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Charles Croft was born in Prahran. He was working as a coachsmith in Ballarat when he enlisted in Broadmeadows on the 15th August 1914. He was 26 years old and unmarried. His Regimental No. was 1162. When he enlisted at Broadmeadows he was brought in as a Bombardier in the 2nd Field Artillery Brigade because of his long experience with artillery. Bombardier Croft was promoted to Corporal on 27th March 1915, only a few days before his unit embarked at Alexandria for movement to the Greek island of Lemnos where the invasion fleet for Gallipoli accumulated. He served with the 2nd Field Artillery Brigade on Gallipoli. On 23rd August Corporal Croft reported ill to the Casualty Clearing Station on the beach at Anzac Cove. He was diagnosed with colitis –a bowel problem exacerbated by the continual stress of war, and was evacuated to a Red Cross Convalescent Hospital at Montezah, Alexandria. He was discharged from hospital on 25th October and embarked on HMT Canada for return to Gallipoli, where he disembarked on 3rd November 1915.
Three days later, on 6th November, 1915, he was promoted Temporary Sergeant, and was then confirmed as a substantive Sergeant on the 26th November, 1915. On 20th September he was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant. He was immediately transferred back to the 1st Division Ammunition Column. It was announced on 27th October 1916 that Sergeant Croft had been awarded a Military Medal for outstanding bravery at Anzac on the 9th June 1915. On the 20th January 1917 2nd Lieutenant Croft was promoted Lieutenant. A scheme was introduced across the AIF that arranged for those who had enlisted in 1914, and had not returned to Australia during the war, to be sent home on leave. Charles Croft embarked at Le Havre on 13th October 1918 to return under the Special Leave regulations.
Tree No. 42, an elm, was planted in the Ballarat Avenue of Honour by Miss .C. George, a 'Lucas Girl', on 4th June, 1917.