Private Charles Clissold
36th Battalion, AIF
Service Number: 1809
Born: 29 March 1898, Penrith, NSW
Died: 7 June 1917, Messines, Belgium
Charles Albert Clissold was the only son of George and Mary (nee Innes) Clissold. He grew up on his parents’ farm at Emu Heights and attended Emu Plains and Penrith Public Schools. After leaving school, Clissold was employed at the Emu Gravel Works. Prior to his enlistment he was working as a horse driver. Clissold also served with the Senior Cadets. George Clissold had enlisted in September 1915 and left for England in April 1916.
Clissold enlisted on 12 March 1916 with his parents’ consent as he was under 21. He listed his mother as his next of kin. Young Clissold left Australia aboard HMAT Port Sydney on 4 September 1916 and arrived at Portsmouth on 20 December 1916, a month after the death of his father on 19 November. On 11 December 1916, Clissold’s sister Bessie helped turn the first sods for the foundations of the new Penrith Public School in High Street. A week later the Nepean Times reported on her father’s death in France. Ironically, Charles Clissold would die within days of the official opening of the school.
In January 1917, Clissold joined the 36th Battalion at Etaples. On 7 June 1917, the 36th Battalion took part in Battle of Messines and Clissold was killed in action on the same day.
The Nepean Times reported his death on 14 July 1917 stating ‘…the relentless deadliness of the grim Armageddon is being almost daily made the more painfully evident by the many additions to the list of Australian heroes who have fallen in battle; and to those householders who have lost not only their breadwinner (father) but also their only son, as in the case of the Clissold family of Emu Plains, the direful ravages of and the anguish caused by the war, is surely exceedingly bitter testimony of the most appalling struggle in the history of the world’.
- Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres, Belgium
- Honor Roll, Emu Plains Public School
- War Memorial, Emu Plains
- Honor Roll, Memory Park, Penrith
National Archives of Australia B2455, CLISSOLD C A