Statements regarding Charles Paine’s death
The following accounts of how Charles Paine died are derived from the Australian Red Cross Wounded and Missing Enquiry Bureau files, 1914-18. The statements are eye witness accounts from fellow Australian infantry men of how Charles Paine was killed by a shell when his battalion was being relieved during the Battle of Pozières. He was a voluntary stretcher bearer and was recommended for a medal. As can be seen from the statement addresses, four of the witnesses were interviewed by the Red Cross when they themselves were wounded and hospitalised in London. More information about the Battle of Pozières can be found in the website document ‘How Radcliffe on Trent Servicemen Died: WWI Timeline’.
Paine was doing fatigue duty carrying supplies to the front trench at Mouquet Farm. Informant saw him being killed by a shell while he was executing this duty.
Reference: C.Q.M.S. H.S.Walker, 802, 24th Bn, A Coy, AIF, Southall Hospital, London 6.12.16
At Pozières we were getting relieved at the time Paine was killed by a shell in a sap; some others were wounded at the time. We left and came right back to Berteaucourt. The 15th Battalion relieved us.
References: Whittaker 774, Ward 18, Harefield Hospital, London, 2.12.16
Witness states that Sergeant Major McCarthy, C. Company, 24th Battalion now in line, told him, about 15th August last, that Paine had been killed by a bomb and was buried at Sausage Gully between Pozières and Becourt Wood.
References: Sergeant Noble, 24th Battalion, AIF, 3rd Aux. Aust. Hospital, Dartford, London, 7.12.16
He used to belong to the transport and had just come back into the Batt. I saw him killed by a shell as we were going out of the trenches the first time at Pozières, August 5th. He was hit in the head by a piece of shell and killed outright. His body had to be left as we were being relieved. He was in C Coy.
References: Pte. G.A. Scattergood, 944, C.Coy., Etaples, 2.12.16
I saw Paine killed by shrapnel, we were coming out of Pozières Ridge about 1 o’clock in the afternoon. I was his Cpl. I went to his assistance, but he died before we could get his equipment off. He did some excellent work as a voluntary stretcher bearer and was recommended for a Medal. We were afterwards relieved by the 4th Div.
Informant Cpl Harry Coleman, 3484, 24th AIF, 3rd London General Hospital, Wandsworth. Jan 5th, Peach.
Casualty was a friend of mine. He was 5ft 7in called ‘Charlie’. Casualty was being relieved from the support trenches at Pozières on the 5th August when a Whizzbang hit him, wounding him in several parts of the body. I put a blanket round his shoulder. I then went to fix up another man. He was wounded by the same shell. I had hardly finished bandaging the second man when casualty died. He was not buried.
Informant D. Pye, No. 690, 23rd Btn., Private address Gooram, Via Euroa. 7/7/17
I saw casualty being killed going out from the front line trenches at Pozières on the 5th August, 1916. He was killed by a H.E.Shell. He was not buried as far as I know.
Informant A. Bush, No. 1887, 24th Btn Private address G.P.O. Melbourne
People live in Hartington Street, Chiswick, England.