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Charles David BUGSLAG

Rank Reg/Ser No DOB Enlisted Discharge/Death Board
Pte 5301 18y11m 28 Feb 1916 20 Aug 1919 6

Charles David Bugslag (1898-1971)


Link to St. Andrews 

The Bugslag, Luke and Atherden families are all represented on the honour roll from the Wharf Street Congregational Church where they were members during the early years of the twentieth century. Besides their church connections, the families were linked through marriage.

Early years

Charles David Johnston Bugslag was born on 20 March 1898, the youngest son of Carl Bugslag, a shipwright, and Mary née Johnston. The family lived in Russell Street in the Brisbane suburb of Manly and Charlie Bugslag became a cabinet maker.

Enlistment and training

At the age of 17 years 11 months, he enlisted on 28 February 1916 for service abroad in the Australian Infantry Force. Having completed two years compulsory cadet training, he was evidently keen to join up because he stated he was a year older than he really was -18 years 11 months. He was allotted Service Number 5301 and commenced training at Bells Paddock, Enoggera Camp. With other Reinforcements for the 25th Battalion, he embarked on HMAT Itonus from Brisbane on 8 August 1916, arriving at Plymouth, England on 18 October. 

Service in France

Following training in Southern England in the remaining months of 1916, Private C D Bugslag crossed to France to join his unit at Étaples on 16 December. The 25th at that time experienced dreadful conditions in the unhealthy, dangerous, muddy trenches of France. His battalion would be involved in a supporting role in the second battle of Bullecourt. Charles Bugslag had a rough time from that point on. Like many other soldiers he suffered the condition known as trench feet. 

He was treated in hospital for inflamed connective tissue in his feet, a condition due to all the marching and the poor weather conditions experienced for long periods in the trenches. 

In August 1917 he was punished for being in the town of St Omer without a pass. He was awarded Field Punishment No 2 for 7 days. This meant he had to carry out heavy labouring duties and possibly being restrained in handcuffs or fetters. In September he was wounded in action, suffering gunshot wounding to his face and back, needing hospital treatment in Dartford, England. As his condition improved he was transferred to hospitals in Harefield, Weymouth and Deverill. 

While undergoing repatriation at the Overseas Training Brigade at Longbridge Deverill, Private Bugslag was charged for another AWL offence for which he pleaded guilty at a court martial hearing and forfeited 35 days’ pay. In July 1918 he was admitted to hospital again for influenza at Sutton Veny. He was based for a while at 2nd Training Brigade at Fovant in readiness for active service at the Front, returning to France on 10 August 1918. In the Somme Valley, he was wounded in action on a second occasion on 3 October 1918, this time needing hospital treatment in France for a gunshot wound in his right leg. 

Return to Australia

His recovery was slow; the war ended and he remained in France till April 1919. Private Charles David Bugslag returned to Australia per HMAT Nestor, disembarking on 4 July 1919. He was discharged in Brisbane on 20 August 1919. 

Charles resumed his trade as a cabinet maker and lived with his parents at Gordon Parade, Manly till his marriage on 8 November 1920 to Jessie Manderson, daughter of James and Helen Manderson. Charles and Jessie Bugslag remained in Manly though their address in the suburb changed from time to time. In 1949 when the family lived at Barrinia Street, Manly, Charles was no longer a cabinet maker but was employed as a storeman while Gweneth Margaret Bugslag, a bank clerk, and Lyle Manderson Bugslag, a chairmaker, presumably their children, were listed as part of the household.


Charles David Johnston Bugslag died on 30 November 1971 and his widow Jessie lived till the year 1980. 

• National Archives of Australia, military records, World War 1
• Australian War Memorial, embarkation rolls, unit histories
• Queensland Register of Births, Deaths and Marriages
• Ancestry, family records, online 
• Brisbane City Council, cemetery records
• Australian Electoral Rolls, 1919 – 1968
• Wharf Street Congregational Church Year Books, 1909 – 1920, Saint Andrew’s Uniting Church Archives, Brisbane 

Compiled by Noel E. Adsett, February 2016 © 



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