Richard Hampden GUTHRIE

Poppy

GUTHRIE, Richard Hampden

Service Number: Commissioned Officer
Enlisted: 24 August 1914, Oaklands, City of Marion, South Australia
Last Rank: Lieutenant
Last Unit: 27th Infantry Battalion
Born: London, England, 16 April 1890
Home Town: Glenelg, Holdfast Bay, South Australia
Schooling: Sutton, United Kingdom
Occupation: Shipping Clerk
Died: Died of Wounds, France, 6 November 1916, aged 26 years
Cemetery: Dartmoor Cemetery
Dartmoor Cemetery, Becordel-Becourt, Picardie, France (Plot II, Row E, Grave No 45)
Memorials: Adelaide Elder Smith & Co Limited WW1 Honour Board, Adelaide National War Memorial, Adelaide Rowing Club WW1 Pictorial Honour Board, Glenelg and District WW1 & WW2 Honour Board
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World War 1 Service

24 Aug 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Oaklands, City of Marion, South Australia
11 Jan 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, 27th Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
31 May 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, Not listed in the Embarkation Roll
12 Sep 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Lieutenant, SN Commissioned Officer, 27th Infantry Battalion, 'ANZAC' / Gallipoli
23 Jul 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Lieutenant, SN Commissioned Officer, 27th Infantry Battalion, Battle for Pozières
5 Nov 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Lieutenant, SN Commissioned Officer, 27th Infantry Battalion, Flers/Gueudecourt

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Biography contributed by Evan Evans

From François Berthout

Lieutenant Richard Hampden Guthrie,
27th Australian Infantry Battalion,
7th Brigade, 2nd Australian Division
 
In the Somme the poppies, red and fragile sway on the old battlefields whose trenches, shell holes are today the silent scars in which a whole generation of men fought and fell bravely for peace and the freedom in which we live without fear of the next day and which was paid by the sacrifices of thousands of heroes who today rest in peace in the serene cemeteries and the sacred grounds of the north of France, a country that many of them did not know but for which they did and gave so much, a country for which they gave their lives alongside their brothers in arms, a country which will be forever grateful to them and which will always keep their memories strong and alive, their stories with love and respect so that what they did and sacrifice for us will never be forgotten and so that their faces and their names, in our hearts live forever in eternal remembrance.

Today, it is with the deepest respect and gratitude that I would like to honor the memory of one of these young men, one of my boys of the Somme who gave his today for our tomorrow. I would like to pay a very respectful tribute to Lieutenant Richard Hampden Guthrie who fought in the 27th Australian Infantry Battalion, 7th Brigade, 2nd Australian Division, and who died of his wounds 105 years ago, on November 6, 1916 at the age of 26 on the Somme front.

Richard Hampden Guthrie was born on April 6, 1890 in London and was the son of Walter Gibson and Violet Mary Hampden, of Heatherwood, Heathdene Road, Wallington, Surrey, England.Richard was educated in Sutton, England, then served for five years as a naval cadet in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve and at the age of 21 emigrated to Australia and lived in Glenelg, Holdfast Bay, South Australia, where he worked as a shipping clerk and was an accomplished athlete, good boxer and tennis player, a prominent member of the Adelaide Rowing Club and Glenelg Golf Club.

Richard enlisted on January 11, 1915 at Oakland, city of Marion, South Australia, as Second Lieutenant in the 27th Australian Infantry Battalion and embarked with his unit from Adelaide, South Australia, on board HMAT A2 Geelong on May 31, 1915 to join the MEF (Mediterranean Expeditionary Force) in Egypt.

On August 4, 1915, Richard arrived in Egypt at Alexandria then embarked for Gallipoli where he was disembarked on August 28, 1915 and was promoted the same day to the rank of Lieutenant and with the 27th Australian Infantry Battalion, reinforced the weary New Zealand and Australian Division. The 27th had a relatively quiet time at Gallipoli but In addition to enemy action, by this late stage of the campaign, poor hygiene and sanitation had begun to take its toll in the form of quite serious disease such as enteric fever (typhoid) and other diseases resulting in many evacuations, some right back to Australia.
On October 12, 1915, Richard fell ill and on October 15, was admitted to the 16th Casualty Clearing Station at ANZAC suffering from enteritis then the same day, he was admitted on a hospital ship, the HS Delta suffering from dysentery then evacuated to Egypt.

On October 20, 1915 Richard arrived in Egypt and was disembarked to Heliopolis where he was admitted the same day to the 1st Australian General Hospital and the following month,on November 16,suffering from "debility and dysentery" was admitted to the Australian Convalescent Depot in Helouan,which was a hotel before the war, the Hal Hayat Hotel.Richard was then discharged for England where he was incapacitated for two months then on January 19, 1916, he was declared fit for general service, placed on the supernumerary list on February 24 and sent to the Australian Base Depot in Weymouth on April 15 and the next day, joined the BEF (British Expeditionary Force) in Folkestone from where he embarked and proceeded overseas for France and was disembarked the same day in Boulogne.

