Our Family History
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Family
Siblings
Maria IRONMONGER 1889 - 1962
Dora IRONMONGER 1891 - 1918
Eva IRONMONGER 1894 - 1903
Amy IRONMONGER 1896 - 1970
Charles "Charlie" Henry IRONMONGER 1899 - 1987
Horace IRONMONGER 1901 - 1967
Children With
Hilary IRONMONGER 1928 - 2018
Charles "Charlie" Henry IRONMONGER
Birth: 5 May 1899 - Great Oakley, Northamptonshire, England   Ref
Occupation: 1920 - Furniture Salesman, Leicester, Leicestershire, England
Marriage: 15 July 1922 - to  Minnie Adelaide MOORE   Parish Church of St Mark, Leicester, England   Ref
Arrival: 23 August 1922 - Arrived in Albany, Western Australia from London, England on ship Sophocles
Occupation: 1940 - Dairy Farmer, Yalyallup, Western Australia, Australia
Divorce: 12 August 1946 - to  Minnie Adelaide MOORE     Ref
Marriage: 1947 - to  Dorothy JONES  
Occupation: 1950 - Dairy Farmer, Karridale, Western Australia, Australia
Marriage: c. 1958 - to  Norma DURDAN  
Marriage: c. 1962 - to  Dorris Evelyn EVANS  
Occupation: 1970 - Beef Farmer, Karridale, Western Australia, Australia
Death: 10 April 1987 - Augusta, Western Australia, Australia   Ref
Notes
Charles Henry Ironmonger 1940. Photo taken from his Australian Army fact card. Charles Henry Ironmonger 1940. Photo taken from his Australian Army fact card.
Charles Ironmonger left school at the age of 13 and was working for his father in the family coal and wagon business. He described this as "working for his father 6 days a week, for nothing of course."

On August 14th, 1914 while carting goods for the construction of a sewage system in the village he got caught between the wagon wheel and a fence and ended up with a broken leg and lots of skin missing. A doctor set his leg on the floor in the front room of their house and he was carried upstairs in the carpet to his room. As written in his notes. "I was sick all night, but the old man never came near me. Then I made up my mind to get a job as soon as I could."

In March 1915 he got his first job outside the family working in a blast furnace for 4/- a day. "I thought I was a millionaire."

Early May there was big recruitment campaign for the Army in England and on the 5th May 1915, on this 16th birthday, Charles joined the English army, lying about his age so he could enlist.

"I had never been away from home before this and it was with mixed feelings that I left. I remember my dad said the night I joined up that I had made my bed so I could lie in it. He couldn't have said anything better to make me determined to stick it out. Before I had been in the army 2 months he wrote me to see if I would come home. No was the answer and he had sense enough to let it go at that, as he could have claimed me had he so done."

Charles started his training in Weymouth and transferred to Gillingham. "After finishing the rifle course for which I got cross guns we transferred to another camp on the other side of Gillingham and we were anxious to get to France. Little did I realize what it would be like to have some one firing at me when before I was the only one firing. We had a very sensible Sgt Major in our Company. a real old timer, probably had a family as old or older than I was and as the drafts were made up he keep our name off. He knew we were not old enough to go to France. Sometimes we would go to see him in his tent and say we wanted to volunteer for France. He would say get the hell out of here or you'll get my boot where it hurts. There were a number of us young lads like that, some parents claimed, some got old enough to go until there were only two of us in my Company. So the Sgt decided to get rid of us for a while and sent us to Woolwich, for a course of shoeing horses that took two to three months. When I came back I could wear a horse shoe on my sleeve. From then on till Oct 1916 I was doing guard duties. A blizzard hit camp and blew everything flat and what a mess. Everything had to be put up again then the news came that I was on draft for France. Home leave. I told them that I was going to France to shoe horses, but I'm afraid I never put a shoe on a horse after I left Woolwich till I came to Australia in 1922."

