Charles Alfred Abel

Birth Date: 1887 Where: Tasmania
Died: Where:
Place of Enlistment: Claremont, Tasmania Age: 28
Serial Number: 1777 Battalion: 26th
Rank on Enlistment: Private Rank on Discharge/Death: Private

Awards: 1914 - 15 Star, British War Medal 1914 - 1920, Victory Medal, Mentioned in Despatches


Photograph Abel

 Service Details:



14 July

1915                      Embarked from Australia


1915                      Embarked Egypt

10 Sept. – 12 Dec.

1915                      Gallipoli

21 March

1916                      France

6/7 June

1916                      Trench Raid

29 July – 27 Aug.

1916                      Pozieres (Sausage Valley)

6 September

1916                      Belgium

6 October

1916                      Broken Arm - to England


1917                      Returned to France

17 August

1917                      Rejoined unit

18 September

1917                      Ypres

20 September

1917                      Mentioned in Despatches (Polygon Wood)

1 October

1917                      WIA - to England

17 July

1918                      Rejoined Battalion

8 August

1918                      Battle of Amiens

26 August

1918                      To Hospital

11 November

1918                      Armistice

20 July

1919                      Returned to Australia

18 December

1919                      Demobilised.


Biographical Details:




Charles Alfred Abel was born in Tasmania in 1887.  He enlisted with the Second Reinforcement of the 26th Battalion at Claremont in June 1915 where he gave his trade as Miner and claimed one year experience with the Naval Reserve. He had a wife (Clara Ethel) and three children.
Charles life in the AIF was colourful. In October 1915, at Gallipoli, he incurred the first of many punishments for various infractions. Mostly these were relatively minor offences such as being absent from parade for which he received a few days Field Punishment plus a fine.  However, by the time he volunteered for the Trench Raid, Charles had been charged with nine separate offences.  In November 1916 he was invalided to England with a broken arm.  While there he was Absent Without Leave twice.  On the second occasion he appeared in front of a District Court Martial for being AWL for five weeks and then, after escaping custody, being AWL for a further two months.  He pleaded guilty and was given nine months detention and forfeiture of 399 days pay. Because of a conflict with regulations the unexpired part of this detention (146 days) was remitted.  Two months later he was again charged with being AWL, for fifteen hours.
Charles rejoined his unit in August 1917 and in September the 26th Battalion was in action at Polygon Wood.  He and three others were recommended for a Mention in Despatches (MID):
For conspicuous bravery & devotion to duty. These men showed great determination & coolness on the execution of their duty under heavy shell fire during an attack on Polygon Wood on the 20 Sept 1917.
They set an excellent example to their comrades by their endurance & courage.
There is no record of this award being conferred on any of the four soldiers.
Eleven days later Charles suffered a GSW to the buttocks and was repatriated to England where he faced a another court martial for being AWL, for two months.  He forfeited 135 days pay.  It was probably then that he contracted VD and consequently confined for thirty nine days.  Shortly after rejoining the 26th Battalion, in July 1918, he was again hospitalised with VD - this time for twenty four days.
Charles returned to Australia in July 1919 and was discharged in December. He died in Tasmania in 1971, aged 84.
In 2010 Charles’ service medals were listed on an auction site.