BLACKMAN Charles Henry Edward

Date of Enlistment 14-12-1914
Birthplace Melbourne, Victoria
Next of kin Mrs Blackman, GPO, Perth, Western Australia
Occupation Pearler
Age on Enlistment 35
Rank Corporal
Unit 10th Light Horse Regiment, B Squadron
4th Signal Squadron
Fate RTA
Date of Fate Event 20-07-1919
Returned to Broome post WWI Yes
Other Information Blackman Bros continued pearling in Broome until the 1930s.

Nor-West Echo (Broome, WA : 1914 – 1918), Saturday 30 October 1915, page 8

From the Front

Extracts from a letter by Charlie Blackman to his brother, O. W. Blackman, Broome: — Sept 1, 1915. — I am writing on the hospital ship —- , having been sent from the front, with dengue fever, for for a spell. We have been at the front since 16th of May so have had a good spell of fighting, seeing we have been in the trenches most of the time. We have had it very hot at times. About two weeks ago a charge ended most disastrously for us— I mean our regiment, 10th Light Horse ; we lost more than half our men; about 90 per cent, of those who went never came back ; of my troop of 32 men only five returned ; the two Harpers (you knew in Perth) were killed. ‘ There are hundreds of dead between the trenches, so you can just imagine what it was like. We had a narrow neck of about 100 yards to charge across, with (they say) 25 machine guns playing on us, and as fast as we got out of the trench we were bowled over, some getting a little further than others. My three mates were shot just alongside of me; how I missed I don’t know — I expected to stop one as soon as I got over the trench, but good ‘ fortune must have favored me. as I got out about 30 yards and lay there for about two hours, until the order came for all those who could do so to retire, when those that were left came in. It was heartbreaking to see your pals shot down, some with their heads blown off or cut off, others half cut in two. I have had some very narrow escapes, but have been lucky so far. There is some talk of giving our fellows a spell very soon, not before we want it, as there is not one of the few left who is really fit for hard work. The game is not what it is cracked up to be— a little goes a long way. The sights one sees in the battleare nerve racking; you don’t get one moment’s peace if is not bullets flying about it is shell (large and small some as large as 12in, so you can imagine what a mess they would make, especially in our trenches. Thank goodness they haven’t got the battleships that we have, as they are most deadly shots with their big guns. I have seen some very severe bombardments, and also saw a battleship, the Triumph, sunk by a Turkish ‘submarine. I am pleased to get away from the front ‘ for a spell of a week or two: we are all nearly worn out from lack of sleep and being under constant shell rifle fire. The Australians have been doing good work here, and have a good name. The General told us our regiment deserved the V.C. for the work it did; whether we will get one remains to be seen, but it is nice to know we are thought something of. There are very few of us left to tell the tale, as more than half have been killed in battle.