At 17 Charles was sent to France and first stationed at Corbie on the Somme. During March 1917 he was called to the Orderly Room where the adjutant questioned him about his age. "Evidently someone had written to him and told him I was under age. It turned out to be my brother in law who was a Leit in the Leicesters." At this time Charles was sent back to England, transferred to the 2/6 Scottish Riffles and sent to Ireland. Most of the Battalion was youngsters who had been sent home from France.

Charles went back to France in February 1918 and spent time in and around Arras and Loos. In August 1918 they were all sent to the French Front at Chatteau Thierry. "Marched 24 hrs then straight over the top. Had tremendous losses 17 men and a Sgt out of my Company of 200. Lost all officers (a bit different from WWII) we couldn't lose them if we tried. Some companies suffered worse."

Charles was demobbed on 11th March 1919. "2 months before I was 20 only a kid in years but an old man in experience."

Charles went back to England and settled in Leicester rather than Corby, "where I knew some people and my mother lived there. I soon found a job driving a furniture wagon but it didn't last long before I was in the shop learning how to sell furniture." After a number of jobs Charles decided to join the RIC (Royal Irish Constabulary) and went back to Ireland. Charles was part of the team that was sent to Belfast to guard King George when he opened Parliament there. He was then sent to Wood Laven in County Galway to protect Lord and Lady Ashtoun.

Charles was only in the RIC for 12 months when home rule was declared in Ireland, so they were all discharged but with 12 years service added to their pension. For Charles this turned out to be 1 pound per week. "I was 22 yrs of age quiet a lot of experience 4 years war, 1 year in police, retired on pension."

Charles went back to England and worked as a salesman and window dresser in a furniture factory. Charles was a soccer player at the time. "I stayed with a cobber for a while till I got some good lodgings. We used to do a good bit of running those days. Used to train in Sheffield Wednesday football ground. He was a good sprinter we were both in the team that won the divisional cup after the armistice in France."

"I didn't hold my job long though it wasn't my fault so much. One of the bosses tried to take a rise out of me with a shop full of people. Being young and carefree I just cracked him and drew my weeks pay on Monday morning, went back to Leicester, no work so decided to go to Australia on assisted passage. Got married to a girl I had been living with for the past 18 months, 15 June 1922 had 3 days in London while waiting for ship, Left London 18 June 22, by way of S Africa landed at Albany, Aug after 6 week at sea to a new land with every chance to make good through our own effort."

Arrived in Australia at Albany 1922 (Headstone). Australian Army Fact Card shows pre-enlistment occupation as Dairy Farmer. Had a dairy farm in the Group 34 Settlement in Yalyallup district (Near Busselton) in Western Australia.

Enlisted in Australian Army in 1940 using a false birth date again ( 5 May 1901) so he would qualify. Went to WW II in Singapore. Spent 3 and a half years in Changi POW camp in Singapore as a prisoner of the Japanese. Army records indicate he was missing in Malaya on 8 April 1941 and was recovered from the Japanese POW camp on 19 September 1945.

Returned to Australia from Singapore in 1945 after the war. War fact card shows trip back to Australia taken by ship and train. Singapore - Darwin - Sydney HMT Arawa. Arrived Sydney 6 October 1945. Sydney - Melbourne Troop train. Melbourne - Fremantle HMT Strathmore. Arrived Fremantle 24 October 1945.

Charles and Minnie separated after Charles returned home from WWII and Charles moved to Karridale in Western Australia and started a new farm. This was a dairy farm until about 1970 when he changed to farming sheep and beef.

Moved from the farm in the late 1970's to Busselton. Did not take to town life and after 3 years moved back to a smaller farm at Deep Dene Western Australia. He had gotten used to the house layout in Busselton and had the new house build on the farm with the same floor plan as the house in Busselton.

Lived there until his death from cancer in 1987.

Is buried at Karridale cemetery.



