Charles W. Whyte

From Mining Mud & Medals
Jump to: navigation, search
Headstone for Charles Whyte at Bailleul Cemetery, Courtesy of Andrew Holmes


Charles William Whyte was born on 28 February 1881 at Melbourne. His parents were William and Jean Whyte.[1] Charles Whyte was educated at Haileybury College. In 1901 the Ballarat School of Mines Students' Magazine introduced him as a new student who was undertaking a Metallurgy Course, and as a prominent footballer at Haileybury.[2]

Charles Whyte studied at the Ballarat School of Mines in 1904, completing unspecified subjects in 1901; Chemistry, Assaying, Mine Management, Drawing, Metallurgy, Mineralogy, Applied Mechanics, Land Surveying, Mine Management, Electricity and Magnetism and Drawing in 1902; Chemistry, Mathematics, Mine Management and Drawing in 1903; and Drawing in 1904.[3].Mines Students' Magazine, 1916.</ref>

Military Experience

Charles Whyte was a Lieutenant in the Mining Corps.[4] He enlisted on 14 December 1915 at which time he was a 34 year old married mining engineer. His wife, Mary Teresa Whyte, of Lower Hutt, Wellington, New Zealand, was listed as next of kin. Whyte left Australia from Sydney on board the HMAT Ulysses on 20 February 1916, and was allotted 3rd Tunnelling Company. He disembarked and entrained at Marseilles on 05 May 1916. On 08 May 1916 he detrained at Hazebrouck.[5]

On Whyte's application for a Commission he states he matriculated from Melbourne University and was a graduate from the Ballarat School of Mines. At that time, 10 February 1916, his postal address was Broken Hill Club, Broken Hill, New South Wales.[6]

Lieutenant Whyte was killed in action in the field in France[7] as the result of a gun shot wound to the head which perforated his cranium on 22 July 1916. He was buried at Bailleul Cemetery, France in Plot 2, Row F, Grave 56.[8]

A trunk belonging to the late Charle Whtye was returned to his wife, Mrs M. Whyte of Lower Hut, New Zealand. It contained: a quantity of military books and papers, 4 books, 3 scribblers, 2 diaries, 1 book of poems, 1 testament, 1 waterproof cape, 1 sword, 1 pair of slippers, 1 pair of leggings, 1 pair of Underpants, overall pants, 1 towel, i pair pyjamas, 1 waterproof helmet, 1 cap cover, 2 white shirts, 3 flannel shirts, 4 singlets, 5 pairs of socks, 1 fly net, 1 revolver case, 1 belt, 1 lanyard, 1 Sam Brown Belt (with 2 extra shoulder straps and two leather pouches, breeches, 1 holdall containing shaving outfit, toothbrush and paste, safety razer, 2 housewives, 3 photos, 5 handkerchiefs, 1 service tunic, khaki drill breeches, tunic and pants, 2 hair brushes, 1 watch case, 1 plate false teeth, 1 set of badges, i pocket knife, 1 comb, field dressing, 1 pair of scissors, 1 pencil, 2 coins, curio,correspondences.[9]

There was also a separate paper parcel containing letters, cards, photos, gold ring, wallet and a small bag with 5 religious keepsakes.[10]

In 1928 the following letter was sent to Base Records:

32 South Street
Ascot Vale
July 12th 1928
Officer in Charge
Base Records
Victoria barracks
Dear Sir,
I want to know if you can give me any information as regards my son Charles whom I believe enlisted in the A.I.F. and was killed some where about June 1916 in France. I hear he was Lieutenant when killed. I have lost all trace of him for many years, but I did hear that he was married with 2 children. I expect if such was the case his wife would be drawing his pension. Last time I heard of him he was in Adelaide but was advised to write to you as they had no record of him. He was my eldest son and I am most anxious to know if such was the case.
I would be most grateful if you would let me know or could inform me of same.
I am,
Respectfully yours,
Jane Whyte.[11]


Lieut. C.A. Whyte - According to a message received yesterday, Lieut. C.A. Whyte, an old student of the Ballarat School of Mines , has been killedin France. Lieut. Whyte was attached to teh mining corps.[12]

See also

3rd Tunnelling Company

Australian Mining Corps


  1. NAA: B2455 Whyte Charles William.
  2. Ballarat School of Mines Students' Magazine, 1909, First term, p8.
  3. McCallum, M.M., Ballarat Citizens and Sports at Home and Abroad, McCallum Press and Publishing Company, 1916.
  4. Ballarat School of Mines Students' Magazine, 1916.
  5. NAA: B2455 Whyte Charles William.
  6. NAA: B2455 Whyte Charles William.
  7. Ballarat School of Mines Students' Magazine, 1916.
  8. NAA: B2455 Whyte Charles William.
  9. NAA: B2455 Whyte Charles William.
  10. NAA: B2455 Whyte Charles William.
  11. NAA: B2455 Whyte Charles William.
  12. Ballarat Courier, 19 September 1916.

Other links

--Cgervasoni (talk) 18:04, 30 September 2014 (AEST)

Can you assist this project by supplying photos or more information on Charles Whyte? We are looking for copies of photographs and memorabilia relating to tunnellers from the Ballarat Electorate. If you can help, please drop us a line: