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From Bank to Battlefield

Charles Ashbourne Treadgold

Photo of Lieutenant Colonel Ernest Hilmer Smith
 

Charles Ashbourne Treadgold, known as ‘Treaddy’, was a clerk with the Commonwealth Bank's Melbourne branch. Treadgold was the eldest son of Charles and Ellen Treadgold of Elsternwick, Victoria. At the age of 22 he lined up to enlist in the war, joining the 5th Battalion, one of the first infantry units raised for the Australian Imperial Force (AIF). Like the 6th, 7th and 8th Battalions, it was recruited from Victoria and together with these Battalions formed the 2nd Brigade.

Treadgold's battalion was among those that took part in the Anzac landing on 25 April 1915, acting as part of the second wave. The 2nd Brigade participated in the second battle of Krithia from 6–8 May 1915. This assault across open and relatively flat grassland was a failure and the enemy machine guns and artillery caused great losses in the British, French, New Zealand and Australian troops involved in the attack. Little ground was captured and the 2nd Brigade suffered 1,056 casualties in an hour, more than a third of its strength. The Brigade returned to the site of the Anzac landing to help defend the beachhead, participating in the battle of Lone Pine in August 1915.

The unit's war diary describes this experience: ‘Trenches in bad state as dead men all over the place and beginning to decompose, enemy bombing all night.’ Treadgold was promoted to Corporal in September 1915. Sadly, however, he died from a gunshot wound in the trenches in White Valley on 26 November, just a few weeks before the evacuation in December 1915. He left behind his widowed mother and his fiancée, Vera Kyd. Tragedy was to strike the Treadgold family a second time when his younger brother Newton was killed at the Battle of Bullecourt two years later, their mother Ellen losing both her sons in the Great War.

In 1919 staff at the Commonwealth Bank in Melbourne memorialised their dear friend and colleague Treaddy in the second edition of the staff magazine, Bank Notes:

He was an interesting and attractive personality – gay and happy, frank and engaging, vigorous and energetic, he was at once a favourite with all. As an old Wesley Collegian, he upheld the traditions of the school on the athletic side, and comradeship went hand in hand in his case. His death was greatly mourned by those who knew him, and he certainly was of the type that Australia could ill afford to lose.
Treadgold's name is projected on the Australian War Memorial at night.

Source: Australian War Memorial.
CA Treadgold's name projected on the Australian War Memorial building. See tab below for projection timetable.

WWI Service Summary 17 August 1914, enlisted in 5th Battalion, Australian Imperial Forces
21 October 1914, embarked HMAT Orvietto A3, Melbourne
26 November 1915, wounded in action in Gallipoli Peninsula
27 November 1915, died from wounds
Rank Corporal
Service Number 528
Age at enlistment 22 years
Role at Bank Clerk

Photography of the Ari Burnu Cemetery, in Turkey

Cemetery: Cemetery: Ari Burnu Cemetery, Anzac, Turkey
Grave Reference: G. 2.

Source: Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Charles Ashbourne Treadgold's name is located at panel 45 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial (as indicated by the poppy on the plan).

Graphical representation of the poppy location at the Australian War Memorial

Source: Australian War Memorial

Source: National Archives of Australia

In Memory of Treaddy - Bank Notes Magazine Article

Read Transcript

In Memory of Treaddy

The following notice is contributed in appreciation of one held in high esteem by his fellow-officers:

“During November, 1915, on Gallipoli Peninsula, a popular member of the Melbourne staff, Charlie Treadgold, made the supreme sacrifice for Australia and the Empire. ‘Treaddy’ enlisted on the first day that volunteers were enrolled for the A.I.F., and went through the hardships and privations of the Gallipoli campaign until he ‘went west’ a few weeks before the evacuation. He was an interesting and attractive personality – gay and happy, frank and engaging, vigorous and energetic, he was at once a favourite with all. As an old Wesley Collegian (Melbourne), he upheld the traditions of the school on the athletic side, with which the sportsmanlike attributes of fairness, generosity and comradeship went hand in hand in his case. His death was greatly mourned by those who knew him, and he certainly was of the type that Australia could ill afford to lose.”

Source: Bank Notes magazine – January 1919, page 6

Australian War Memorial Name Projection Timetable
Date and time Name
Mon 11 May, 2015 at 12:23 am Charles Ashbourne Treadgold
Tue 12 May, 2015 at 12:25 am Roy Harrison
Wed 13 May, 2015 at 7:45 pm Vivian Cyril Brooke
Mon 22 June, 2015 at 5:17 am Charles Ashbourne Treadgold
Tue 23 June, 2015 at 4:53 am Roy Harrison
Wed 24 June, 2015 at 10:51 pm Vivian Cyril Brooke
Tue 4 August, 2015 at 1:02 am Charles Ashbourne Treadgold
Wed 5 August, 2015 at 1:10 am Roy Harrison
Thu 6 August, 2015 at 9:25 pm Vivian Cyril Brooke
Mon 21 September, 2015 at 9:18 pm Charles Ashbourne Treadgold
Tue 22 September, 2015 at 11:35 pm Roy Harrison
Thu 24 September, 2015 at 10:55 pm Vivian Cyril Brooke
Sat 16 January, 2016 at 11:41 pm Charles Ashbourne Treadgold
Mon 18 January, 2016 at 3:49 am Roy Harrison
Wed 20 January, 2016 at 10:54 pm Vivian Cyril Brooke

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