Passed messages that have been left.    If you would like to leave a message go to the forum.

Leeta Rutherford

I have been researching Thomas Rutherford's military experience since 1999. This website is the result of the research I have undertaken.

John Younie

Thanks for this great summary of the 1st Battalion. George Oliver Wallgate 5300 was my grandmothers brother i.e. my great uncle. I have downloaded his records from the AWM which provides some interesting reading and discloses some other family history.
A job well done. I do not have a photo of George but may follow this up.

Alan Eade

My great-grandfather's brother was Robert Thomas Costelloe. Over the years I have collected all his WW1 records that you have on your site. Currently I am collecting reports of Gueudecourt and Flers in November 1916 from
Congratulations and complements on your well presented website and thorough investigations of events in November 1916, and your gathering of those soldiers who died on 5/11/1916. I had not previously looked at Buckingham's, Kendrick's or Mason's records before.

Regards Alan

Michelle Cavanagh

Thanks Leeta - all your work is much appreciated. I'm still writing the biography of Frederick Stobo Phillips whose death report can be found at FSP was shot while bandaging Burns but their bodies were not retrieved until March 1917. I expect to have his biography finished by the end of the year and will send you a copy once it is published. Should any relative of other diggers who died that day want to contact me please feel free to do so. I would especially like to hear from any of Burns relatives. Thanks again Leeta - you have done a wonderful job. I hope you will be posting some photos of Gueudecourt at some time in the future.
Peace and love, Michelle

Robyn Morris

Thank you Leeta for your wonderful dedication to Australia's lost Soldiers. Milton Dudley Penketh was my maternal Grandmother's Great Uncle.I grew up with Milton's portrait, always wondering about this man.. My journey took me to a time so long ago, to cry for a boy & a Mother who lost 2 Sons. I wanted to do this for my Mother who is 89 & a Grandmother who always spoke of her Brother.

margaret brown

Thank you Leeta for all your research and help. 2nd Lieutenant Niall Mullarkey was my grandfather's brother. His mother lost her husband in 1911, 2 sons including Niall in 1916, a daughter in law in 1916 and another son in 1919 as a result of war injuries. What a terrible sacrifice!

Kae Bulmer-Smith

Thanks for all the information. I am the great-great niece of Leslie William Tiedeman, soldier killed in this battle.

Kevin and Sheila Harris

Thanks for putting together all this information. We'll get back to you with photo and info re Grandfather John Harris 2154 as soon as we've finished collecting information as we just found the site this afternoon.

Darren Fallshaw

Last year my Great uncle passed away in London, at the ripe old age of 90. Amongst his belongings were the Great war medals of Frank Kendrick. Frank was the brother of my Great nan Alice, hence the medals came into our possession. Thanks to your web page I have been able to fill in a major part of my families history.
Kind Regards

John Matthews

Hello, I have been checking in on your website over the last few years but have never left a message before :) . My wife, Claire Matthews is the great niece of 2nd Lt. John Harold McIntyre, who was killed by machine gun fire as he helped try to bring in the wounded after the disastrous night attack of the 5th/6th November 1916. Jack had only rejoined his Battalion a few weeks earlier after spending nearly a year in hospital recovering from wounds sustained in the battle of Lone Pine at Gallipolli on the 7th of August 1915. Like you, we have been to Gueudecourt and Flers and Villers Bretoneux, and we have wondered why his grave is unknown, as the records seem to indicate that the location was noted and marked for the war graves commission... In that little cemetary down the road outside of Guedecourt the nearest thing we could find was a tombstone dedicated to 'an unknown second lieutenant of an Australian regiment' ... It would be wonderful if we could one day have some small memorial to their sacrifice erected there.
It is great to see other descendants as interested in unveiling this little known tragedy as we are, thank you, and please keep up the good work.
John Matthews

