No.3515 Private Reginald Charles Farrar
Reginald Charles Farrar was born at Meredith, Victoria, in 1892 to Charles Ward Farrar and Ellen Lawson. His parents were farmers, * and they had married in Victoria in the same year. **
They had five children, all of which were born at Meredith:
- Reginald Charles Farrar - born 1892 at Meredith (Cert No. 1892/34791)
- Harold Farrar - born 1894 at Meredith (Cert No. 1894/5467)
- Percy Booth Farrar - born 1896 at Meredith, (Cert No. 1896/5396)
- Emma Matilda Farrar - born 1898 at Meredith, (Cert No. 1898/12913)
- Eleanor Estelle Farrar - born 1900 at Meredith, (Cert No. 1900/12963)
At the time of his enlistment, the Farrar family had moved to a farm in the Little River district of Victoria. On his enlistment papers, he claimed that both he and his father were farmers, living at Little River in Victoria.
Reginald Charles Farrah enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force (A.I.F.) at Geelong on 13 July 1915.
Between 10 August 1915 and 24 November 1915, Reginald served with "D" Coy in Geelong, before being transferred to the 8/22nd Infantry Battalion’s reinforcements at the Military Camp, at Broadmeadows.
[Reginald embarked under the name of Private Reginald Charles Farrer (typo), but his father’s name (as next of kin) was spelt correctly as C.W. Farrar, of Little River].
At the age of 22 years, he embarked at Melbourne on 5 January 1916, per HMAT Afric A19, as a Private with the 8th Reinforcements for the 22nd Infantry Battalion.
Their ship took them to Egypt, where they continued training in the desert. This was a period when the Australian Forces were reorganising, and after disembarking, he was taken on strength with the 57th Infantry Battalion. On 15 March 1916, he was transferred to the 58 Battalion at Tel-el-Kebir, and he remained with them until his death.
During his time in Egypt he saw service at Tel-el-Kebir, at Ferry Post on the Suez Canal, and at Ismalia.
Around this time, in 1916, his brother Harold Farrar, of Little River, appeared before the Military Exemptions Court in Werribee, and claimed that he was the only eligible son remaining at home.
He stated that there are three (sons) in the family, one being on active service, and the other, aged 10 years, and that he lived at home with his parents. He and his brother worked on his father's farm. His application was refused, and he stated that he intended to appeal the court’s decision.
Werribee Shire Banner, 26 October 1916, p.3.
On 17 June 1916, Private Reginald Farrah embarked at Alexandria with the 58th Battalion on the H.T. Transylvania, and sailed to France. They disembarked at Marseilles on 23 June 1916, and travelled by train to the north of France. By 26 June 1916, they had moved into huts at Steenbelove, and began further training.
The 58th Battalion first went into the front line at Sailly on 11 July 1916, and suffered their first casualties three days later. On the following day, 15 July 1916, the Battalion came under heavy enemy bombardment. Their casualties on that day were 42 killed and 103 wounded. One of those killed being Private Reginald Farrar.
He was buried in the Military Cemetery at Rue Petillon, near Armentieres, France.
One month later, a Death Notice for Private R.C. Farrar was printed in the Geelong Advertiser. He was the "eldest son of Mr and Mrs C Farrar, Little River; grandson of the late M Farrar of Shelford". "He never shirked his country’s call, He gave his life for all".
Geelong Advertiser, 25 August 1916, p.1.
Geelong Advertiser, 25 August 1916, p.2.
Notice of his death was also published in the TOLL OF WAR, 203rd List, as “Pte R.C. Farrar, Little River.”
The Evening Echo (Ballarat), 31 August 1916, p.1.
A Memorial Service was held in the Christ Church, Little River, on Sunday 16 Sept 1916, to honour Privates R. C. Farrar, and G. L. Lodge, both of whom had fallen in recent actions on the Western Front.
The Argus, 20 September 1916, p.5.
A commemorative plaque was subsequently erected inside the church.
His parents were presented with a parcel of his personal effects, his two Military Campaign Medals, a Memorial Plaque, a Memorial Scroll & King’s Message, and a photo of his grave.
Ellen Farrar, (Reginald’s mother) died at her residence in Masserim Rd, Drysdale, on 15 March 1943, aged 82 years.
The Argus, 16 March 1943, p.2.
Charles Ward Farrar (late of Little River) (Reginald's father) died at his son's home in Drysdale on 27 Oct 1947, aged 86 years.
The Argus, 29 October 1947, p.13.
Medals and Entitlements:
- British War Medal
- Victory Medal
- Memorial Plaque
- Memorial Scroll & King’s Message
- Photo of his grave
Name on the Werribee Shire Oak Board: Not Listed
Name on the Werribee Cenotaph: Not Listed
Name on the Little River Honour Board: "Private R. Farrar *"
Name on the Little River Honour Board (with photos): "FARRAR, R.C."
Name on the Little River Church Board – In Memory Of "Reginald FARRAR"
"Farrar, R. from Little River" first appeared in the Roll of Honor, Werribee Shire Banner, 29 July 1915, p.3. His name ceased to appear after the edition of 16 March 1916. (At that time he was still in Egypt)
* 1936 Electoral Roll for subdivision of Drysdale.
** Federation Index of Victoria. Certificate 1892/2043
Unit War Diary
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