Charles Henry Wilfred Holland

Charles Henry Wilfred Holland was born in Orange in 1893, the first child of John William and Lily Hannah Holland. A sister, Gertrude, followed in 1895.

The family lived at Greghamstown, where John was a farmer; he was also an active member of the Blayney branch of the Farmers and Settlers’ Association. He became secretary, and then President of the Association. Charles attended Blayney School, then joined his father on the family farm.

In June 1915 Charles volunteered for active service. He enlisted in Brisbane and attended Enoggera training camp. He embarked from Brisbane in August 1915, a Private in the 9th Australian Infantry Battalion, 8th Reinforcements. Charles served in Egypt and France.

Ill-health plagued Private Holland; he was hospitalised on several occasions, suffering from parotitis (inflamed salivary glands) in September 1915, diphtheria in November and phthisis (tuberculosis) in December. He spent early 1916 in Montasah Convalescent Hospital in Egypt recovering from bronchial pneumonia.

On 5 January 1916 Charles’ father received a telegram advising that Charles had been admitted to 2nd Australian General Hospital at Ghezireh in Egypt. The following week John wrote to the Army records office requesting further information and the address of the hospital, ending his letter: “kindly oblige anxious mother”.

Private Holland recovered; he joined the British Expeditionary Force in April 1916 and proceeded to France. In July he was reported missing in action. At a Court of Enquiry held at le Havre in July 1917 a fellow soldier claimed to have seen Private Holland lying dead in a trench, he appeared to have been hit in the head by a shell. The Court declared Charles to have been killed in action at Pozieres in France on 23 July 1916. He has no known grave.

Charles Holland is commemorated on the Greghamstown District and School Honour Roll, the Blayney Methodist Church Roll of Honor and the Blayney Honour Roll in the Soldiers Memorial Hall.

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This entry was posted on June 11th, 2015.