The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (1626) Private Charles Stanley Bingley, 55th Battalion, AIF, First World War.

Accession Number AWM2019.1.1.178
Collection type Film
Object type Last Post film
Physical description 16:9
Maker Australian War Memorial
Place made Australia: Australian Capital Territory, Canberra, Campbell
Date made 27 June 2019
Access Open
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918
Copyright Item copyright: © Australian War Memorial
Creative Commons License This item is licensed under CC BY-NC
Copying Provisions Copy provided for personal non-commercial use

The Last Post Ceremony is presented in the Commemorative area of the Australian War Memorial each day. The ceremony commemorates more than 102,000 Australians who have given their lives in war and other operations and whose names are recorded on the Roll of Honour. At each ceremony the story behind one of the names on the Roll of Honour is told. Hosted by Gerard Pratt, the story for this day was on (1626) Private Charles Stanley Bingley, 55th Battalion, AIF, First World War.

Speech transcript

1626 Private Charles Stanley Bingley, 55th Battalion, AIF
DOW 2 November 1916

Today we remember and pay tribute to Private Charles Stanley Bingley.

Charles Bingley was born on 28 February 1892 on the family farm “Woodfield” near Queanbeyan, New South Wales, the son of Thomas and Victoria Bingley.

Charles was educated in Queanbeyan and was a member of the school cadets. After completing his studies he took up a position as a teacher at Euberta Public School near Wagga Wagga. The school had begun in 1912 and at the time catered for around 20 local children. Bingley was still in this role when the First World War began. On signalling his intent to enlist, Bingley’s sister Lily, who was also a teacher, was transferred to Euberto Public School to take over from her brother.

On 1 December 1915, Bingley joined the start of the Kangaroos recruitment march at Wagga Wagga. It was the beginning of a 350-mile march to Sydney. By the time the marchers reached Sydney on 7 January 1916, their numbers had swelled from 88 to 230. The Kangaroo March was the longest of the “snowball” recruitment marches.

The Kangaroos were entrained to Goulburn shortly after reaching Sydney, and it was here on 24 January 1916 that Bingley enlisted into the AIF. After his initial training he and many of those he had marched with were allocated to the 2nd reinforcements to the 55th Battalion.

Bingley embarked from Sydney on 14 April aboard the transport ship Ceramic bound for the Middle East.

After arriving in Egypt in June, Bingley and his comrades trained in the Egyptian sands until late July, when they were sent to England. Those destined for the 55th Battalion were sent to the 14th Training Battalion at Hamilton, where training followed before being sent to France at the end of August.

Bingley was taken on strength of the 55th Battalion on 23 September and was sent to C Company. He and the other reinforcements were sent on a one-week training course at the divisional bomb school.

While the 55th Battalion had been committed to the disastrous attack at Fromelles three months earlier, Bingley entered the front line for the first time near Fleurbaix in early October.

In mid-October the battalion transferred to the Somme. The 55th entered the front line near Flers on 21 October and spent the next week in the line before moving back to the details camp. The 55th Battalion re-entered the front line near Flers during 30 and 31 October. Rain made the going tough, but by late afternoon on the second day, the battalion had completed its move.

At some point during the day, Bingley was hit in the chest by shrapnel from a German shell. He was evacuated to the 36th Casualty Clearing Station, but his wound proved mortal and he died on 2 November. He was laid to rest in Heilly Station Cemetery, Mericourt L’Abbe. He was 24 years old.

Two of Charles’s brothers also served in the AIF. Harold joined in January 1916 and arrived in England only two days before his brother was mortally wounded in France. Harold joined the 55th Battalion that December but illness shortened his war and in January 1918 he returned to Australia for discharge.

Ewen enlisted in August 1916 and served with the 19th Battalion on the Western Front where he was wounded twice. He returned to Australia in 1919.

Charles Bingley’s name is listed on the Roll of Honour on my right, among almost 62,000 Australians who died while serving in the First World War.

This is but one of the many stories of service and sacrifice told here at the Australian War Memorial. We now remember Private Charles Stanley Bingley, who gave his life for us, for our freedoms, and in the hope of a better world.

Michael Kelly
Historian, Military History Section

  • Video of The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (1626) Private Charles Stanley Bingley, 55th Battalion, AIF, First World War. (video)