John and Charles were the sons of James and Mary Armstrong. John’s birth was registered in 1883 at Robertson NSW where the family first lived. He went to school at Rosebank in the Richmond River district NSW. Charles was born in the Lismore district in 1895. By 1907 the family had moved to the Inverell district.
Charles enlisted at Inverell in October 1916 when he was twenty one years old, perhaps influenced by the numerous recruiting rallies being held at the time. He had served three years with the Inverell Light Horse. He joined the 19th Battalion, 18th Reinforcement and left Australia on the ship A29 Suevic in November. Charles became ill with measles and at Capetown, South Africa, was disembarked and admitted to hospital. Upon recovery he continued his voyage to England, arriving in February 1917. Four months later he was sent to France. The following year he was wounded in action in May and invalided back to England with a gunshot wound to his neck. He spent some time in Colchester Military Hospital and then returned to Australia in March 1919 when he was medically discharged.
John enlisted at Lismore in February 1917 when he was thirty three years old. He joined the 9th Battalion, 25th Reinforcement and left Australia on the ship HMAT A20 Hororata in June. He arrived in England in August. Six months later he was sent to France as one of the reinforcements for the 52nd Battalion. Just six weeks later he was killed in action on 24th April 1918. Private John Armstrong was buried at Adelaide Cemetery, Villers-Bretonneux, France. His few remaining personal possessions, including a Testament, notebook, letters, photos and cards, were returned to his father.
John’s name is recorded on the Inverell Honor Roll and Cenotaph. In 1919 he was one of the men for whom a memorial tree was planted in Kurrajong Parade, Inverell. Charles has his name recorded on the Inverell Intermediate High School Honor Roll.