Harry Rutland GAULD


GAULD, Harry Rutland

Service Number: 2365
Enlisted: 20 May 1915, Brisbane, Qld.
Last Rank: Sergeant
Last Unit: 47th Infantry Battalion
Born: Coorparoo, Qld., 11 May 1891
Home Town: Coorparoo, Brisbane, Queensland
Schooling: Coorparoo State School
Occupation: Salesman
Died: Killed in Action, Belgium, 18 August 1917, aged 26 years
Cemetery: Derry House Cemetery No.2
II E B 14
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Coorparoo Roll of Honor, Coorparoo Shire Memorial Gates (Greenslopes), Coorparoo State School Honour Roll
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World War 1 Service

20 May 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 2365, 15th Infantry Battalion, Brisbane, Qld.
20 Aug 1915: Involvement Private, SN 2365, 15th Infantry Battalion, Third Ypres
20 Aug 1915: Embarked Private, SN 2365, 15th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Shropshire, Sydney
18 Aug 1917: Involvement Sergeant, SN 2365, 47th Infantry Battalion, Third Ypres


Harry Rutland Gauld #2365 47th Battalion

Harry Gauld enlisted on 25 May 1915 when recruitment was at its peak due to the news of the Gallipoli landings just one month before. At the time of his enlistment Harry gave his address as Wooloowin but his mother’s address as next of kin was “Somerford” Kirkland Avenue Coorparoo. Harry had attended Coorparoo State School from 1899. Harry gave his occupation as salesman and stated his age as 25 years.

Originally drafted into the 15th Battalion he landed with the second deployment at Gallipoli on 23 October 1915. The Gallipoli campaign was winding down by this time as the winter rains and snow arrived. The 15th Battalion were evacuated from the peninsula on 17th December 1915 by which time Harry had been promoted to Corporal.

On arrival in Egypt, the 15th Battalion along with other battalions of the 1st Division was split to provide a nucleus of battle veterans for newly formed battalions in the expanding AIF. Harry was transferred to the 47th Battalion. As per the usual practice, the expanded AIF was sent to France via Marseilles. The 47th spent a period of time being acclimatised to conditions on the Western Front before being shifted to the Somme during the battle for Pozieres. While holding a defensive position on 8th August 1916 in newly won trenches at Pozieres, Harry; who had just been promoted to sergeant, was wounded in both arms and a leg by machine gun fire. He was evacuated back to a military hospital at Camberwell, England to recover from his wounds. After a period of convalescence, Harry was granted a furlough in England during December 1916.

Harry remained in England with the 13th Training Battalion until May 1917, before rejoining the 47th on 23 June 1917, where he was promoted to Acting Company Sergeant Major. The 12th Brigade was part of the infantry assault at Messines. General Plumer had opened the battle with overpowering artillery barrages and the firing of up to 19 mines (the craters of which are still in existence almost 100 years later). As a follow up to the Messines attack, the 12th Brigade attacked at Wytschaete (two kilometres north of Messines) on 18th August 1917.

Red Cross reports indicate that A/CSM Gauld and another sergeant from the 47th were hit when a large artillery shell landed directly in the support trench they were occupying, killing both instantly. Harry Gauld’s remains were buried soon afterwards in the Derry House Cemetery at Wytschaete, some 9 kilometres south of Ypres.

Since Harry had left Australia in 1915, his father had died. His mother received a parcel of his personal belongings; wallet, photos and coins, and his war medals were issued to her in 1923 along with three copies of a photograph of her son’s grave. Dora Gauld also received a pension of two pounds per fortnight.

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Biography contributed by Faithe Jones

Only surviving son of the late Hugh GAULD and Dora Austerlena BEAK fmly GAULD nee CALLINAN, "Somerford", Kirkland Avenue, Cooparoo, Queensland