Profile

SIM, Charles
(Service number 6/1714)

Aliases
First Rank Private Last Rank Corporal

Birth

Date 29 September 1879 Place of Birth Elgin, Elganshire, Scotland

Enlistment Information

Date 12 December 1914 Age 35
Address at Enlistment Talibaut, Wai-iti Road, Timaru, New Zealand
Occupation Self employed motor engineer
Previous Military Experience
Marital Status Single
Next of Kin Francis John Sim (brother), 4 Wellington Street, Timaru, New Zealand
Religion Presbyterian
Medical Information 5 foot 8 1/2 inches tall, weight 140 pounds (64 kgs), chest 34 1/2 - 38 inches, dark complexion, brown eyes, black hair, teeth good.

Military Service

Served with NZ Armed Forces Served in Army
Military District

Embarkation Information

Body on Embarkation 3rd Reinforcements
Unit, Squadron, or Ship Canterbury Infantry Battalion
Date 14 February 1915
Transport HMNZT 17 Maunganui
Embarked From Wellington, New Zealand Destination Suez, Egypt
Other Units Served With
Last Unit Served With Canterbury Infantry Battalion

Military Awards

Campaigns Egypt, Balkans (Gallipoli), Western Europe
Service Medals 1914-1915 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
Military Awards

Award Circumstances and Date

No information

Prisoner of War Information

Date of Capture
Where Captured and by Whom
Actions Prior to Capture
PoW Serial Number
PoW Camps
Days Interned
Liberation Date

Discharge

Date Reason End of engagement

Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses

10-21 September 1915 - admitted to Clearing Station, Imbria - diarrhoea

Post-war Occupations

Self employed Engineer

Death

Date 4 January 1965 Age 85 years
Place of Death Timaru, New Zealand
Cause
Notices Department of Internal Affairs, 12 January 1965
Memorial or Cemetery Timaru Cemetery
Memorial Reference Services Section, Row 118, Plot 5
New Zealand Memorials

Biographical Notes

Charles was born at Morayshire, Knockando, Scotland, on September 29, 1879. He was the third child of eleven of Charles (1847-1899) and Isabel (1850-1909 nee McDonald) Sim. Charles senior was employed by Carron Sawmills at Knockando, and was killed when run over by a cart on September 5, 1899. In the 1901 Scotland census, young Charles was listed as employed as a shoemaker. Some of the family immigrated out to New Zealand in the early 1900s. His brother Francis died in Timaru in 1939, and sister Marian died in 1967 at Ashburton.

1911 saw Charles living in Timaru employed as a motor mechanic at Bockaerts Garage, and in 1914, in Stafford Street North. He enlisted at Timaru on December 12, 1914, giving his address as Talibaut, Timaru, and his occupation self employed motor engineer. Talibaut was possibly a boarding house in Wai-iti Road for young men. His brother Francis John of 4 Wellington Street, Timaru, was nominated as his next of kin. Charles was described on his edical exam as being 5 foot 8 ½ inches tall, weighing 140 pounds (64 kgs), with a chest measuring 34½-38 inches, having a dark complexion, brown eyes, black hair, and good teeth. Posted to the 2nd Canterbury Infantry Battalion, Private Sim marched into Trentham Camp where he received instruction in basic and advanced infantry training.

On February 7 he was promoted to Corporal, before boarding HMNZT17 “Maunganui” at Wellington on February 14, 1915. Travelling in convoy with HMNZT18 “Tahiti” and HMNZT19 “Aparima” they arrived at Suez on March 26, 1915. From here the troops moved to Zeitoun Camp where further training was carried out.

The main part of the battalion left Alexandria on April 12 for Mudros Harbour, and were then landed at Gallipoli on April 25. On May 9 Corporal Sim reverted back to the rank of private, the same day he joined his battalion on Gallipoli as part of the 3rd Reinforcements, made up of two officers and 38 other ranks. They had landed at Cape Helles on the morning of the previous day, being under fire all day, helping to collect the wounded after dark. On June 6 he was appointed Lance Corporal, and was to be in the thick of it from then on. The rigours of service saw illness tooingk its toll - between 10 to 21 September he was admitted to the Clearing Station at Imbria, suffering from diarrhoea, fter which he rejoining his unit. On the night of 17-18 December, the evacuation from Gallipoli began back to Mudros where they were to spend Christmas, finally disembarking at Alexandria on December 30, 1915.

Moving back to Ismailia, the battalion spent January and February re-organising, training and the odd time doing guard duties. April 6, 1916, saw the unit embarking from Port Said on “SS Franconia” for the move to France to join the NZ Division already on the Western Front. From Marseilles they proceeded to Armentieres, a so called “quiet area” to learn the art of trench warfare. From here on September 15, 1916, they took part in the attack on Flers as part of the Battle of the Somme. 1917 saw them in the Battle of Messines, Bassevile, Passchendaele (part of the 3rd Battle of Ypres) and December, the attack on Polderhoek Chateau. Charles enjoyed some well deserved leave in England from September 4-16, 1917, and again from January 13-31, 1918. The rest of 1918 from March until November was full on for the battalion being almost continually in action.

Finally, on November 28, the march began into Germany. The lack of decent footwear and rations caused a lot of discomfort for the troops involved, but potatoes and other vegetables could be bought in many of the villages. The regimental funds provided by the people of Canterbury proved invaluable in providing these extra provisions. Charles was again granted leave in England from December 16, 1918–January 4, 1919. On completion of his leave he marched into Sling Camp from where, on February 1, 1919, he boarded “SS Hororata” in London for his return home to New Zealand. Delayed by a gale, the “Hororata” finally berthed at Wellington at 2pm on March 15, 1919. After having served a total of 4 years and 123 days in uniform, Charles received his discharge from the army on April 13, 1919. For this service he was later awarded the 1914-1915 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal.

Charles returned to his home town of Timaru where, on November 27, 1919, he married Annie MacKintosh (1882-1969). Annie was possibly born at Gardentown, Scotland, on July 19, 1882. A Charles Sim won a ballot for section 3, a total of 125 acres, at Liambrook (Gillingham’s Farm) at Fairlie on June 2, 1920, but research has yet to confirmed this is our Charles. From 1928 until his retirement in 1963, Charles and Annie lived at Gleniti where he ontinued to be an engineer. In 1965 they were living at 369 Wai-iti Road, Timaru, where Charles died on January 4, 1965, aged 85 years. His burial took place on January 6 in the Services Section of the Timaru Cemetery. His wife Annie died at Timaru on October 30, 1969, and her ashes were later interred with Charles on August 15, 1989.

Sources

Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database [June 2018]; Assorted records at Ancestry.com [June 2018]; New Zealand ANZACs in the Great War 1914-1918 (University of New South Wales) at http://nzef.adfa.edu.au/showPerson?pid=233097; Timaru District Council cemetery records at https://www.timaru.govt.nz/services/community-and-culture/cemeteries/cemetery-search; "Returning men" in the Timaru Herald 5 March 1919 p7, "Main Body men" in the Timaru Herald 17 March 1919 p2, and "Soldiers' settlements" in the Dominion 2 June 1920, p7, courtesy of Papers Past at https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/

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Researched and Written by

Ted Hansen, SC branch NZSG

Currently Assigned to

TH

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