Enlistment Address

Gilgandra, NSW

Service Number



1st Field Company Engineers


Gilgandra Coo-ee


KIA 7.4.1917 France



Charles was a 27 year old blacksmith of Gilgandra when he enlisted with the Gilgandra Coo-ees. On enlistment Charles was described as Roman Catholic, 5’11” tall, weighed 12stone, had fair complexion, blue eyes and fair hair. He had a horizontal scar across his nose and on the front of his right shin. Charles had been apprenticed to Barton Lowrie Estate of Wellington for 5 years. He had no previous military experience. His mother and father were Dennis and Eliza Finn of ‘Everton’ Gilgandra NSW. His brother Albert George Finn had served in Egypt with the 1st Light Horse and had been discharged medically unfit.

Charles marched to Sydney with the Cooees to train at Moore Park with the 13th Field Company Engineers unit. On March 21 1916 he embarked for Alexandria on HMAT Armadale. After further training at Tel-el-Kabir, Egypt and Etaples, France, Charles was taken on strength with the 13th Field Company Engineers in August 1916.

Other than a three month stay in hospital for influenza, Charles remained with his unit in the Somme until he was killed in action on April 7, 1917.

According to the Red Cross Missing and Wounded Report, Charles was killed with Lance Corporal Shepherd. They were removing detonators from German mines when a shell came over, killing them both. His belongings were returned to his mother and included a cigarette case, wallet, fountain pen, 4 bands, 2 identity discs, pocketknife, housewife, photos, postcards, religious medals and a ring. In 1920 Charles’ mother was notified that he would be exhumed from the original isolated grave and re-interred in the Commonwealth War Grave, HAC Cemetery, St Mein, France. The grave bears the inscription ‘In memory of the dearly loved son of Mr and Mrs Finn of Gilgandra’

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