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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Australian Engineers 2nd Field Company


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I hope some pal can help me on this. I was visiting a grave in my local cemetary when I came across a few CWGC head stones this was a surprise as my town Carmarthen (Wales) as far as I know didn't play any role in the Great War as a training facility or as a hospital.

The grave that stood out from the men of the Royal Welch Fusiliers and Welsh Regiment was Lance Corporal Albert John Guthrie service number 36 of the 2nf Field Company Australian Engineers he died aged 25 on the 9/11/1915.

Can someone please shed light on his unit and what he was doing in Carmarthen?



Thomas McCall

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2nd Field Company was formed in Victoria, New South Wales, in August 1914. It was part of the First Australian Division and left Australia on the 21st Oct 1914 onboard the ss Orvieto. It subsequently served in Egypt, Gallipoli and on the Western Front.

L/Cpl Guthrie is listed by the Australian War Memorial as dying of sickness. His parents were David and Eliza Ann Guthrie of Newcastle Street, Perth, Western Australia.

I wonder if he was sent to the UK from the middle east because of some illness he had contracted out there and died whilst being treated in a hospital in Carmarthen? Try checking the local newspapers to see if there was an inquest.

Terry Reeves

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2nd Field Company was still on Gallipoli at that time. In late September the unit had withdrawn for rest at Lemnos but had returned to Gallipoli on 5 November.

Chris Henschke

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His name is very familiar for some reason. I have a feeling there was something asked about him in the past.

I'll have a look to see if I can find what it was.

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In the AIF Nominal Roll he is listed as a Sgt.

In the 'Gallipoli Diary of Sergeant Lawrence' there are two conflicting mentions of Guthrie;

1. " On 9 September my Headquarters sergeant went away with gastritis. I did not know him before I was placed on Headquarters but since then we have become great friends. His name is Guthrie. Before he joined, he was a commercial traveller, but he is a really decent fellow, one of those fair, good-looking individuals who always look clean.We have been in the habit every morning at 5.45 of going down for a bathe. It is just glorious but more often than not we are chased off the beach wet, and with our clothes under our arms, by our old pal Beachy Bill - still he has not got us yet. We had planned what a good time we were going to have together when we got spelled and now he has gone off sick. This throws all the Headquarters work on to me alone. It means long hours...." Diary entry 16 September, page85.

2. "Lawrence had been acting as the Company's Headquarters Sergeant since the middle of July, when Headquarters Sergeant Guthrie had been evacuated wounded." Editors note, Postscript, page 135.

A.I.F. Headquarters files from Horseferry Road list him as;

"GUTHRIE Sgt. A.J. 36

died of Haemorrhage 9.11.15 Red Cross Hospital, Carmarthen, Wales....prev. hos. Cardiff."

He is also at this site


So, Thomas, where was the Red Cross Hospital? You're our local contact in this case now!

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I have to thank all of you for your help you have been amazing.

The hospital was the Auxiliary Military Red Cross Hospital at 1 Penlan Road. Interestingly my great-grandfather ran the place as a workhouse between and during the Second World War.

During the Second World War I believe troops were quartered there and now it is the county's NHS headquarters. If it's possible I'll try and post pictures of the grave and hospital but it might take some time!

Thanks again!

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I remembered where I had heard his name before.

Last year a Pal from the forum e-mailed me to see if I could provide any info as to why Guthrie was exhumed from his original grave.

I seem to remember for some reason Guthrie was exhumed and placed in the grave next to where he originally was.

I'll look through my records to see if I can find the Pal's name as you may want to contact him.



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