Lawrence (Laurence) Rheuben BOUTLE

Year of Birth:  1899

Place of Birth:  Dullage (Dulwich), Surry, England

Date of Enlistment:  21 April 1917

Date and Place of Embarkation:  14 June 1917, Sydney New South Wales

Ship:  HMAT Hororata A20

Rank:  Private

Unit(s):  9th Australian Infantry Battalion

Regimental Number:  7634

Died:  28 March 1918


Pte. Laurence Rheuben Boutle – photo courtesy RSL Virtual War Memorial


Laurence Boutle was born in Dulwich, Surry, England and was baptized 20 September 1899 with his sister Elsie at St John the Evangelist, East Dulwich.  His parents were William Boutle and Jane Ann Davies.

St John the Evangelist, East Dulwich Baptismal Register. Courtesy of Ancestry.

In 1901 his family was living in Peckham, London and Laurence later attended the Council School London.  His family, father William aged 45, a packer by trade, mother Jane aged 45 with their children Edwin 18, Elsie 13, and Lawrence aged 11, Philip aged 7 arrived in Brisbane on board the “Perthshire” on the 26 December 1910 as nominated passengers and were contracted to land in Cairns. Possibly nominated by Jane’s family who were cane farmers in Aloomba.

After their arrival in Cairns, Laurence attended the State School in Cairns and was living in Hutton Street, the family later moved to Abbott Street Cairns. Laurence was a member of the Senior Cadets. His elder brother, Edwin, joined the army in 1916, was wounded and returned home in May 1918.

Laurence’s father William Walter Boutle, a well known member of the Waterside Workers’ Federation,  died in 1927 and his mother Jane Ann Davies died in 1951.  Both are buried in Martin Street Cemetery.

On his enlistment Laurence was 18 years 5 months and his occupation was a farmer, his next of kin was his mother Mrs Jane Ann Boutle of Abbott St., Cairns.  He height was 5 feet 7 inches, weighed 134 pounds with fair complexion, brown eyes and fair hair. He gave his religion as Church of England.

He arranged from his army pay,  to have his father William paid 3 shillings per day.  He embarked on the HMAT Hororato on the 14 June 1917 and  proceeded from England to France on the 18 December 1917.

Laurence Rheuben Boutle was killed in action in France on the 28 March 1918. A memorial is in Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery, Picardie, France.

HMAT Hororata A20 – photo courtesy Australian War Memorial


Laurie Boutle. Photo courtesy of Christine Forrester


Roll of Honour Circular. Courtesy of Australian War Memorial.


Northern Herald (Cairns) 18 April 1918 p4


Laurence Boutle’s grave, Villers-Bretonneux, Picardie, France. Photo courtesy of Christine Forrester.


Laurie’s mother – Jane Ann Boutle. Photo courtesy of Christine Forrester


Laurie’s sister Elsie Boutle (Mrs Smith). Photo courtesy of Christine Forrester


Online Resources

Photograph Lawrence Reuben Boutle, RSL Virtual War Memorial

Photograph of the: HMAT Hororata A20, Australian War Memorial

NAA: B2455, Lawrence Reuben Boutle, National Archives of Australia

NAA: B2455 Edwin Rudolph Boutle, National Archives of Australia

Australian War Memorial

Qld State Archives Immigration Records

Northern Herald (Cairns) 18 April 1918 p4


Other Resources

The First Expeditionary Force: the Thursday Island Expedition: a collection of reference documents. Denis Bird, 2015 [CDFHS Library]

Christine Forrester Collection

London, England, Church of England Births and Baptisms, 1813-1900 –


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