About Charles Lenton
Charles was the eldest son of Joseph and Nora Lenton and was born in Warwickshire, England. He attended the R.C School in Warwickshire until he was 14 years old. When he left school he trained as a confectioner. Charles emigrated to Australia when he was 21 years old.
Charles worked as a pearl shell opener for A.G Russell, who had a substantial pearling operation in Broome. Charlie’s younger brother Jack also worked for Russell and enlisted for the AIF with him.
Charles enlisted for the AIF in Broome in November 1914 and travelled to Perth aboard the Gorgon, along with his brother and a number of other men from Broome. He was posted to the 16th Battalion, 2nd Reinforcements, which was sent to Melbourne for training, and then onto Gallipoli. Charles served as a signaller while on the peninsula. A week after the landing the 16th was involved in the attack on Bloody Angle and suffered many casualties. From May to August the battalion was heavily involved in establishing and defending the front line of the ANZAC beachhead, and in August the 4th Brigade attacked Hill 971. The hill was taken at great cost, although Turkish reinforcements forced the Australians to withdraw. The battalion served at ANZAC until the evacuation in December.
After the withdrawal from Gallipoli the battalion returned to Egypt where the AIF was expanded and reorganised. In June, the 16th sailed for France and the Western Front where they took part in bloody trench warfare. Charles was transferred to No 4 Machine Gun Company in March 1916 and was later killed in action in September 1916.
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