Charles Henry LIVINGSTONE was born at Fremantle, WA, on 26 January, 1892. His father was tragically killed in an accident , whilst building a bridge over the Collie River at Brunswick Junction, WA, when Charlie was only 4 years of age.
He was living at Harvey, WA, in 1912 when he decided to travel to New South Wales. With his sound work ethic, he found employment with the Department of  Tramways in Sydney.  Shortly after the Great War  1914-1918 broke out, Charles enlisted for War Service at Liverpool, New South Wales , on 1 October, 1914. He was allocated Service Number 663 and joined the First Reinforcements of the 6th Light Horse Brigade and sent to the Liverpool Showgrounds for initial training. Then followed Mounted Training at the Holsworthy Army Base.
Trooper LIVINGSTONE travelled by train to Melbourne and boarded the Troop ship ” Bakana “, which embarked for Egypt on 22 December, 1914. During the passage through the Great Australian Bight, a fire caused severe damage to the ship, which was forced to enter the Port of Albany for repairs to be completed.  The ship berthed at Alexandria, Egypt on 19 January, 1915.

Troopers were initially sent to the Overseas Training Base at Ghezireh, before transfer to the Maadi Training Camp on 6 March, 1915.  LIVINGSTONE was allotted to ” C ” Troop,  ” B ” Squadron of the 6th Light Horse Regiment and disembarked from Alexandria on 15 May, 1915, as part of the Mediterranean Expeditionary Forces, bound for the Gallipoli Peninsular. The topography of Gallipoli prevented the Horsemen from taking their horses ashore.  The men were asked if they would fight alongside the Infantry, without their horses, and volunteered accordingly, to the man.  When their ship arrived off Anzac Beach on 20 May, 1915, the men were greeted with a wall of enemy shrapnel fire.  Shortly after landing they laid down on the Beach, in an area considered to be safe from shell fire, and slept. Trooper LIVINGSTONE slept through the night, without being woken by the enemy bombardment which had killed two mules attached to nearby carts.

On 21 May 1915, the 6th Light Horse Regiment joined with the 18th Battalion to move up in the trenches. LIVINGSTONE stated that the men were ordered to take up a position on top of an earth mound,  at the rear of the trenches, with only two sand bags as cover protection.  Shortly after taking up this position, enemy bullets began to thump into the sand bags, with the Sergeant being killed instantly by a bullet to the temple. The enemy were on the other side of a separating gully, only one hundred and fifty yards in front of the Australians. On one occasion Trooper LIVINGSTONE was sent forward in front of the trenches, with a mate,  to report on any Turk movements. Their Officer was to call them back before daylight, however, he had forgotten about the men. Luckily, they eventually negotiated a safe return.

LIVINGSTONE recounted an occasion when he had just completed observation duties, when his replacement was shot through the eye and died shortly thereafter.  On 24 May, 1915, an armistice was called by the Turks until 6.00 p.m, to allow them to bury their dead. Australian troops carried the dead Turkish bodies over a dividing line, where opposing troops were approximately twelve feet apart, whilst the Turks did the same for our troops.

On 26 August, 1915, Trooper Charles LIVINGSTONE was suffering from Enteritis, before being picked up by the 2nd Australian Field Ambulance and transported to the No. 25 Casualty Clearing Station at Imbros.  He was later evacuated by Hospital Ship to 1st Australian General Hospital at Heliopolis, Egypt. After four weeks of treatment, he was transferred to the Australia & New Zealand Convalescent Hospital at Helouan, where he spent seven days in recuperation. On discharge he was sent to Lines Details in Egypt for approximately five weeks , before rejoining his Unit at Gallipoli on 13 November, 1915.

LIVINGSTONE was ordered to be part of a small group sent to guard the Red Cross parcels arriving at the Anzac Beach jetty.  During this service, he observed General Lord KITCHENER disembarking for an inspection and encouraged his team to activate a ” Present Arms ” salute to the General, who responded favourably.  During this visit, Lord KITCHENER recommended early evacuation from Gallipoli.  Four men from each troop stayed behind to continue rifle fire and set up unmanned rifles to continue firing after all troops evacuated. Trooper LIVINGSTONE disembarked at Alexandria on Christmas Day, 25th December, 1915.

Mounted training resumed at Serapeum, Egypt, until the 6th Light Horse Regiment were sent to the Suez Canal, in an attempt to stop the pending Turks invasion of Egypt.  The Regiment were then moved to Kantara, where on 28 April, 1916, they received orders to go to the aid of the  Worcester Yeomanry, who had been under attack from the Turks. Unfortunately,  the Australian troopers arrived too late and carried out the sad task of burying the English dead.  The Regiment were then sent some miles closer to the Suez Canal, making their Headquarters at Romani.  On one evening during this stay, the men were despatched to successfully re-capture Davada from the Turks. On the following day, the heat was extreme, the Turks had vacated,  and a number of Light Horsemen had perished from heat exhaustion. LIVINGSTONE mentioned how rewarding it was to supply their faithful horses with plenty of clean water at Abraham’s Well on their return journey to Romani.

