Charles Henry Willis
Serial No. 58947
Australian Field Artillery & Australian Veterinary Hospital
Charles Henry Willis - Information
When the war commenced, Charles Henry Willis was living on Broughton St in Campbelltown with his family. Charles was born in Hurstville on the 12th of November 1897 before coming to the area. He served with the 5th Artillery Brigade and supported himself working as a railway clerk at Campbelltown Train Station. When he was 20 years old, he travelled to Sydney to enlist in the AIF on the 20th of May 1918. He trained at the Recruits Depot in Liverpool, and was assigned to the 10th NSW General Service Reinforcements as a Private. Charles was then shipped out from Sydney onboard the HMAT Borda on the 17th of July 1918.
Charles landed in London at the end of September, and was marched into the 12th Training Battalion. On the 7th of October, he was transferred to the Australian Field Artillery in Heytesbury, where he remained until the war ended. While Charles was stationed in England, he stayed with Marj Fuller in Kent. Marj was the sister-in-law of Louisa Longhurst, a member of a large Campbelltown family. Many local lads were welcomed in Marj's home with good food and comfortable beds. In the new year, Charles was sent to France where he was taken on strength to the Australian Vet Hospital in Calais as an Orderly Room Staff. On the 10th of April, he was transferred to the 13th Field Artillery Brigade, but by May, was transported back to England. On the 5th of June, he was promoted Acting Sergeant and was then admitted to hospital with chicken pox, before he was sent back to Australia on the Bakara in late July.
Charles was discharged in October and returned to his family in Campbelltown. He then married Floris Longhurst, the daughter of William and Louisa Longhurst. Charles and Floris eventually moved to Strathfield, where Charles worked for the NSW Government Railways in the Sydney Office.