Charles Vivian Ziems

Charles Vivian Ziems and unknown soldier

Sergeant Charles Vivian Ziems (standing) with another unknown sergeant. Possibly taken in Palestine. Members of the 12th Australian Light Horse Regiment.

Charles Vivian Ziems was a storekeeper at Albion Park and later Kiama. The Ziems family are well known in the Illawarra and have contributed greatly to the local community over many generations.

During his early life Mr Charles Vivian  Ziems was a member of the Illawarra Lancers and held rank of Lieutenant. As a private he embarked from Sydney on board the RMS Morea  in 1917 as part of the Camel Corps Reinforcements. He was 25 years old. He was fortunate to survive the war and returned to Australia July 1919 as sergeant.

 His obituary in the Kiama Independent 22 August 1972 said of Mr Ziems –

Mr Ziems was born at Albion Park and was the son of the late Mr and Mrs Henry Charles and Sophia  Ziems (nee Fryer). His father conducted a general store at Albion Park for many years and was later assisted by his son.

During his early life Mr Ziems was a member of the Illawarra Lancers and held rank of Lieutenant. In about 1910 he rode with the lancers then based in Kiama, to Canberra for the dedication of the site of one of the Houses of Parliament. The journey took about five days on horseback and the Lancers paraded before the then Prince of Wales, later King George V.

At the outbreak of WWI Mr Ziems was seconded by the Army to train recruits at Menangle. He wanted to fight overseas but Authorities ordered him to train recruits. Mr Ziems then resigned his commission with the Lancers and joined the AIF as a private. He served for three years in the Middle East and returned at the end of the war as a sergeant.

About two years after the war he opened a boot shop at Kiama in premises now included in the Grand Hotel. Later the store developed into a boot and clothing store which still traded under that name in 1975. 

Mr Ziems was associated with many organisations in Kiama. He was treasurer of the School of Arts and also treasurer of Kiama RSL. He was a excellent cricketer and in his youth was member fo the Kiama Cricket Club. He was also a good golfer and member of the Kiama Golf Club when it re-established at Minnamurra. Mr Ziems sold tickets at local balls when they were a weekly event in Kiama.

Mr Ziems married late in life but his wife Edith died less than two years after they were married, about 20 years ago. He is survived by brothers Selwyn of Leura and Alan of Kiama. Ziems store was closed on the day of the funeral as a mark of respect.