After arriving at the port of Boulogne on April 16, 1916, Richard joined the 2nd Australian Divisional Base Depot in Etaples on April 17 and the following month, May 10, was transferred to Marseilles, joined the ANZAC Base in Moussot on May 12 then joined the 27th Australian Infantry Battalion on July 22 in the Somme, at Toutencourt, at Toutencourt Camp but his respite was short-lived because the next day, alongside the men of his battalion, he marched for Warloy-Baillon where from July 23 to 26 they received a short period of training then joined Albert on July 27, La Boisselle on July 28 where they occupied the trenches and dugouts at the "Sausage Gully" and the next day, at 11:15 pm led an attack to take and hold two German trenches called OG1 and OG2 alongside the men of the 5th, 6th and 7th Australian Infantry Battalion, unfortunately, the Australian artillery failed to break through the barbed wire and German machine gun nests and the infantry attack was a failure which resulted in heavy losses.Fortunately, Richard survived this first attack and in the evening, with his men, entered the trenches of Pozieres where, on the night of August 4 to 5 a new attack was launched on the left of Bapaume Road whose main objective was the capture of the Windmill, an extremely well fortified German observation point but the attack was a success and two German trench lines were taken, however, in a single week of fighting on the Somme front, from July 28 to August 5, 1916, the 27th Australian Infantry Battalion lost 40 men killed in action, 289 wounded and 67 missing.

On August 6, 1916, Richard and the 27th Australian Infantry Battalion, completely exhausted, were relieved by the 48th Australian Infantry Battalion in La Boisselle then marched for Tara Hill and Brickfield in Albert on August 7 then Bouzincourt on August 8 where they bivouacked for two days then bivouacked in La Vicogne until August 14 but very quickly, new orders were received for the 27th Battalion which was to join the front line and marched through Rubempre, Vadencourt, La Boisselle and in the night of August 24th August 25th, joined the Mouquet Farm trenches where they remained until August 31, when they were relieved by the Canadians but during this new period in the trenches, the 27th Battalion lost, in seven days, 42 men killed in action, 334 wounded and 40 missing.
In September, the 27th Australian Infantry Battalion which was nearly wiped out leaving Mouquet Farm, were sent to Steenvoorde where they bivouacked the entire month and were able to reorganize and the following month, October 12, with Richard, were sent to Ypres, in belgium where they relieved the 25th Australian Infantry battalion and on October 27, returned to the Somme, to Ribemont then marched through Dernancourt, Montauban, Le Barque, and arrived in the trenches of Flers on November 4 and relieved the 53rd Battalion at "Bayonet Trench ", where unfortunately, the next day, November 5, during an Australian attack to sweep the German positions at Flers, Richard met his fate and was wounded by a gun shot wound in his chest and was immediately evacuated then admitted to the 1st ANZAC Dressing Station in Becordel-Becourt, but despite the greatest care, Richard died the next day, November 6, 1916, he was 26 years old.
Today Lieutenant Richard Hampden Guthrie rests in peace with his men, comrades and brothers in arms at Dartmoor Cemetery, Becordel-Becourt, Somme, and his grave bears the following inscription: "Dearly loved only son of Walter and Violet Guthrie of Wallington, Surrey."

A month after his death, on December 9, 1916, Richard Hampden Guthrie's obituary was published in "The Adelaide Chronicle" as follows:
"News has been received of the death of Lieutenant R. H. Guthrie on November 6 in France. He was the only son of Mr. and Mrs. Walter Guthrie. of Wallington, Surrey and a nephew of Mr. W. C. Guthrie, of Kynochs, Melbourne. Lieutenant Guthrie arrived in Adelaide in December, 1911, to join the staff of Messrs. Elder, Smith, and Co. He was with this firm at Adelaide, Port Adelaide, and Port Pirie. On the outbreak of the war he offered his services to the Naval Department. having served as a naval cadet in England. No immediate vacancy being availably he joined the army as a private, and before leaving Australia gained the rank of second lieutenant. In Egypt he received promotion to a first lieutenancy. He fought on Gallipoli, but before the evacuation was invalided to London. On his recovery he was allotted to the transport staff at Marseilles, thence to the fighting line with his old battalion. Lieutenant Guthrie was an athlete, a prominent member of the Adelaide Rowing Club and Glenelg Golf Club. Through his cheery and happy disposition he won his way to many Australian hearts, who grieve with his parents in their sad loss."

