Archibald Vivian AUCHTERLONIE

Poppy

AUCHTERLONIE, Archibald Vivian

Service Number: 1996
Enlisted: 14 August 1914, Brisbane, Queensland
Last Rank: Lieutenant
Last Unit: 25th Infantry Battalion
Born: Gympie, Queensland, 3 June 1892
Home Town: Gympie, Queensland
Schooling: One Mile State School, Gympie
Occupation: Telegraphist
Died: Killed in Action, Gallipoli, 20 October 1915, aged 23 years
Cemetery: Embarkation Pier Cemetery
Sp Mem A 31
Memorials: Australian War Memorial, Roll of Honour, Gympie & Widgee War Memorial Gates, Postmaster-General's Dept Qld. WWI
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World War 1 Service

14 Aug 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Sergeant, SN 1996, Brisbane, Queensland
20 Mar 1915: Promoted AIF WW1, Second Lieutenant, 25th Infantry Battalion
26 Jun 1915: Promoted AIF WW1, Lieutenant, 25th Infantry Battalion
29 Jun 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Lieutenant, 25th Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
29 Jun 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, Lieutenant, 25th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Aeneas, Brisbane
17 Sep 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Lieutenant, 25th Infantry Battalion, 'ANZAC' / Gallipoli
20 Oct 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Lieutenant, 25th Infantry Battalion, 'ANZAC' / Gallipoli

Lt Archibald Vivian Auchterlonie

From Faye Threlfall, Aust & NZ in WWI

Lieutenant Archibald Vivian Auchterlonie, “C” Company, 25th Battalion Australian Infantry, was killed in action on 20th October 1915. He is buried in Embarkation Pier Cemetery.

He had written to his family the previous month confirming his arrival on the peninsula; and that his brother, Sgt. Bertrand Innes Auchterlonie, officially reported missing, had been killed. [1] He had met his other brother, L/Cpl. Cecil Arthur Auchterlonie, 21st Battalion Australian Infantry.

“We are here at last, both still very fit. We landed a week or so ago, but this is the first opportunity I have had for writing. I daresay that long before this reaches you, you will have been officially advised that Bert is reported missing. I heard a rumour at Cairo before leaving, but could get nothing from an official source, so did not mention it until I was able to confirm aere. [sic] Now I am very sorry to have to tell you that, although reported as missing, there is absolutely no doubt that he was killed in action. Some officers and men of his battalion, whom we have been able to see, have given us all particulars.

“It happened on 8th August, when our lads made that big advance. Bert was last seen leading his men in the charge on, I think, the morning of the 8th. At that particular front they were too strong for us. Few got back, the rest died fighting. One man said Bert was hit through the head, but I don't know that much reliance can be placed on that statement.

“How our men won the positions they did, I cannot imagine – they must have been splendid. Those of his battalion are quite sure that no prisoners were taken; indeed, in such an attack it must have been impossible. All speak very highly of him. In his work, he was fine right through — liked and trusted, by all ranks. He was looked on as an officer, and there seems to be no doubt that had he lived he would have received his commission.

“We must not grieve; we have every reason to be proud of him, for he played the game, as we know he would, and died fighting for a great cause — the most honorable of deaths, is it not? One must actually view the nature of the country here to get a thorough grasp of the situation generally, to realise what a tremendous task our men had so successfully commenced. No praise is too great for them, and I think no condemnation for those who, without reasonable excuse, are remaining at home, when they could be of such assistance to us here.

“As for the landing — well, one must simply wonder. I should like you to see our homes here — “dug-outs” we call them. Mine, which I share with another chap, is an excavation about 6 x 8 feet, in the side of a hill, supported by sandbags, and covered with waterproofs.

“I assure you we live very luxuriously, chiefly on bully beef and biscuit, which is quite palatabe when one is used to it. My teeth are in first-rate condition; sometimes we get rice and dried potatoes, or vegetables. It is marvellous what savory dishes, our ingenious cook can make with these ingredients. At present I have my own cook, a chap who served in South Africa; he is a treasure. It has been rumored that we are to receive an issue of bread shortly; all are looking forward to it. I have often heard that money could buy anything, but we here can disprove that; we would give much for a good loaf of bread.

