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FORD, Charles Lytton (1890-?)

FORD, Charles Lytton (1890-?)

Charles Lytton Ford was born on 12 December 1890, the son of Mrs Emily Ford. He was enrolled by Mrs Ford at Geelong College in 1903, giving their address as Ipswich, Queensland. He was later re-enrolled in 1905 the only information on his re-enrolment record being the surname Ford.

He enlisted (No. 7247) during World War I as a Private, with the 9th Battalion in the AIF on 2 November 1916. The Embarkation Roll listed his occupation as Dealer. He embarked for Egypt from Sydney, with 24th Reinforcement Group on HMAT A33 Ayrshire on 24 January 1917, and then France.

(In March 1916 the battalion sailed for France and the Western Front. From then until 1918 they took part in operations against the German Army. The battalion’s first major action in France was at Pozières in the Somme Valley. The 9th Battalion attacked on the extreme right of the line, and it was during this action that Private John Leak won, with the bayonet, the battalion’s only Victoria Cross.

Later the battalion fought at Ypres, in Flanders, before returning to the Somme for winter. In 1917 the battalion moved back to Belgium for the advance to the Hindenburg Line, and in March and April 1918 helped stop the German spring offensive. The battalion participated in the great allied offensive of 1918 and fought near Amiens on 8 August. The advance by British and Empire troops was the greatest success in a single day on the Western Front, one that German General Erich Ludendorff described as ‘Der Schwarze Tag’.

The battalion continued operations until late September 1918. At 11 am on 11 November 1918, the guns fell silent. The Armistice was followed by the peace treaty of Versailles, signed on 28 June 1919. In November 1918 members of the AIF began to return to Australia for demobilisation and discharge. On 5 February 1919, 9 and 10 Battalions were amalgamated.)

Sources: 'Geelong Collegians at the Great War' compiled by J. Affleck. p190 (citing Pegasus; Australian War Memorial).
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