Denis George Chalkley

Rank Private
Service No 5063
Date of Death 02/02/1917
Age 24
Regiment/Service Australian Infantry, A.I.F. 2nd Bn.
Cemetery Dernancourt Communal Cemetery Extension

Denis George Chalkley was born in Finchley in 1893 to George Henry Chalkley, the assistant head of a post office, and his wife Kate. He had four siblings; Edith (b.1886), Ernest (b.1887), Kathleen (b.1890) and one other, whose name is not recorded. The 1911 census states that all four of his siblings had died in the previous decade. However, this appears to be an error in the census, most likely caused by his parents misreading the question as number of children still living at home.

Denis moved to Sydney, Australia aged 20, where he was employed as a seaman and attended an Anglican church. He enlisted with the Australian Infantry on 18th January 1916, and embarked for war on the 1st April. He disembarked on the 1st May 1916 at Suez. On 24th May 1916 he was at Tel-el-Kebir, 110 km north-north-east of Cairo. Some 40,000 Australians camped there in a small tent city at Tel-el-Kebir of six miles in length.

On 16th June 1916 he was admitted to No 2 Australian Stationary Hospital with diarrhoea and discharged for duty a week later. On 29th July 1916 he embarked on the troopship Arcadian for Alexandria, only to be transferred to France on the 5th September. On 2nd February 1917 he was wounded in action – gunshot wounds to the buttocks, thigh and left foot. Admin and transferred to 45th Casualty Clearing Station where he died of wounds.