In August, 1916, the Regiment became involved in furious fighting with the Turks. Trooper LIVINGSTONE was part of a group of volunteers who ran out  into the action for up to two hundred yards with a stretcher, to rescue one of their mates,  who was badly wounded by a bullet through the chest.  One of the stretcher bearers was wounded during this recovery, and unfortunately,  as he was being taken to the Casualty Clearing Station, was struck by a bomb.  The Turks retreated towards KATIA, where the 6th Light Horse Regiment made an attack, but lost many men.  During this period LIVINGSTONE and his mate CHARLESWORTH would often ride night patrols and return to Camp in the morning.

On 29 October, 1916, Trooper Charles LIVINGSTONE was detached to the School of Instruction at Zeitoun, Egypt, where he passed the LEWIS Machine Gun Course as a First Class Gunner.  He rejoined his unit in the field Egypt on 22 November, 1916.  The Regiment was then moved to the Town of RUFA on the Egyptian border, which had been captured from the enemy. They then secured MAGDABA, before setting out  to cut between GAZA and BEERSHEBA. The men rode in heavy fog, being able to pass through undetected.

The 6th Light Horse Regiment formed part of a main objective to surround GAZA, to prevent Turkish reinforcements from accessing the City, whilst British Infantry attacked from the North. LIVINGSTONE stated that during this action, the Regiment was under heavy rifle and machine gun fire, until General MURRAY ordered their retreat. The men were forced to gallop out in complete darkness.  Several weeks later, General Murray ordered a second attack on GAZA, with the assistance of five tanks. Whilst the 6th Light Horse Regiment were in reserve, dismounted Camel Corps Troopers went into battle, supported by the tanks. The Turks swiftly destroyed the tanks with armour- piercing shells and forced a depleted Camel Corps to retreat.

Trooper Charles LIVINGSTONE returned to the School of Instruction at Zeitoun on 20 June, 1917, where he completed the HOTCHKISS Gun Training Course.
On his return to action, the Regiment were sent to Esaui,  to form Camp and clean out the wells , which had been blown up by the enemy. One night the Regiment were ordered to ride out to cut the Hebron Road between Beersheba and the Dead Sea.  Horses were able to be watered  from a fresh water stream created by a recent thunder storm. The Troopers galloped under fire,  to take up a position on the Hebron Road, situated between two very high ridges. LIVINGSTONE was posted on one side of the ravine, with his HOTCHKISS gun and two other troopers, whilst a man named WATSON was on the other side.  Their job was to stop the Turkish reinforcements from reaching BEERSHEBA. Aided by the Regiment protecting their rear, at the foot of the ridge, the men succeeded in holding their position, until BEERSHEBA was captured by a charge of the Light Horse, with fixed bayonets.

Trooper Charles Henry LIVINGSTONE was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for his actions, details of the Recommendation as follows:-
[ Date of Recommendation : 3 November, 1917.
” During our operations on the Hebron Road, early on the morning of 3 November, 1917, this man was in charge of a Hotchkiss Rifle. The country was very rough and difficult and during the previous night, enemy snipers had moved in amongst the boulders to within 200-300 yards of our day outpost line. 
For more than 2 hours, enemy fire kept Trooper LIVINGSTONE, and his two companions, isolated, and although the two latter were killed beside him, Trooper LIVINGSTONE continued to work his Hotchkiss rifle and engaged the enemy at short range. His action assisted materially in the occupation of the line, that formed our objective and in the driving out of the enemy snipers. The manner in which this man has handled his Hotchkiss rifle and team throughout the late operations has been beyond praise “.
Date of Commonwealth of Australia Gazette: 30 August, 1918.
Location in Commonwealth of Australia Gazette: Page 1782, Position 23.
Date of Commonwealth of Australia Citation: 24 September, 1918.
Location of Citation in Commonwealth of Australia Gazette: Page 1869, Position 14.
Date of London Gazette: 11 April, 1918.
Location in London Gazette: Page 4413, Position 7.
Date of London Citation: 1 May, 1918.
Location of Citation in London Gazette: Page 5322, Position 1.]

On 4 November, 1917, the Regiment rode towards JERUSALEM.  They initially camped some distance from the City, under Olive trees, near the Garden of Gethsemane. The men experienced a very cold night. The following morning saw the troopers  exercising their horses  through the Valley of JEHOSOHAPHAT.  On 6 November, 1917, the men enjoyed a Guided Tour of the Holy City, then a few days later, transferred to JERICHO in the JORDAN VALLEY.  The Turks were holding the bridge and all territory North of JERICHO, including the main road to AMMAN.

On 9 November, 1917, LIVINGSTONE was conveyed by the 2/5 London Field Ambulance , to a Casualty Clearing Station, suffering from Pyrexia. He was transported and admitted to the 45th Stationary Hospital at El ARISH on 14 November, 1917. Shortly thereafter he was transferred by Hospital Train to the 14th Australian General Hospital at ABBASSIA, diagnosed with Sandfly Fever/Malaria. LIVINGSTONE  was discharged from Hospital on 23 November, 1917, transferring to the adjacent Convalescent Depot. On discharge , he was posted to the 2nd Light Horse Training Regiment  based in MOASCAR, before rejoining the 6th LHR at the same location.

