Charles Thomas Ayers

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† Ayers, Private Charles Thomas no.3002

55th Battalion.

“Femleigh” Third Street, South Ashfield.

Tram driver.

Born at Temora, 26/4/1885, son of Ellen Mary and Thomas Gabriel Ayers.

Educated at Brawlin Superior School.

Enlisted 8/8/1915 at Cootamundra.

Embarked 8/10/1915 War service, France.

Killed in action, Polygon Wood, 26/9/1917.

Memorial on the Menin Gate.

AWM File IDRL428 Box 17 (Letters re missing servicemen to British Red Cross).

Pte Charles Ayers no.3002. 55th Battalion: Private AL. Bedson no.5331 55th Battalion Harefield: Private Ayers was in D Company; 14th Platoon.

He was killed instantly by a shell. He was in supports at the time at Polygon Wood and was badly knocked about. I .saw his body after he had been hit. The fellows just covered him over, and I dont think he was ever taken out and reburied Further particulars can be obtained from Lance Corporal P. Bentley; he was with Ayers at the time he was killed He was a great friend of Ayers.

Sapper S.W.Lund no. 1942 55th Battalion No. 1 Hospital, Exeter:

I found the body of Charles Ayers in a shell hole at Polygon Wood, left of the Menin Road He must have been killed instantaneously as the body was so knocked about. I gave his belongings to the Battalion Orderly and I buried him at Polygon Wood, and put a small board with the name and date, the best I could do. In civilian life, Ayers was a tramway driver.

Private F.Kelly no.2685 55th Battalion D Company 15th Platoon, 27/4/1918, Hospital Ship Carisbrook Castle:

He was in D Company 15th Platoon. I knew him very well, about 5ft 8ins, dark, slight, delicate looking, about 30. On the 26th September we were near Ypres attacking.

Corporal P.Kelly no.2684 of the 55th Battalion D Company 15th Platoon, my brother, who is now with the Training Battalion at Codford, told me he saw Ayers killed.Corporal P. Kelly described Pte Ayers:

He was slightly built, dark complexion, thin face, black hair, height about 5ft 8ins...

Lance Sergeant W.E. Nicholdson no.2903 55th Battalion, Hospital Ship Essequibo:

I did not see him killed but his Platoon Sergeant, K. W. Allen, told me he saw his grave, near where he fell at Polygon Wood Ayers was of slight build, dark He originally came from Cootamundra, and was a tram driver in the suburbs of Sydney.

Sergeant K. W. Allen no.2259 55th Battalion D Company, London, 10/8/1918:

I saw him about an hour before he was killed by a shell - a Corporal in my Company found his body. To the best of my knowledge he was killed either on 28th or 29th September 1917, and not on 26th September 1917. I am almost certain he was buried in the field and not in a registered cemetery. The burial was conducted by the Battalion Chaplain who was also killed soon after. I knew Private Ayers well and always found him a good and brave man. He was living in the same trench as I was and I can furnish you with the locality of same if you wish.Portrait and biography in the All-Australia Memorial.

Special acknowledgement

The foundation of the information on this page was copied from the prize winning publication Canterbury's boys :

World War I & Sydney's suburban fringe. This book is the culmination of 12 years (1988-2000) research by a team

of volunteers from Canterbury and District Historical Society led by Dr Lesley Muir. Without this team's effort and

dedication and the Society's willingness and support, this information would not be available today.


An uneditable version of the book [ Canterbury's boys : World

War I & Sydney's suburban fringe] is in the eBook section of this wiki. In the main section, there is an

alphabetical list of the 1,911 names in the book with a link to the biography copied from the book about each

individual. The alphabetical list is titled Canterbury's Boys list. The biographical files are editable, created

to provide the space for descendants, historians, researchers, etc to contribute any further information,

photographs, newspaper articles, memories, etc. they may have discovered so it is available for this and future



Canterbury's boys : World War I & Sydney's suburban fringe. Edited by Lesley Muir. Campsie, N.S.W. : Canterbury

and District Historical Society, 2002