A century on from the end of World War I we acknowledge their service …
Lest we forget.
Private Charles Henry Warner
Born: 7 July 1886 Melbourne. Died of wounds: 9 March 1918 Melbourne.
Enlisted: 19/20 October 1916 aged 30.
Served: Western Front.
Charles was the eldest son of Andrew Brydie Warner and Sarah Warner of “The Burrs”, Pakenham Upper. His parents had been amongst the earliest settlers at what was then known as Gembrook South. An orchardist before enlisting, he trained as a bomber and saw action in France. In October 1917, Charles was badly wounded in the chest at Glencowise Wood. He was invalided to England, where he remained until deemed fit enough to make the voyage back to Australia. On the voyage home, Charles suffered greatly from sea sickness, which caused his old wound to re-open. In Melbourne, he was admitted to the St Kilda Road Hospital and operated on, but died on 9 March 1918. Charles was buried with full military honours: the Union Jack was draped on his coffin, which was then placed on a gun carriage drawn by six horses. The Pakenham Gazette described it as a “very impressive ceremony” and the “final tribute to yet another who has unselfishly laid down his life for his country with no thought of gain other than the consciousness of duty nobly done”.
This is an extract from Patrick Ferry’s book A Century After The Guns Fell Silent – Remembering the Pakenham District’s WWI Diggers 1914-18.
For more details on this and other profiles in the book, head to the website www.pakenhamww1.com