Charles Barber served in the Australian Army during WWI rising to the rank of Captain and being awarded the Military Cross. He served between the wars in the Citizens Military Force, and in WWII rose to the rank of Brigadier.
Charles completed a Bachelor of Mining Engineering at the University of Melbourne. While at University in 1910, he joined the Melbourne University Rifles and reached the rank of 2nd Lieutenant.
When WWI started, Charles was working in Broken Hill as a mining engineer where he enlisted on 29 August 1914 and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the 3rd Field Company Engineers of the AIF. On 22 September 1914 he embarked from Melbourne for Alexandria with the 3rd Field Company. He trained in Mesopotamia and his company built and maintained a pontoon bridge over the Suez Canal until embarking for Gallipoli from Alexandria on 5 April 1915.
Charles arrived at Anzac Cove about 10.30am on 25 April 1915, about five hours after the first troops landed to attack Turkish positions. On 27 July 1915 he transferred to 4th Field Company Engineers and was promoted to Captain. By 12 September 1915 he was leading the 4th Field Company at Lone Pine.
On 29 January 1916 he was awarded the Military Cross.
At the outbreak of WWII Charles was involved with the training of the 4th Infantry Brigade and in 1941 was promoted to Brigadier and later served in Papua New Guinea.