Legate, Charles Martyn (No. 3366)

Legate, Charles Martyn (Charles)


No. 3366, 53rd Battalion, Australian Infantry, AIF

Killed in action on Wednesday 19 July 1916 (aged 22)

No known grave


Commonwealth War Graves Commission

V.C. Corner Australian Cemetery and Memorial, France (Panel 8)

Holywood and District War Memorial

First Holywood Presbyterian Church

Royal Belfast Academical Institution (RBAI)

Brother of Second Engineer George William Legate

Cousin of Lieutenant Theophilus Legate Calwell MC

Cousin of Lieutenant Walter Henry Calwell


Charles Martyn Legate was born on 6 January 1894 in Shore Street, Holywood and he was a son of Theophilus and Sarah Jane Legate (nee Perry) who were married on 14 September 1886 in Ballygilbert Presbyterian Church.  Theophilus Legate from Holywood was a son of George Legate, a Presbyterian Minister.  Sarah Jane Perry from Cultra was a daughter of James Perry, a farmer.

The Legate family lived at Kinnegar, Holywood, at 38 Cromwell Road, Belfast and at Spafield, Holywood.

Theophilus Legate worked as a warehouseman and then as a clerk in the linen business.  He and Sarah Jane had five children:

George William (born 28 September 1888 at Anchor Lodge, Kinnegar, Holywood)

Hugh Henry (born 17 March 1891 at Woodside, Holywood)

Charles Martyn (born 6 January 1894 in Shore Street, Holywood)

Anna Mary (born 19 June 1897 in Shore Street, Holywood)

Margaret Busby (born 3 November 1898 at 38 Cromwell Road, Belfast)

Their father, Theophilus Legate, died of heart failure at Spafield, Holywood on 12 August 1914 (aged 65).

Charles Martyn Legate attended RBAI and, after leaving school, he moved to Australia where he worked as a bushman.  He enlisted on 20 July 1915 in Dubbo, New South Wales and it was noted in his attestation papers that he was 5 feet 8½ inches tall with a fair complexion, grey eyes and light brown hair.  He cited his mother as his next-of-kin.

Private Charles Legate served first with the 4th Battalion Australian Infantry before transferring to the Machine Gun Section of the 53rd Battalion. In June 1916 he sailed to Marseilles via Alexandria on board the Royal George.

Initially posted as missing in action, it was later officially confirmed that Private Charles Legate must be presumed to have been killed in action on 19 July 1916 during the attack at Fromelles – this conclusion being the result of a Court of Enquiry held ‘in the field’ on 2 September 1917.

Private Charles Legate was 22 when he died, he has no known grave and he is commemorated on the V.C. Corner Australian Cemetery and Memorial, France; on Holywood and District War Memorial and in First Holywood Presbyterian Church.

The Calwell brothers, Theophilus Legate Calwell MC and Walter Henry Calwell, who were cousins of the Legate brothers also died on active service during the Great War.