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Cuthbert William  Urwin

Name on Board CW Urwin
Name on Service
Records
Cuthbert William   Urwin
Enlistment Age 24
Occupation Clerk
Place of Birth Williamstown, Vic
Next of Kin William James and Eliza Urwin
Address Findon St, Hawthorn, Vic
Marital Status S
Enlistment Date 22/01/1916
Service No. 12454
Enlistment Place Seymour, Vic
Embarkation Place Melbourne
Embarkation Date 20/06/1916
Embarkation Ship HMAT Runic A54
Unit on Embarkation 10th Field Ambulance
Date of Death 24/04/1918
Unit on Death 3rd Australian Divisional Mechanical Transport Company (detached for duty with 3rd 10th Field Ambulance)
Rank on Death Sergeant
Cause of Death KIA
Place of Wounding/
Death
France
Cemetery or Memorial Querrieu British Cemetery, Querrieu, Picardie, France
0104 Sgt CW Urwin v
Additional Information

You can view a video on Cuthbert Urwin on our Video Stories Page

 

Cuthbert William Urwin was the sixth child and second son of William and Eliza Urwin of Williamstown.  Cuthbert’s father, William, was also born in Williamstown in 1860.  In 1882 he married Eliza Higham, the daughter of the local butcher with whom he served his apprenticeship.

As William Urwin’s butchering businesses prospered, he joined W Angliss and Co. as a Director, a position he held until the day he died in 1924.

In due course Cuthbert Urwin also worked for Angliss and Co., as did his friend Claud Harris (12451). When they enlisted, Mr Urwin, Mr Stooke (Director, Angliss & Co.) and the Coach Builders Association donated two motor ambulances to the AIF, which Cuthbert and Claud were to drive.

Both men spent some months training in England and were transferred to France in November 1916.  After a period as a despatch rider Cuthbert was placed in charge of seven motor ambulances.  When the German fighter pilot Baron Manfred von Richthofen was shot down near Morlancourt Ridge in 1918, Cuthbert and Claud were one of the first ambulance units to arrive at the scene.

Three days later Cuthbert was on duty in Bonnay when the village was heavily shelled.  When the Bonnay A.D.S. received a direct hit, Cuthbert Urwin was killed outright on 24 April 1918.

Claud Harris had the sombre task of helping to bury his friend.

Claud survived the war and returned to Australia in 1919.  He honoured the memory of his friend by naming his first son Cuthbert.

Additional References

Footscray Chronicle: Saturday 7 July 1917, p2 and Saturday 4 May 1918, p2

Williamstown Chronicle: Saturday 9 August 1924, p2

Williamstown Advertiser: 24 July 1915, p4

The Argus: Monday 28 July 1924, p8

Australian War Memorial: Photo of the remains of Baron von Richthofen’s Fokker Triplane

Photo of Urwins Butchery: Loraine Callow

Photo of Plaque at Williamstown Cemetery: Lindy Wallace, Lowanna Connections

Photos of men on the HMAT Runic and Claud Harris at grave of Cuthbert Urwin:  Penny Harris Jennings

Information on Claud Harris and Cuthbert Urwin: Penny Harris Jennings

Diary L. Cpl R C Werner, Museum Victoria

Additional Documents and Photographs Click on the image to see a larger view
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