HENRY JAMES GUTTERIDGE
This post was written by Linda Trim
Born in Canada from an English father and Canadian mother, Henry, by a twist of fate, died in Yorkshire which was where his family originated.
Canadian Expeditionary Force Cap Badge
Henry James Gutteridge was born on October 3rd 1896 in Deloraine, Manitoba, Canada, the first of ten children born to George Robert Gutteridge (1870-1954) and Deborah Lambert (1875-1957).
George Robert (George) was English, and like his father was a Confectioner. He was the fourth of seven children of William Lodge Gutteridge (1834-1912) and his wife Mary Elizabeth Schofield (1838-1927). George was born in Holmfirth, Yorkshire, but by the time he was two years old, when the 1871 Census was taken, the family was living in Halifax, with his father working in his own Confectionery business, and ten years later, at the time of the 1881 Census, William had moved the family again, this time to Ormskirk, Lancashire, where he was a Baker and Confectioner.
The oldest son, Charles Ernest Broadhead Gutteridge (1865-1939) did not go into the family business, but was working as a Railway Engine Clerk and all his younger siblings were still being schooled at that time. It would have been likely that the children helped out in some fashion in the family business. Ernest, which seems to be what Charles preferred to be called, emigrated to Canada some time in the mid 1880s, and by the 1891 Census it states he was a Bookkeeper; he changed jobs again as in 1901 on the Census he says he is in the Grocery business. He had married Clara Keller in 1890. It seems that he paved the way for George to join him in Deloraine, as George arrived in 1887 on the Parisian, which docked in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Henry would then have had to travel cross country to Deloraine on the Canadian Pacific Railway, which was completed in 1885. It passed through Winnipeg and from there he would have taken whatever transportation was available for the final leg to Deloraine. In 1891 George was working as a Watchman, and in 1901 as a Grain Buyer, according to the Censuses.
During the late 19th century the Dominion Lands act was passed. This enabled a person (male or female) to pay a registration fee of $10 to be allocated a 160 acre plot to farm. After 3 years of farming and fulfilling a requirement to build a dwelling on the land, the 160 acres would belong to the claimant. It is probable that this is the reason the young men went to Canada. Certainly, Deloraine was a long way from anywhere “civilized”. It is over 200 miles SW of Winnipeg, and less than 20 miles from the American border. The town did not incorporate as a village until 1904, and a town in 1907, so it is difficult to imagine any other reason to go there unless they were planning to farm. But it is clear that farming was not what they did after their arrival.
George married Deborah Lambert (1875-1957) on 26 November 1895, and Henry James was born on 3 Oct 1896 in Deloraine. Henry was followed by siblings Cecil, Bessie, Mildred, Wilfred Edward, Mabel, Howard, Laura, Gordon and Muriel. The two youngest children were born after he died. At the 1916 Census, Henry was farming for a living. He must have applied for a land grant as he says he is working for himself. There is a conflict in the documentation that exists. He is clearly noted as farming in the 1916 Census, but his Attestation papers show that he enlisted in the Canadian Over-Seas Expeditionary Force on October 5th 1915. Perhaps he was at home at the time of the Census on leave waiting to be called upon to depart for England.
At his enlistment he was 19 years old, 5′ 6 1/2″ tall, with a 38″ chest when fully expanded. He had fair hair, blue eyes and a fair complexion and was a Wesleyan. He became Private number 150430 in the 79th Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force. He left Canada on the RMS Lapland on 24 April 1916, arriving in England on 5 May 1916; the Canadian troopships usually docked at Liverpool and the soldiers were based at Otterpool until they were sent into combat, so Henry would no doubt have been armed with his Granny and Uncle’s address in Hoylake & Meols and been able to visit them while awaiting orders to go to France.
On 6 June 1916 he left for France, arriving on 7 June where he was transferred to the 52nd Battalion. By 11 September Henry was suffering from Myalgia (pain in the muscles, in his case in his back) but was able to rejoin his comrades by the 16th September. On 4 January 1917 he got a chest infection but he was back with his unit on 31 January 1917.
The 52nd Canadian Expeditionary Force and the other three Canadian Battalions were massing with the British troops for the Battle of Arras, which commenced on April 9 in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region of France, with the first part planned being the battle of Vimy Ridge. 19 kilometres of tunnels were dug by the New Zealanders to allow troops to get to the front without being shelled by the Germans and to hide the fact of their movements, and Henry would have been marking time with his fellow soldiers waiting for the word to start the attack. On 5 April however, Henry was shot in the back, damaging a kidney. How and why he was shot in the back is a mystery. Perhaps he was scouting in no-mans land, and was hit by a sniper whilst retreating, or possibly it was a stray bullet from the Canadian side. This wound became septic and he was shipped off to the Huddersfield War Hospital in Yorkshire, where he died on May 13th.
Deeside Advertiser 25 May 1917
His family had his body brought to Hoylake for burial, and he was interred at Holy Trinity, Hoylake with full military honours. At the time of his death, his Uncle, Frederick Louis Gutteridge was a Confectioner in Hoylake, and his Grandmother, Mary Gutteridge lived at 10, Manor Road in Hoylake. It is not known what medals he earned.
Henry’s grave at St. Hildeburgh’s, Hoylake, Wirral
Birth: October 3rd 1896, Deloraine, Manitoba, Canada
Death: May 13th 1917, Huddersfield, Yorkshire, England
Address: Deloraine, Manitoba, Canada
Units: 79th and 52nd Battalions, Canadian Expeditionary Force
Number and Rank: 150430, Private
Medals: Not known
Commemorated: Holy Trinity, Hoylake; Grange Hill War Memorial; Canadian Virtual War Memorial
Sources: BR, CWGC, DA, FT, GH, H, SR, Wikipedia