1. Service Details
  2. Personal Details
  3. Unit and Rank Details
  4. Fate
  5. Commemoration
  6. Notes
  7. Sources

Service Details

Branch of Service
World War I
Date of Enlistment
Place of Enlistment
Broadmeadows, Victoria

Personal Details

Date of Birth
Place of Birth
Pennyroyal, Victoria
Address (at enlistment)
Royal Military College, Duntroon ACT
School(s) Attended
Inglewood State School, Melbourne High School
Next of Kin
Charles Arblaster (father), Errol Street, Footscray, Victoria
Burial Place

Douai Communal Cemetery, France

Unit and Rank Details

Final Rank
Final Unit
53 Battalion AIF


Died of wounds (received during the Battle of Fromelles) on 24 July 1916, Douai, France, aged 21 years.


AWM Roll of Honour Memorial Panel 156, Canberra ACT


Arblaster was part of the second intake of cadets to the Royal Military College, Duntroon in March 1912. His class was graduated early on 2 November 1914 and Arblaster enlisted in the AIF the following day. He was posted as a Lieutenant to the 8th Light Horse Regiment, part of the 3rd Light Horse Brigade. Initially placed in charge of a troop, he was almost immediately transferred to the command of the regiment's machine gun section.

After training, the regiment embarked for overseas at Melbourne on 25 February 1915, aboard HMAT Star of Victoria. Training continued in Egypt until the regiment sailed for Gallipoli, where they landed in late May. Arblaster served with the 8th Light Horse Regiment at Walker's Ridge in June and July, and his machine gun section supported it during the charge at The Nek on 7 August. He then acted as adjutant until 7 September, when he was appointed acting Captain and placed in overall command of the Brigade machine guns at the Table Top, immediately below Chunuk Bair. Here he received a bullet wound to the foot on 26 September and was evacuated to Malta, and then to England for treatment.

He rejoined his regiment in Egypt in February 1916 but in a reorganisation of the AIF he was transferred to command D Company (with the rank of Captain) in the newly formed 53rd Battalion. The 53rd Battalion arrived in France on 27 June 1916 for service on the Western Front. Sent to the front line on 10 July they subsequently took part in the Battle of Fromelles on 19/20 July where Arblaster was severely wounded and captured by the Germans. He was treated at St Clothilde Military Hospital for Prisoners near Douai but died there of septicaemia, on 24 July, at the age of 21. He is buried in the Douai Communal Cemetery. The AWM record PAFU2013/028.01 is a recording of the Last Post ceremony held at the War Memorial in Arblaster's memory on 1 September 2013.


AWM Roll of Honour Database
AWM Roll of Honour Circular
AWM First World War Unit Embarkation Rolls
AWM Collections Records : REL/06479, REL/06480, REL/04298, REL/04299, J02696, J02704, PAFU2013/028.01
Colonel J.E. Lee, 'Duntroon: The Royal Military College of Australia 1911-1946', 1952
NAA RecordSearch - Series B2455 (First Australian Imperial Force Personnel Dossiers, 1914-1920)
Independent (Footscray) - 5 August 1916
Stories from the ACT Memorial, 'The Honour Guard at the Canberra Commencement Ceremony', ACT Heritage Library
Stories from the ACT Memorial, 'Hell Opened at Fromelles', ACT Heritage Library

Create Certificate
Arblaster (wearing the cap in the middle of the photo), Walkers Ridge, Gallipoli, 1915. AWM J02704.

Arblaster (wearing the cap in the middle of the photo), Walkers Ridge, Gallipoli, 1915. AWM J02704.

Charles Arblaster. Independent Footscray (5 August 1916).

Charles Arblaster. Independent Footscray (5 August 1916).

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