Charles William Fox

September 6, 2015

FOX, Charles William – – – – SPC 1908

DoB:- – c1891, Ballarat, VIC

Father:- – George Charles Fox, 614 Drummond St South, Ballarat, VIC

Mother:- – Margaret Alice, nee Hildebrand

Charles William Fox, variously known as Charlie or Will, was one of five children but seemingly the only boy who attended St Patrick’s College. His younger brother, George Joseph Fox also enlisted in the AIF (Service No. 12251), embarking from Australia in May 1916 and returning in April 1919. Charles was a boarder at St Pat’s, and completed the Commercial Class examinations in 1908.

Service No:- 12294

Rank:- – Private/Driver, later Lance Corporal, later reverts to Driver

Unit:- – 10th Field Ambulance

When Charles Fox enlisted in the AIF on 27 September 1915, he was a single man working as a clerk. He was 24 years and two months old, five feet, ten inches tall, with a fair complexion, brown eyes and brown hair. Commencing as a Private, he was assigned the rank of Driver in the 10th Field Ambulance.

Fox embarked from Melbourne aboard the Runic on 20 June 1916, sailing to England, where he underwent some weeks training. Prior to proceeding to France in late November, Fox committed the offence of being Absent Without Leave (AWL) between 4.30pm on 18 November to midnight on 19 November 1916. He was awarded two days Confined to Barracks (CB) and four hours of pack drill. He also had to forfeit two days’ pay for his misdemeanour. On 24 November 1916, Driver Fox proceeded from Southampton to France.

Charles Fox’s service record is fairly thin on detail. It notes that he was appointed to the rank of Lance Corporal on 1 May 1917. He was admitted to hospital on 5 November 1917 in France suffering from PUO (Pyrexia [fever] of Unknown Origin). He was considered well enough four days later to return to his unit. By July 1918, Fox reverted to the rank of Driver at his own request, but there was no indication in his file as to the reason for this.

By 6 June 1919, Driver Fox marched out from France to England in preparation for his return to Australia. He boarded the Port Lyttleton on 10 June, disembarking on 5 August 1919 in Melbourne. He was discharged from the AIF on 19 September 1919.

After the war, Charles continued his career as a clerk, or accountant. The St Patrick’s College Annual of 1919-20 recorded that -‘-¦ Charlie Fox is working as Accountant at -‘The World’, Tasmania’s leading Labor daily. Charlie contemplates touring Australia with other members of his family as a musical concert party -¦’

While the College found no records that showed the Fox family touring Australia, electoral rolls revealed that by 1928, Charles William Fox was living at 58 Serrell Street, East Malvern, in close proximity to several family members.

It appears that he remained unmarried, but he disappears from the electoral records after 1937. He was still alive in August 1941 at the time of his mother’s death, as he is listed as one of her children still living at that time (he was 49 years old). Alice Fox was buried at the Old Cheltenham Cemetery with her husband, Charles’ father, who predeceased her in 1932.

The College could find no record of Charles William Fox’s death or place of burial.