“Cec [2] is keeping splendid — complexion almost black, and as big as a house. Jim Graham, Harry Buchanan, and several other Gympie boys from the 9th, called to see us the other day. They are now all old campaigners. I was speaking to Stumm and Woodyatt, of Major Glasgow's regiment, they are camped not far from us, but I have not been able to get across there yet. Fred. Loosemore is fit and well.” [3]

Originally of Gympie, Queensland, he was the 23 year-old son of Archibald and Elizabeth Auchterlonie of “Fiona,” Marne Road, Albion, Brisbane, Queensland.

[1] Sgt. Bertrand Innes Auchterlonie, 15th Battalion Australian Infantry, was killed in action on 8th August 1915. He is commemorated on the Lone Pine Memorial.

[2] L/Cpl., later Lieutenant Cecil Arthur Auchterlonie, M.C. & Bar, was killed in action on 10th August 1918. He is buried in Heath Cemetery, Harbonnieres, Somme.

[3] 'Gympie Times and Mary River Mining Gazette' (Queensland), 9th December 1915.
Gallipoli, 1915.

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Biography

"LETTERS FROM GALLIPOLI

Following is a copy of a letter received by his parents from Lieut. V. Auchterlonie, who was killed in action at Gallipoli on the 20th October, 1915. The letter was written from Gallipoli in September.

We are here at last, both still very fit. We landed a week or so ago, but this is the first opportunity I have had for writing. I daresay that long before this reaches you, you will have been officially advised that Bert is reported missing. I heard a rumour at Cairo before leaving, but could get nothing from an official source, so did not mention it until I was able to confirm aere. Now I am very sorry to have to tell you that, although reported as missing, there is absolutely no doubt that he was killed in action. Some officers and men of his battalion, whom we have been able to see, have given us all particulars. It happened on 8th August, when our lads made that big advance. Bert was last seen leading his men in the charge on, I think, the morning of the 8th. At that particular front they were too strong for us. Few got back, the rest died fighting. One man said Bert was hit through the head, but I don't know that much reliance can be placed on that statement. How our men won the positions they did, I cannot imagine - they must have been splendid. Those of his battalion are quite sure that no prisoners were taken; indeed, in such an attack it must have been impossible. All speak very highly of him. In his work, he was fine right through — liked and trusted, by all ranks. He was looked on as an officer, and there seems to be no doubt that had he lived he would have received his commission. We must not grieve; we have every reason to be proud of him, for he played the game, as we know he would, and died fighting for a great cause — the most honorable of deaths, is it not? One must actually view the nature of the country here to get a thorough grasp of the situation generally, to realise what a tremendous task our men had so successfully commenced. No praise is too great for them, and I think no condemnation for those who, without reasonable excuse, are remaining at home, when they could be of such assistance to us here. 

As for the landing — well, one must simply wonder. I should like you to see our homes here — "dug-outs" we call them. Mine, which I share with another chap, is an excavation about 6 x 8 feet, in the side of a hill, supported by sandbags, and covered with waterproofs. I assure you we live very luxuryously, chiefly on bully beef and biscuit, which is quite palatabe when one is used to it. My teeth are in first-rate condition; sometimes we get rice and dried potatoes, or vegetables. It is marvellous what savory dishes our ingenious cook can make with these ingredients. At present I have my own cook, a chap who served in South Africa; he is a treasure. It has been rumored that we are to receive an issue of bread shortly; all are looking forward to it. I have often heard that money could buy anything, but we here can disprove that; we would give much for a good loaf of bread. Cec is keeping splendid — complexion almost black, and as big as a house. Jim Graham, Harry Buchanan, and several other Gympie boys from the 9th, called to see us the other day. They are now all old campaigners. I was speaking to Stumm and Woodyatt, of Major Glasgow's regiment, they are camped not far from us, but I have not been able to get across there yet. Fred. Loosemore is fit and well." - from the Gympie Times 09 Dec 1915 (nla.gov.au)

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