Herbert Thomas Leavold HUTCHINSON

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HUTCHINSON, Herbert Thomas Leavold

Service Number: 2171
Enlisted: 1 May 1915, Keswick South Australia Australia
Last Rank: Sergeant
Last Unit: 27th Infantry Battalion
Born: Norwood South Australia Australia, 11 July 1893
Home Town: Glenelg, Holdfast Bay, South Australia
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Bank Clerk
Died: Endocarditis "aggravated by war service" , Keswick Military Hospital, South Australia Australia, 13 May 1919, aged 25 years
Cemetery: Brighton (St Jude) Cemetery, South Australia
Returned to Australia 28 Oct 1918 Admitted Keswick Military Hospital Died May 1919
Memorials: Burnside District Fallen Soldiers' Memorial - Rose Park, Adelaide ES&A Bank WW1 Honour Roll, Clare St Barnabas Anglican Church WW1 Honour Board, Glenelg and District WW1 & WW2 Honour Board, Glenelg and District WW1 & WW2 Honour Board, Manoora Institute Supreme Sacrifice Roll, Manoora Pictorial Honour Roll, Manoora Roll of Honour WW1, Riverton Holy Trinity Anglican Church Honour Roll WW1, Tusmore Burnside District Roll of Honour
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World War 1 Service

1 May 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 2171, 27th Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
1 May 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Keswick South Australia Australia
21 Sep 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 2171, 27th Infantry Battalion,

embarkation_roll: roll_number: 15 embarkation_place: Adelaide embarkation_ship: HMAT Star of England embarkation_ship_number: A15 public_note:

23 Jul 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Sergeant, SN 2171, 27th Infantry Battalion, Battle for Pozières
5 Nov 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Corporal, SN 2171, 27th Infantry Battalion, Flers/Gueudecourt
13 May 1919: Involvement AIF WW1, Sergeant, SN 2171

A letter to Manoora

A letter received at Manoora from Herbert, dated Easter Monday 1916 said:

“France is very wet and cold. It has been raining ever since we landed, a month ago. It took us three days and nights to get here by train. The last 20 hours of our journey was done through falling snow – a glorious sight. When we disentrained we had a snow fight. The French people on our journey up gave us hot tea, wine and bread. I can just manage to make myself understood by them. It is funny to see the children from about five years of age, smoking pipes and cigarettes, but that is quite common. We are in the trenches for about five or six days, then go back to the town for a day or two, doing fatigue work. It is far safer in the trenches, for ‘Fritz’ has a habit of shelling our billets in the town. When I come back I’ll bring you a pet rat. It has its home under my dugout. My dugout is 6 ft x 4 ft, and 3 ft high, and three of us sleep together, so we haven’t much room; but the closer we get the warmer it is. ‘Fritz’ is banging in a few shells close to our living room this afternoon, so we have to keep our heads well under cover. There has been no damage so far”

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Biography

True name Herbert Thomas Leabold HUTCHINSON

 

A 21 year old bank clerk on enlistment, his father was Thomas Henry Hutchinson and Herbert listed his mother, Mrs Bertha Elizabeth Hutchinson as his next of kin, when he signed up at Keswick Barracks on 1 May 1915, just after the landing at ANZAC made the news in Australia.  

He clearly travelled with is work as a bank officer, and so he is listed on a wide variety of memorials across rural and suburban South Australia.

He arrived in the Middle East aboard the HMAT Star of England A15, too late to see service at ANZAC.  He was taken on strength by the 27th Battalion immediately after it evacuated from Gallipoli on 15 January 1916. After reinforcement and retraining, the Battalion embarked for France. Herbert had meanwhile been appointed to the rank of Lance Corporal and then Corporal.

The 2nd Division, 27th Battalion's parent formation, cycled through the “Nursery Sector” near Armentieres before being directed south via Messines to the Somme for the beginning of the Pozieres and Mouquet Farm campaign in late July 1916. During the course of this campaign, Herbert was promoted to the rank of Temporary Sergeant.  In late September he was evacuated sick and reverted to his substantive rank of Corporal.

He re-joined the Battalion in late October and on 5 November he went into action with 27th Battalion at Flers.

He was seriously wounded sustaining a serious General Shrapnel Wound (GSW) to the head. He was evacuated to England and admitted to Hospital and then to Perham Downs, an administrative Base Depot, for rehabilitation.

He was not to return to the 27th Battalion until February 1918.  He spent most of 1917 on a series of administrative assignments, and periodic hospitalisations for further treatment.

By June 1918, following the German offensive he was back in hospital culminating in an admission for influenza which by then was starting to have a serious impact across NW Europe as a pre-cursor of the post war epidemic that swept the globe.

He returned to Australia, but Herbert's health would never fully recover and he was admitted to the military hospital at Keswick Barracks.  He succumbed to the combined effects of wounds and illnes in May 1919, and is thus numbered among the 'war dead' of WW1.

Medals

 

1914/15 Star

British War Medal

Victory Medal

Commemorative Plaque

Steve Larkins  Aug 2013

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