Charles Bates (1896-1917)
Charles Theo Percy R. Fatt was the child of Hung Fatt and Christina (nee Ogg). He was raised by Margaret and Thomas Bates, believing they were his foster parents. But Margaret was really his grandmother, and the youngest of Margaret’s thirteen children was just ten days older than Charley.
When he enlisted, Private Bates was allotted to the 12th Battalion, then transferred to the 52nd. Despite his black hair, brown eyes and dark complexion, Charley must have looked sufficiently European. Others of mixed European and Chinese heritage were not accepted to the A.I.F.
Private Bates took a bullet in his thigh at Mouquet Farm, but returned to the front line soon after, a Lance Corporal. On the morning of 28 June 1917, the Company was undergoing live grenade throwing practice. Bates was struck and killed. The Inquiry ruled his death was ‘purely accidental’.