Biography

Birth date: 12 April 1893
Birth place: United Kingdom: England, Suffolk, Kirkley
Death date: 29 July 1916
Death place: France
Final rank: Sergeant
Service number: 1352 - First World War, 1914-1918
Unit: 5th Australian Machine Gun Company

Born in England, Claud Castleton (1893-1916) arrived in Melbourne in 1912 seeking travel and adventure. For three years he toured Tasmania, the eastern states, and Papua. He was in Port Moresby when the First World War began, but in March 1915 returned to Sydney to enlist. He served on Gallipoli with the 18th Battalion and in March 1916 transferred to the 5th Machine Gun Company.

Castleton was killed at Pozières on 29 July 1916 during an action for which he was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross. During a night attack on enemy trenches, the infantry was driven back and then held down by intense enemy machine-gun fire. Many wounded men were left lying in no man's land, and on two occasions Castleton went out in the face of enemy fire to bring in wounded men on his back. When he went out a third time, he was himself hit in the back and instantly killed. His body was later recovered and is buried in the main British war cemetery at Pozières.

Rolls and Awards

Roll of Honour

  • Rank: Sergeant
  • Date of Death: 29 July 1916
  • Unit: 5th Australian Machine Gun Company

First World War Embarkation Roll

  • Rank: Private
  • Date of embarkation: 25 June 1915
  • Place of embarkation: Sydney

Australian Red Cross Wounded and Missing Files

  • Rank: Sergeant
  • Unit: 5th Australian Machine Gun Company

Honours and Awards (Recommendation) : Victoria Cross

  • Unit: 5th Australian Machine Gun Company
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards : Victoria Cross

  • Unit: 5th Australian Machine Gun Company
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Collection Items

Photograph

H06769

Portrait of 1352 Sergeant Claud Charles Castleton, 5th Company, Australian Machine Gun Corps. Awarded the Victoria Cross for most conspicuous bravery on 28 July 1916 after being killed in action on that date.

H06769

Heraldry

1914-15 Star : Private C C Castleton, 18 Battalion, AIF

1914-15 Star. Impressed reverse with recipient's details.

REL28765.001

Victory Medal : Sergeant C C Castleton, 5 Machine Gun Company, AIF

Victory Medal. Impressed around edge with recipient's details.

REL28765.003

Victoria Cross : Sergeant C C Castleton, 5 Machine Gun Company, AIF

Victoria Cross. Engraved reverse suspender with recipient's details, and reverse cross with date of action.

REL/18262

British War Medal 1914-20 : Sergeant C C Castleton, 5 Machine Gun Company, AIF

British War Medal 1914-20. Impressed around edge with recipient's details.

REL28765.002

Timeline

Date of birth 1893-04-12
Other 1912 Migrated to Australia.
Other 1914 He was in Port Moresby when the war broke out and immediately offered his services. He was placed in charge of some native troops for coastal defence duties. Later working at the radio station.
Date and unit at enlistment (ORs) 1915-03-10 18 Battalion.
Date of embarkation 1915-06-25 Embarked for Egypt.
Date promoted 1915-12 Appointed Corporal.
Date promoted 1916-02-20 Appointed Temporary Sergeant.
Other units 1916-03-08 5 Machine Gun Company.
Date promoted 1916-03-16 Confirmed as Sergeant.
Date of honour or award 1916-07-28 Awarded Victoria Cross for action at Pozieres, France whilst serving with 5 Machine Gun Company, 5 Brigade, 2 Division as a Sergeant
Date of death 1916-07-29
Date of recommendation honour or award 1916-08-25