Bronwyn Leonard

Thank you for the work you have done. My Uncle was 2nd Lieutenant John Harold McIntyre. Killed in France in the First World War. My niece Claire Helen Matthews nee Leonard has put a written memorial with his picture at the Remembrance site. He was wounded twice at Gallipoli and was being returned home to Australia when he jumped ship and rejoined the 1st Battalion in France where he was killed. I am at present collating and digitalising two albums of photos he took while at Gallipoli and in Lemnos and England. My brother John Leonard is doing most of the work!! It amazes me that they took their cameras to war. It shows their naivety and absolute ignorance of what they were about to face. Very sad. Makes their bravery the greater. I have letters he wrote home and particularly the last, written on a scrap of paper saying he had been promoted .I also have photos of his time training in Egypt and many photos of his friends and companions. I have a picture of the ship on which they sailed away from Australia and it is signed by every sergeant in the first Battalion. My mother (his sister) and I gave these, many years ago to the War Memorial. They copied them and returned them at my request. I now regret this as they are deteriorating rapidly -- so I am going to try and have them returned to the War Memorial Archives. His descendants will have to be happy with digital copies! There is great competition for these treasures! The War Memorial does not have copies of the time he spent in Egypt. I live just down the road from the National War Memorial at 54 Limestone Ave and my telephone number is 0262485481 should you wish to contact me. Thank you for your research. Regards Bronwyn.

Dennis Walsh

Thank you Leeta for your inspirational site. I share my maternal Family Tree with John Patrick O'Bryan who died in this same battle on the 5th Nov. His name appears on the Memorial stone, but his body was never found. I wish you well with your Anniversary visit to the site, and if circumstances change for me I would love to meet you there.

Anthony Allam

I wrote to Leeta last year seeking any help she could give me on the 1st Bn Essex Regt which fought at Gueudecourt and which claimed my uncle's life on October 16th 1916. She took the time to send me two maps and some text from a book. I am indebted to her and wish her the best with her aims and dreams in establishing a memorial in Gueudecourt for the 1st Bn A.I.F fallen heroes. Keep up the good works.

Len Miller

Thanks Leeta for all the wonderful information. My fathers cousin was LESLIE MILLER killed on 5th November 1916 aged 24 yrs.Red Cross file shows his body was found in front of Bayonet Trench on March 3rd 1917 at Guedecourt - about 50 men buried together - Memorial at Villers Bretonneux

Laurie Bent

My uncle was Sydney Carlisle Todd No 2918 killed on 5th November, 1916 near Flers during the Battle of Guidecourt. It has been good to discover someone has been trying to discover the graves of those who died that day. Thank you.

Ernie Rusdale

Congratulations on getting the website up and going again. Well done. Missed you while you've been away.

Rebecca Hart

3251 George Edward Burns is my grandfather's cousin. He was killed in this battle Nov 5, 1916, eventually buried in the bayonet trench in March in March 1917 & then ultimately moved to Grevillers British Cemetery in 1920. Excellent website - I know how much work this must have been: well done. I particularly like the individual pages for each serviceman.


Mal Tiedeman

Leslie William Tiedeman: Les was my great uncle. Like so many soldiers of the day, Les put his age up by 1 year so that he could enlist, meaning that he was actually 18 years old when he died and not 19 as shown on official records. Thank you so much for all you have done to keep the memory of these soldiers alive. Much appreciated.

nerida feeney

William Wigram Harris 3355 1st Battalion killed in action 5th November 1916 France from Grenfell NSW. Info to date he was a runner in the trenches?

Dennis Walsh

Pvt. John Patrick O'Bryan ( Servc # 4786 ) ; 28th Inf. Btn AIF

Dear Leeta, Thank you for your fantastic work. I am going to do everything in my power to be there next year, God willing. I hope I can honour my 1st cousin twice removed appropriately.

