Killed in action

Albert Charlton (Service No 2110) was born in London around 1870.  On 25th April 1896 he married Sylvia in London and they had 2 children. 

Albert was living in Melbourne in 1912 when he married Francis Juli O'Reilly on 8th April.  They moved to Wollongong, N.S.W. and Albert was working in Port Kembla when he left Francis and their 2 children and enlisted in Melbourne.

On his Attestation papers, Albert stated he was, single and 36 years old, and he nominated a 'brother', J Charlton of London, as his next of kin.  At a later date his papers were changed, and showed his next of kin to be his wife, Francis, of Bourke Street, Wollongong.

Albert embarked from Melbourne on board HMAT A62 Wandilla with 8th Battalion, 5th Reinforcement on 17th June 1915.  He arrived in Egypt in July 1915 and was sent to Gallipoli where he joined 8th Battalion on 6th August 1915.

Albert was killed in action the next day and there is no known grave.

His service is commemorated on the Lone Pine Memorial at Gallipoli - his wife is noted to be Sylvia R Charlton of London and his age is shown to be 45.

After his death the authorities tried to notify the brother in London listed as Albert's initial next of kin, but this man could not be located.  Albert had left a will naming Francis and the children in Australia, but his legal wife in England made contact and she was added to his file. 

Albert's full story came to light in 1939 when his son, Edward, requested his father's war medals.  In a letter dated 21 September 1939, the AIF outlined the facts concerning Albert (page 29, NAA documents).  At the time of his death, Albert was married to Francis bigamously, and still legally married to Sylvia Rebecca Charlton of London; Sylvia was therefore legally entitled to his medals as well as his war pension.  Finally, on 25 October 1939, both wives were approved to be entitiled to receive the same amount of monies.

Francis was admitted to a 'mental instituion' in August 1918, and was still an in-patient at a psychiatric hospital in Orange, N.S.W. in 1939 when her son made the application for his father's medals.  Francis died on 20th July 1960.


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