Information on Headstone and War Plaque (From http://www.ozgenonline.com/aust_cemeteries/wa/augusta_margaretriver/karridaledata.htm)

Charles H Ironmonger

WW1 - 5.May.1915 to 11.March.1919
14512 Corp.
Enlisted on his 16th Birthday
11th Batt. Essex.
Later transferred to 15th Bat. Scottish Rifles

WW2 - 21.August.1940 - 13.December.1945
8327
2/4 Machine Gun Battalion
RSL Badge Number 13811
Scrapbook
Birth Certificate Charles Henry Ironmonger May 5 1899 Birth Certificate Charles Henry Ironmonger May 5 1899
Charles Ironmonger and Minnie Moore Wedding
Back L to R Charles Moore, Hilda Moore,  ??, Charles Ironmonger, Minnie Moore, Tom Moore, Fanny Moore, John Moore, Ethel Moore Front L to R Elizabeth, ??, Charles Frederick Moore (Father), Jessie, Nellie, Dorothy Moore (Mother) Charles Ironmonger and Minnie Moore Wedding
Back L to R Charles Moore, Hilda Moore, ??, Charles Ironmonger, Minnie Moore, Tom Moore, Fanny Moore, John Moore, Ethel Moore Front L to R Elizabeth, ??, Charles Frederick Moore (Father), Jessie, Nellie, Dorothy Moore (Mother)
Charles Henry Ironmonger and Minnie Moore Marriage Certificate 1922 Charles Henry Ironmonger and Minnie Moore Marriage Certificate 1922
Charles Henry Ironmonger and Minnie Moore - England 1922 Charles Henry Ironmonger and Minnie Moore - England 1922
The West Australian (Perth, WA : 1879 - 1954), Saturday 24 November 1934, page 6 The West Australian (Perth, WA : 1879 - 1954), Saturday 24 November 1934, page 6
Charles Henry Ironmonger Australian Army Attestation Form 1940 Charles Henry Ironmonger Australian Army Attestation Form 1940
Charles Henry Ironmonger Australian Army Service Record Charles Henry Ironmonger Australian Army Service Record
Charles Henry Ironmonger Army Discharge Certificate 1945 Charles Henry Ironmonger Army Discharge Certificate 1945
The Daily News (Perth, WA : 1882 - 1950)  Mon 12 Aug 1946  Page 3  Divorces Granted The Daily News (Perth, WA : 1882 - 1950) Mon 12 Aug 1946 Page 3 Divorces Granted
Charles Henry Ironmonger Australian Army Fact Card Charles Henry Ironmonger Australian Army Fact Card

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hiddenImage1108 Western Mail (Perth, WA : 1885 - 1954) Thu 15 Feb 1951 Page 7 MUTUAL HELP FARMER TO FARMER
Charles Ironmonger on Karridale Farm 1953 Charles Ironmonger on Karridale Farm 1953
Charles Henry Ironmonger Australian Army Medal List Charles Henry Ironmonger Australian Army Medal List
Charles and David Ironmonger 1982 Charles and David Ironmonger 1982
Charles Henry Ironmonger 1982. Still up for a good party. Charles Henry Ironmonger 1982. Still up for a good party.
Charles Henry Ironmonger Letter to obtain WWI Medals 1986 Charles Henry Ironmonger Letter to obtain WWI Medals 1986
Charles Henry Ironmonger Letter to obtain WWI Medals 1986 Charles Henry Ironmonger Letter to obtain WWI Medals 1986
Charles Henry Ironmonger Letter to Small Business Association 1986 Charles Henry Ironmonger Letter to Small Business Association 1986
Headstone for Charles Henry Ironmonger 1987 Karridale Cemetery Headstone for Charles Henry Ironmonger 1987 Karridale Cemetery
St Marks Parish Church Leicester 2009. Church is now restored and used as a function center. St Marks Parish Church Leicester 2009. Church is now restored and used as a function center.
WW II Service Record WW II Service Record
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