Battalion 263 Siege Battery
Regiment Royal Garrison Artillery
|Gunner||69126||Royal Garrison Artillery|
Phillip Villiers Brownlee Rutherfoord was born in Sydney, Australia on the 4th June 1888 the son of John Brownlee Rutherfoord and his wife Ellen (nee Allanson). Phillip's brother was Arthur Henry Rutherfoord, who was Killed in Action in 1917. Phillip's parents had been born in Ireland but Arthur's siblings were born as far apart as New South Wales in Australia, Ireland and Aldborough, Yorkshire. Phillip's father had served in the Boer War and had been awarded the DSO for services during operations in that war. John died in 1910 and at some point Phillip's mother, Ellen, moved to Alma House in Collingham.
Phillip and his brother Arthur first found employment as clerks in the Government Post Office Department according to The London Gazette, but by August 1905 he became a Boy Clerk in The War Office. In October 1907 Phillip moved to The Board of Agriculture and Fisheries. In 1911 both Phillip and Arthur were living at 24 West Street, London. Just after that Arthur emigrated to South Africa as a member of the British South African Police (BSAP), but Phillip remained in the UK, where he married Sarah Louisa Barr in 1914 in Walmer, Kent.
In World War 1, Phillip started his service as Gunner 69126 in the Royal Garrison Artillery (RGA). He attested for service on the 11th December 1915 and joined on the 14th. His initial posting was to No. 4 Depot, Royal Garrison Artillery, and then on the 10th January 1916 to 2 Company. On the 31st Jan 1916 he was posted to a Siege Battery, but the writing does not allow us to be certain which. Phillip first went to France on the 20th May 1916. On the 29th July 1916, Phillip was posted back to Base. Given a later newspaper report about him, we wonder if this marked an injury/wounding. Phillip returned to duty, this time with 105 Siege Battery, RGA on the 9th August 1916. Just over a month later, on the 30th Sept, he was again back at base, but then returned to 105 Siege Battery. By February 1917 Phillip was at No 2 Depot and on the 14th March 1917 was at No.2 Cadet School. He was discharged as a Gunner on the 5th July 1917 and was commissioned as an Officer taking up his first position on the 7th July 1917.
We are not certain when Phillip returned to France as an Officer, but he certainly embarked in Southampton on the 6th June 1918, two days after his 30th birthday, disembarking a day later in Le Havre. On the 14th June 1918, he joined his unit, we believe 263 Siege Battery, RGA. A few months later, on the 7th August 1918, Phillip was admitted for treatment and on the 12th as invalided to England on the AT St.Denis from Boulogne to Dover. It appears that Phillip had accidentally injured his right foot fracturing 2 small bones by attempting to alight from a lorry before it had stopped. His injury required hospital treatment and he was injured for 3-4 months. He was granted leave from the 12th August 1918 to the 8th February 1919. By June 1919 The London Gazette was reporting Phillip's appointment as a 2nd Division Clerks back in the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries. Phillip was finally discharged from the army on the 1st April 1920.
Phillip Rutherfoord was mentioned in The Wetherby News on 16th August 1918:
After the war, Phillip returned to life as a Civil Servant, in 1919 being appointed as a Second Division Clerk with the Board of Agriculture and Fisheries.
Phillip died in 1968 in Southend-on-Sea.
1911 Census. The National Archives. Class RG14 Piece 01178
The Wetherby News 16/8/1918
First World War Medal Index Cards. The National Archives (WO372).
First World War Medal Index Rolls. The National Archives (WO329).
First World War Officer's Service Records WO339/103425 The National Archives.
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