Charles Wilson RAGLESS

B: 18th Aug 1885  D: 10th Feb 1917

Born: Witchelina Station (near Farina), South Australia, 17th August 1885 (SA Births Register District: Frome Book: 359 Page: 121)

Died:  France , 10th February 1917, age 31 years (Buried AIF Burial Ground at Grass Lane, Flers, France.)

 

 

Father: William John RAGLESS (B:18 Oct 1845 Gawler River, SA. D:13th Nov 1932 Glenelg, SA.)

        married: 26th Oct 1881, St Clement Church, Enfield, SA.

Mother: Elizabeth Louisa RAGLESS (nee BLACKHAM) (B:5th Sep 1850 Adelaide, SA. D:18th Jul 1940 Glenelg, SA.

Sibings

Arthur Nugent RAGLESS (B:2nd Oct 1883 Witchelina, SA. D:5th Mar 1965, Daw Park Hospital, SA.)

Eveline RAGLESS (B:13th Jan 1888, Witchelina, SA. D:14th Jan 1888, Witchelina, SA.)

Ethel Ruby RAGLESS (B:26th Jun 1891, The Grange, SA.  D:11th Aug 1924, Stepney, SA.)

Sidney Allen RAGLESS (B:1st Feb 1894, Proposect, SA. D: )

 

 

Charles Wilson Ragless was born on 17th August 1885, the third son of William and Elizabeth Ragless. His family was one of the oldest pioneering families in South Australia. Charlie was born on Witchelina Station, a property near Farina run by his father and uncles. William Ragless later took his family to a property near Blanchetown called Roonka, where Charles grew up. He was sent to University College in Adelaide, and went on to become a pastoralist in the Flinders Ranges, running a station near Wirrabara.

Charles enjoyed writing, and wrote small articles for the Murray Pioneer as its “Blanchetown correspondent”. He continued to do so when he moved to Wirrabara, describing in 1914 a large bushfire in the Flinders Ranges and efforts to put it out.

(Biography based on WMA Last Post Ceremony speech, written by Dr Meleah Hamption, Historian, Military History Section)

 

Charles Wilson RAGLESS enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force in early September 1914. After a short period of training in Australia, he left for overseas service with the first reinforcements to the 3rd Light Horse Regiment. He continued his role as correspondent for the Murray Pioneer from Egypt, writing that their voyage to Egypt was “splendid”, and that they had plenty of work to do looking after the 300 horses on board. As well as training, Charles enjoyed visiting local museums, mosques, and the zoo in Cairo. He also climbed the Pyramid of Cheops, and left a copy of the Murray Pioneer under a corner of the very top stone.

Trooper Ragless arrived on Gallipoli on the 9th of May 1915. There he served with distinction, despite suffering a slight wound shortly after his arrival. In October he was Mentioned in Despatches for his “good scouting work, the collection of arms and ammunition abandoned on the battlefield, and locating enemy working parties.” He remained on the peninsula until the evacuation in December.

Shortly after his return to Egypt, Charles became seriously ill with a kidney condition, and a subsequent heart problem. He remained in hospitals in Egypt for several months before transferring to the artillery. He was sent to England in May 1916, and arrived in France to fight on the Western Front in September 1916.

Charles continued to suffer from ill health, and spent more time in hospital. Once he was well enough he transferred to the 5th Division Australian Trench Mortar Battery and joined his new unit in the field for active service.

On 10 February 1917 the 5th Division trench mortars were close to the front line near the French village of Guillemont. They had spent a number of days building gun positions and registering their guns on various targets. They came under regular fire and sustained a small number of casualties, one of which was Charles Ragless.

Little is known of the exact manner of his death. He was buried at the nearby AIF Burial Ground at Grass Lane, Flers. He was 31 years old.

(Biography based on WMA Last Post Ceremony speech, written by Dr Meleah Hamption, Historian, Military History Section)

 

No known ownership of land at Farina.

Virtual War Memorial

The information in this profile of Charles Wilson Ragless was compiled by Farina Restoration volunteer Mark Roberts.