Guthrie: Robert Storrie

The eldest son of Senator Robert and Janet Guthrie, Robert was born in Sandwell – Peterhead on 16th March 1893.

A Clerk–Bookkeeper, he served in the Military Cadets for three years and attended the Congregational Church.

Robert enlisted at Keswick on 16th June 1915 and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the 48th Battalion on 20th January 1916. He was 5’7” (170cm) tall, weighed 149lbs (67.5kg), and had blue eyes and brown hair.

On 11th April 1916, Robert departed for overseas service on the HMAT Aeneas. After arriving in France, he trained as a Grenade Officer and was promoted to 1st Lieutenant on 1st January 1917.

It is likely that he served with the 48th Battalion at Bullecourt in April and May 1917, battles that saw heavy casualties inflicted on the Australian forces while the breaking the German defences known as the Hindenburg Line.

Later in 1917, the 48th Battalion saw action at Ypres, Belgium where Robert was killed by shellfire on 12th October at Passchendaele. He was 24 years old.

Robert’s body was never recovered and he is listed amongst Australia’s missing on the Menin Gate memorial, Ypres, Belgium. His name is listed on the Coromandel Valley Public School’s Roll of Honour and on the Blackwood War Memorial.

A photograph of Lt. Robert Guthrie is held in the AWM collection, Canberra: Ref P 10688.027.005

Research by Geoff Lock, 2015