Trevor Barry

Battle of Flers 5 November 1916

Hi, Percy Boomer, who was my 1st cousin twice removed (my Nana's cousin), was KIA on 5 November 1916, 99 years ago today. Percy served in the AIF 27th Battalion and embarked at Adelaide on 21 September 1915 arriving at the Lemnos marshalling point at Mudros Harbour some time in late November or early December 1915. He was admitted to the Canadian hospital at Mudros on 7 December 1915 suffering from a case of Mumps and was not discharged until 20 December 1915 which was the final day of the evacuation from Gallipoli. Percy’s illness may well have saved him from being a part of that hell. Percy then arrived at Marseilles from Alexandria on 21 March 1916 and saw various actions until 4 August 1916 when he received shrapnel wounds at Pozieres. He recovered and returned to action on 21 September 1916 and was promoted to Lance Corporal on 29 September 1916. On the morning of 5 November 1916 Percy was killed in action in the battle of Flers when his company from the 27th is reported to have attacked ‘the Maze’ and ‘Bayonet Trench’. While Percy was identified and personal effects were returned to his Mother, he has no known grave and presumably lies in the fields near Flers. He is commemorated on the Villers-Bretonneux memorial which I visited in October 2013 and from which I determined to visit Flers and the surrounding area on 5 November 2016. Hopefully I will see you and many others on that day. I have attached a photo of Percy for info. Your website looks great and is a credit to you. I look forward to its completion. Regards Trevor Barry

Paul C

Good to see plan is still on for centenary visit. Am planning to be there and let's hope there is a god crowd to mark the occasion.

Laurie Bent

Sydney Carlisle Todd

Thank you for your work on WWI soldiers. Sydney Carlisle Todd was my uncle. Laurie Bent

Penny Ferguson

Grandfather Lieut Ben Champion was there and in his diaries and letters during and after the war he writes that whenever it rained a lot it reminded him of the rain and mud at Gueudecourt/ Flers. So a form of PTSD example My book Ben and his Mates 1st Battalion 1915-1920 will be out soon through Echo / Barralier Publishing Canberra. Profits from each indidivual book will go to Soldier On, direct from the publisher.

Leeta please would you put / acknowledge the photos for Hollingworth ( group) Steele and Lanser are the photos that Ben took at the time - not later in the war, which I sent you. He was also there when the burial parties were sent in. Did I send you the co ordinates for Hollingworth burial? He was a family friend of Bens and his father was with the AMP in London and Ben sent his diaries and photographs over to Mr Hollingworth for safekeeping from the trenches -including those of the grave of his son.

Keep on with your work. if not thanked sufficiently now then in the years to come others will. Penny Ferguson

Joan Harley

Earl Oldfield

I would love to be involved in anything you do or have regarding 5 Nov 1916

Dennis Walsh

Dear Leeta, when you asked for any ideas on the Memorial for France, I did a little bit of research and came up with the following. A second cousin of mine Marina Larsson wrote a book called " Shattered Anzacs " which is about the carers ( mothers ; wives ; girlfriends and daughters etc. ) at home, when the soldiers who did return with shattered bodies needed all the care they could get. She was asked recently in August of this year to speak at the unveiling of a bronze statue called " Rosie " which honours all those women. The bronze is in Victory Park in Epsom Rd., Ascot Vales in Victoria. The bronze was made in Thailand under licence to a Western Australian company. I will send you a separate e-mail via wix shoutout with the details and a suggestion I would like to offer. Good Luck Dennis Walsh, descendant of John Patrick O'Bryan who died at Gueudecourt

John Forrest


Hello Leeta, Mum and Dad have directed me to your commemoration homepage and I wish to congratulate you for all the research and work you have put in to have this tragic Somme engagement of WW1 recognized. It is also satisfying to see where that little bit of support and direction I gave years ago has taken you. I trust you are receiving due recognition for all this work Best wishes and kind regards John Forrest Former Federal Member for Mallee Swan Hill, Victoria Happy for email address to be included

Joan Harley

5 Nov 1916

Hi Leeta, keep up the great work. Hope your trip goes well and look forward to reading any future research you do. Regards, Joan H

Jeff Catchlove

Honouring Private Roswald (Ross) Edyvean

Despite the passage of 100 years since the sacrifice of my Great-Uncle Ross on 5 November 1916, we still remember and pay tribute to his courage and that of all 60000 fine young men in the mindless slaughter of the Somme and Gallipoli, We will remember them. Lest we forget.

Jeff Catchlove

Adelaide, South Australia

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