Richard, you who were and would be eternally young alongside your brothers in arms who walk in silence by your side through the fields of poppies on which they fought and fell, it is today from the bottom of my heart that I would like to say thank you for everything you have done for Australia and for France, for humanity, for the freedom and the peace in which we live thanks to your courage and your sacrifice, the sacrifices of thousands of men who gave their today in the mud of the trenches of the north of France and who, with determination, did their duty and went over the top under the fire of the machine guns alongside their pals which, in the barbed wire and the poppies gave their lives for our tomorrow.young and proud, it is with their heads held high that they answered the call of the bells which rang the war and left the crops, their homes and gathered to answer the call of duty to do what was right, to do their bit, their part like all their friends on the battlefields of the great war, and their eyes full of tears in a last embrace in the arms of their mothers, their wives, they exchanged a last farewell, a last smile.Their hearts full of pride, they embarked for the front carrying their colors, the Australian flag with honor and looked straight ahead beyond the ocean, beyond the horizon line with apprehension not knowing what awaited them but they knew that they would not back down, they stood smiling and confident beside their comrades and after a last moment of peace on the serene waters of the Mediterranean, they landed on the beaches of Gallipoli, under the direct fire of the machine guns which transformed the golden sand into blood which mowed down the first friends, the first waves of men who gave their lives far from home but it is on these beaches, in the hills of Gallipoli that between Australians and New Zealanders were born the spirit of ANZAC, the spirit of camaraderie which united these young men who after these first bloodbaths, were sent to France where once again they marched with determination, with in their eyes the painful memories of Lone Pine, The Nek, of ANZAC Cove but with courage, resolute and strong, they moved forward under the gray sky and the winding paths and discovered in Pozieres, the horrors of the Somme which many of them described as a slaughterhouse, an unspeakable butcher's shop which in a few weeks shattered the lives of more than 20,000 young Australian soldiers but they held on, they did not retreat, they fought like lions with their knees deep in the mud, under the bullets and the shells they kept their heads high and continued to smile despite what they went through again and again under rains of blood and fire in Flers, Amiens, Villers-Bretonneux, their remembrance and their names will live forever on these sacred lands, the spirit of ANZAC, their spirit of mateship will never be forgotten.More than a hundred years have passed but we do not and will never forget what Australia and our Diggers did here alongside their French brothers in arms who saw in them exceptional men, men who have and who will always have our deep admiration and respect and over which I will always watch with devotion and care so that their sacrifices and bravery are never forgotten, they will always be our sons, my boys of the Somme and I will always be there for them and their families to carry high and proud the flame of remembrance and to honor the friendship that unites our two countries that nothing will ever break.Thank you so much Richard, for everything. At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember him, we will remember them. 

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Biography

Lieutenant (Lt) Richard Hampden Guthrie, 27th Battalion was a 24 year old shipping clerk when he was commissioned on 11 January 1915 having enlisted on 24 August 1914.  Born in the UK, he had emigrated three years earlier.  His parents were Walter Gibson Guthrie and Violet Mary Guthrie, of 'Heatherwood', Heathdene Road, Wallington, Surrey, England He had served for 5 years in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve; time expired.

He was promoted to Lieutenant on 26 May 1915 and joined the 27th Battalion at Gallipoli. After Gallipoli, the 27th Battalion returned to Egypt, and then proceeded to France as part of the 2nd Australian Division. The 27th Battalion entered the front-line trenches for the first time on 7 April 1916 and took part in its first major battle at Pozières between 28 July and 5 August.

After a spell in a quieter sector of the front in Belgium, the 2nd Division returned to the south in October 1916. Lt Guthrie was wounded in action at Flers, France, on 5 November 1916 and died on 6 November 1916 at 1st Anzac Medical Dressing Station, France. He was buried at Dartmoor Cemetery Becordel-Becort, one and a half miles south east of Albert, France.

"THE LATE LIEUTENANT R. H. GUTHRIE.

News has been received of the death of Lieutenant R. H. Guthrie on November 6 in France. He was the only son of Mr. and Mrs. Walter Guthrie. of Wallington, Surrey and a nephew of Mr. W. C. Guthrie, of Kynochs, Melbourne. Lieutenant Guthrie arrived in Adelaide in December, 1911, to join the staff of Messrs. Elder, Smith, & Co. He was with this firm at Adelaide, Port Adelaide, and Port Pirie. On the outbreak of the war he offered his services to the Naval Department. having served as a naval cadet in England. No immediate vacancy being availably he joined the army as a private, and before leaving Australia gained the rank of second lieutenant. In Egypt he received promotion to a first lieutenancy. He fought on Gallipoli, but before the evacuation was invalided to London. On his recovery he was allotted to the transport staff at Marseilles, thence to the fighting line with his old battalion. Lieutenant Guthrie was an athlete, a prominent member of the Adelaide Rowing Club and Glenelg Golf Club. Through his cheery and happy disposition he won his way to many Australian hearts, who grieve with his parents in their sad loss." - from the Adelaide Chronicle 09 Dec 1916 (nla.gov.au)

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