The STUCHBURY Family of Collie could be deemed one of the luckiest in the South West , through the tortuous period of the Great War 1914 – 1918. Their three sons , Cyril, Herbert Houghton Henry and John Henry enlisted for Service between September 1914 and October 1916. The family were rewarded by having all three return home safely after the cessation of hostilities.
Although only Herbert was discharged Medically Unfit, the psychological impacts caused by their exposure to the horrors of War, were commonly suppressed from family and friends. A brief summary of each brother’s war service localities and experiences follow :-
( 1 )- STUCHBURY, Pte. Cyril- 721 – 4th Australian Infantry Brigade Headquarters
Cyril enlisted at Helena Vale W.A.and joined the 16th Battalion in late September 1914 . He embarked Australia on board the Troop Ship ” Ceramic ‘ on 22nd December 1914, and disembarked at Alexandria Egypt on 2nd March 1915. Further training in Egypt for an additional 6-7 weeks , was to prime the lads for the upcoming attacks at Gallipoli.
Cyril embarked Alexandria Egypt on 12th April 1915 with the Mediterranean Expeditionary Forces ,bound for the Gallipoli Peninsula. In late August 1915 he was slightly wounded at Gallipoli, however remained at duty. Two weeks later he was to succumb to a debilitating attack of Diarrhoea, which necessitated his evacuation by Hospital Ship to a Military Hospital at Valletta Malta. This illness graduated to Dysentry which caused Cyril to change Hospitals on Malta and in late November 1915 he was transported to Alexandria Egypt.
He rejoined the 16th Battalion at Ismailia Egypt in late December 1915, then subsequently transferred to 4th Australian Infantry Brigade Headquarters in Egypt in early May 1916. Cyril was then shipped to Marseilles France, before rejoining the 16th Battalion in the field . He was lucky to serve a 12 month continuous stint in the field, without being a casualty, until 22 June 1917. He then contracted an illness, which forced his hospitilisation at Havre, then an extended period of recuperation, until rejoining his Battalion in France on 24th August 1917.
Cyril was Granted Leave in England in early 1918, before completing a further 6 Months stretch in the field France, with the 16th Battalion. In early July 1918, he was hospitalised in both Rouen and Havre , due to Stamatitis. On discharge from Hospital, he completed duty at 4th Australian Infantry Brigade Headquarters France , then returned to England via Southampton, for return to Australia.
On 23rd October 1918 he embarked on the ‘ Port Lyttleton “, arriving in Australia on 12th December 1918. He was discharged from Service on 17th February 1919.
SERVICE MEDALS AWARDED
1914/15 Star – No. 3550
British War Medal – No. 1528
Victory Medal – No. 1526
( 2 )- STUCHBURY, Cpl. Herbert Houghton Henry – 2103 – 28th Battalion.
” Bert ” enlisted for service at Blackboy Hill W.A. on 21st June 1915. He embarked Fremantle on the Troop Sip ” Hororata ” on 1st October 1915, arriving at Alexandria Egypt on 28th October, 1915. He joined the 28th Battalion in training exercises at Tel-el-Kebir Egypt for 8 weeks, prior to being shipped to Marseilles France.
In early May 1916 he was promoted to LANCE CORPORAL in the field France. Unfortunately, in late July 1916, Bert suffered Gunshot wounds to the Arm, Shoulder and Buttock , requiring immediate Hospitalisation at Wimereux France, then evacuation to the Royal Herbert Hospital in Woolwich England. Following a 6 Months period of Injury recovery, Leave and Training, Bert was promoted to the rank of CORPORAL at Tidworth England. Shortly after this promotion, Bert qualified as First Class at the Rifle Course at the School of Musketry Tidworth.
On 5th May 1917, Bbert was promoted to SERGEANT at the 7th Training Battalion Rollestone England. He enjoyed roles as ER/COMPANY SERGEANT MAJOR and then ACTING COMPANY SERGEANT MAJOR whilst on duty at the 6th Training Battalion Fovant England.
Bert reverted to the rank of CORPORAL when he rejoined the 28th Battalion in the field France in early May 1918. One month later he suffered a Contusion to the right knee, when wounded, once again being promptly admitted to Hospital in Wimereux. He was evacuated for treatment at the Edmonton Military Hospital England , then spent 3 weeks in recovery at the Australian Aux. Hospital Dartford.
On 29th October 1918 , Bert was again despatched to join the 28th Battalion in the field France. He had spent time at Command Depots in England, taken Leave , and 3 weeks at the Overseas Training Brigade Longbridge Deverill, before posting to the Front. Bert was appointed TEMPORARY SERGEANT in the field France on 21st April 1919. Five weeks later he was shipped to the No. 2 Group Sutton Veny England to prepare for return to Australia.
Bert embarked England on 23rd July 1919 per ” Main “, arriving in Australia on 27th September 1919. He was Discharged from Service as being Medically Unfit on 19th December 1919.
NOTE- ” Bert ‘ Stuchbury had a son Herbert Ronald Houghton, who enlisted in World War 2, being a Pilot Officer Bomber Command RAAF. His son was KILLED IN ACTION when his aircraft was shot down over Germany. All crew were killed.
SERVICE MEDALS AWARDED
1914/15 Star – No. 4944
British War Medal – No. 5555
Victory Medal – No. 5544
( 3 )- STUCHBURY, Pte. John Henry- 3738A – 28th Battalion.
John enlisted for service at Perth on 24th October 1916. He joined the 51st Battalion and embarked Fremantle on the Troop Ship ” Borda ” on 29th June 1917. He disembarked at Plymouth England on 25th August 1917, then quickly attached to the 13th Training Battalion at Codford.
John was transferred to the 28th Battalion at Codford and then moved to the 6th Training Battalion Fovant. In late May 1918, he was shipped Overseas to the Base Depot at Havre France, then transferred to the 51st Battalion in the field. He had completed Signals School in October 1918, before contracting Influenza, and being Hospitalised in Rouen. After convalescence, John was posted to the 28th Battalion in the field France. On completing an additional 6 Months service, he was shipped to No. 2 Group England, to prepare for return to Australia.
John embarked England on 23rd July 1919 on the ” Main “, arriving in Australia on 27th September 1919. He was Discharged from Service on 28th October 1919.
SERVICE MEDALS AWARDED
British War Medal – No. 19588
Victory Medal – No. 18788
The Author acknowledges the assistance of Grahame OLD from the COLLIE CARDIFF RSL Sub Branch for the additional information on the ” COLLIE BOYS ” of WW1.