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Dadswell Family History

Generation 9
Charles Dadswell (1893-1917)

On this page:
Ancestors of Charles Dadswell
Charles' story
Key family dates
Further information

Ancestors of Charles Dadswell

Robert Doudeswell 1560 > Robert Doudeswell 1606 > Edward Dodswell 1659 > Alexander Dodswell 1686 > Thomas Dadswell 1732 > James Dadswell 1786 > Thomas William Dadswell 1828 > Charles Thomas Dadswell 1863 > Charles Dadswell 1893

Charles' story

Charles Dadswell in army uniform

Charles (Charlie) Dadswell was born at Horsham on 1 April 1893, the first child of Charles Thomas and Susan (Broadwood) Dadswell. He lived at Green Park, Stawell Street, Horsham, with his parents and three siblings and before World War One was a contractor with a team of horses, ploughs and scoops.

His younger brother Tom Dadswell (1900-1985) could remember Charlie had tents for the men who worked with him, and they would all camp out on the job.

Charlie Dadswell enlisted in the 1st AIF (Australian Infantry Force) on 18 October 1916 at the age of 23, giving his occupation as 'contractor'. He sailed from Melbourne aboard the troopship Ulysses only one month later. His training was undertaken overseas, including Salisbury in England, from where he wrote to his sister Myrtle that he was undertaking rifle and bayonet training.

While training in England, Charlie was recorded as being AWOL (absent without leave) from midnight on 1 February 1917 until 7.45pm on 2 February. As a result, he was given seven days field punishment and forfeited 12 days pay.

A further letter to his sister, this time from France, records his progress:

Dear Myrtle,

Just a line to let you know that I am still going good. I have been in 7 different camps since we have been in France, and have been with the Battalion 4 or 5 days now, so when you write my address will be No 6733 Pte C Dadswell, B Company 5th Battalion AIF Abroad.

I have seen a good many villages and towns that have been destroyed by the Germans, and by the trenches and shell holes one can tell that the advance of the Allies was made by hard fighting.

I have met a few chaps from Horsham lately - Harold Fulton, Jim Norman, Dick Brown and the three Millingtons from Pimpinio. We had some snow here a couple of days ago. But I suppose we will soon have it hot enough.

I haven't had any letters for a good while now but hope to get some soon. We are not allowed to tell you the names of any places or what we are doing, so I will close. Hoping all are enjoying the best of good health, with best love & xxxxxxxxx, from your loving brother, Charles Dadswell.

He served with the 5th Infantry Battalion in France and, according to Army records, was killed in action at Lagnicourt on 22 April 1917. The incident in which he died is recorded in Diary of a Sapper, written by one of his cousins, Henry Dadswell (1894-1978):

"He [Charlie] had not received any mail for some time when a runner came up with some letters and Charlie got one. He waved it around and said, "Boys, a letter from home, this is my lucky day." He opened the letter and was about half way through it when a shell burst on the bank nearby and a piece hit him in the head. He didn't even finish reading his letter."

Private Charles Dadswell, service number 6733, was 24 when he died in the trenches at Lagnicourt. He was buried in the Morchies Military Cemetery about 4km south of Lagnicourt, France. His unit's war diary records that 5 unit members were killed that day, and 20 more wounded. The Horsham Times of 15 May 1917 paid the following tribute:

"It is with deep regret that we record the death on the field of battle of Private Charles Dadswell, son of Mr. Charles Dadswell of Green Park. News was received on Saturday by the Rev. Thos Gray in a telegram which stated that the young soldier had been killed in action in France on April 27th. He was only 24 years of age, and was respected by all who knew him. He was a member of the Loyal Grampians Lodge IOOF and was the 5th member of the lodge to render up his life for his country."

Key family dates

Charles Dadswell
born 1 April 1893 - died 22 April 1917


Click on any picture to see a larger size photograph.

Enlist papers for Charles Dadswell Charles Dadswell in army uniform Grave of Charles Dadswell

Further information

Information on generation 9 brothers/sisters of Charles Dadswell
Information on Charles Thomas Dadswell (generation 8, father of Charles Dadswell)

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