The 6th LHR were then combined with the 5th LHR & 7th LHR, making a full Brigade of one thousand one hundred men. These men rode for two days, before cutting the road between ES SALT and AMMAN. The troops captured ES SALT to open the main road back to the JORDAN VALLEY. They bivouacked close to JERICHO for some weeks, in extremely hot weather. Trooper LIVINGSTONE was promoted to the rank of Lance Corporal on 29 March, 1918. During this period, LIVINGSTONE  convinced a Monk from the Mountain of Temptation Monastery to baptize him in the River JORDAN, near where JESUS  was believed to have been baptized. The Regiment was then moved  some miles further North, where the River had high banks, staying for a number of weeks. Horses and men had an ample supply of fresh, clean water. During June, 1918, Lance Corporal LIVINGSTONE  was promoted to Temporay Corporal  and detached to attend  the Musketry School  at ZEITOUN. He rejoined his Unit in the field on 17 July, 1918.

Whilst in this new location, the Major ordered LIVINGSTONE and his Machine Gun crew  to move out in front of the Regiment, to draw fire from enemy guns, so they could fix enemy positions. The crew had numerous narrow escapes and LIVINGSTONE stated that he thought he was leading a charmed life.
Several Regiments were ordered to attack the Turks, to drive them back  and clear a ridge  leading past ES SALT. The 6th LHR were ordered to attack AMMAN, on foot, down a five hundred foot slope, leading to a large, deep gully. This attack proved to be a disaster, with many men killed. Troopers were then ordered to fall back, supported by an Australian Regiment and British Artillery.  When the men were riding along the valley to the junction of the road and the JORDAN VALLEY, the men were attacked by German planes, who were dropping twenty pound bombs. Luckily, allied aircraft arrived just in time to drive the enemy aircraft away.

Corporal LIVINGSTONE witnessed what he believed was the last charge on horseback by a Light Horse Squadron. ( The mounted troopers  charged a Turkish redoubt about one hundred and fifty yards to his right, forcing a complete enemy surrender ).

On 25 September, 1918, Corporal LIVINGSTONE took part in the Second Battle of Amman, with the Regiment being successful in taking the Official Surrender  from representatives of the civilian population at 4.00 p.m on the same day. The following day was spent riding patrol, before orders were received to move into action at a nearby furious battle. The men confronted the constant rattle of machine gun and rifle fire, accompanied by numerous flares  being fired into the air.  Shortly after their arrival, the Captain confirmed that up to eight thousand Turks , who had been located in a series of hill redoubts, had surrendered.  A condition of their surrender, was that they be allowed to retain their arms, until  the Australians could provide sufficient strength to protect them from the Arabs.  The Turks were subsequently marched into AMMAN, where they were handed over to responsible authorities.

LIVINGSTONE was relieved when informed that this action was to be the end of the War in JORDAN, for the Light Horse.  The 6th LHR  moved back to camp near JAFFA, before a number of the men were sent to occupied DAMASCUS.  Men who had enlisted in 1914 were granted Special Leave. Sadly, the Spanish Flu was now rife , with many men dying in DAMASCUS from the impact of the virus.

Corporal Charles Henry LIVINGSTONE DCM, embarked from Alexandria, Egypt, on 16 December, 1918, aboard the ” Port Darwin “,  disembarking in Melbourne, VIC , on Christmas Day 1918. LIVINGSTONE was taken ill on the following day and was transferred by Ambulance to Caulfield Hospital. He spent several days in recovery, before he was released and granted Leave.  He then spent two weeks  with his extended Family at Castlemaine in country Victoria. When Leave expired, he entrained to Perth, WA, via the Trans Continental Railway. He was met by his Mother and two half sisters at the destination and accompanied them on return to his home town of HARVEY, WA.

Once home, LIVINGSTONE sought advice on treatment for eye trouble , caused by exposure to the glare of the SINAI Desert.  He was referred to the Fremantle Hospital, where he underwent surgical procedures on both eyes. He was officially discharged from War Service on 22 March, 1919.
Shortly after, he decided to return to SYDNEY, NSW, where he drove trams for the Department of Tramways for more than forty years.

Charles Henry LIVINGSTONE was married to wife Vera for 60 years, raising four of their own children. When he passed away on 14 May, 1985, at the age of 93 years, he left behind fourteen grand children and twenty- four great grand children.

 

SERVICE MEDALS AWARDED

Distinguished Conduct Medal,

1914/15 Star – Medal No. 13022,

British War Medal – No. 1580,

Victory Medal – No. 1577.

FEATURED REFERENCE:

” Some Memories of an ANZAC “-  ( Written by Charles Henry LIVINGSTONE DCM, Corporal , 6th Australian Light Horse Regiment- Written by LIVINGSTONE when 92 years of age ).