Lawrence Carthage WEATHERS VC

Poppy

WEATHERS, Lawrence Carthage

Service Number: 1153
Enlisted: 8 February 1916, Adelaide, South Australia
Last Rank: Corporal
Last Unit: 43rd Infantry Battalion
Born: Te Koparu, New Zealand, 14 May 1890
Home Town: Parkside, Unley, South Australia
Schooling: Snowtown Public School
Occupation: Undertaker
Died: Died of wounds, Louverval, France, 29 September 1918, aged 28 years
Cemetery: Unicorn Cemetery, Vendhuile
Plot III, Row C, Grave 5
Memorials: Adelaide B1 Torrens Training Depot*, Adelaide MG3e* North Terrace Sesquecentenary Pavement Plaques WW 1 VC Winners, Adelaide National War Memorial (WW1), Australian War Memorial, Roll of Honour
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World War 1 Service

8 Feb 1916: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 1153, Adelaide, South Australia
9 Jun 1916: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 1153, 43rd Infantry Battalion, HMAT Afric, Adelaide
9 Jun 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 1153, 43rd Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
7 Jun 1917: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 1153, 43rd Infantry Battalion, Messines
10 Jun 1917: Wounded AIF WW1, Private, SN 1153, 43rd Infantry Battalion, Messines, GSW (left leg)
4 Jul 1918: Involvement AIF WW1, Lance Corporal, SN 1153, 43rd Infantry Battalion, Le Hamel - Blueprint for Victory
8 Aug 1918: Involvement AIF WW1, Corporal, SN 1153, 43rd Infantry Battalion, "The Last Hundred Days"
1 Sep 1918: Involvement AIF WW1, Lance Corporal, SN 1153, 43rd Infantry Battalion, Mont St Quentin / Peronne
2 Sep 1918: Honoured Victoria Cross, Mont St Quentin / Peronne, For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty on the 2nd September, 1918, north of Peronne, when with an advanced bombing party. The attack having been held up by a strongly held enemy trench, Corporal Weathers went forward alone, under heavy fire, and attacked the enemy with bombs. Then, returning to our lines for a further supply of bombs, he again went forward with three comrades, and attacked under very heavy fire. Regardless of personal danger, he mounted the enemy parapet and bombed the trench, and, with the support of his comrades, capturred 180 prisoners and thee machine guns. His valour and determination resulted in the successful capture of the final objective, and saved the lives of many of his comrades
29 Sep 1918: Involvement AIF WW1, Corporal, SN 1153, 43rd Infantry Battalion, Breaching the Hindenburg Line - Cambrai / St Quentin Canal

Family History

Lawrence Carthage Weathers V.C.
1890 - 1918

Lawrence Carthage Weathers V.C.

Corporal, 43rd Battalion, 11th Brigade, 3rd Division. Service no. 1153.

Born 14th May 1890, Te Koparu, New Zealand.
Son of John Joseph Weathers & ‘Johanna’ Ellen Frances Johanna McCormack.
Died of wounds, 29th September 1918. Aged 28 years.


Laurence’s parents were born in South Australia, and his McCormack grandparents were early pioneers of the state, arriving in 1839.

John & Johanna married at Manoora in 1878, and then went to the North Island of New Zealand to farm. John died there in c.1897 from pneumonia, and widow Johanna returned to SA with her (?)5 young children. The family was split up and the boys went to Barunga Gap and attended Snowtown school.

1. ‘Frank’ T.F. Weathers. Died of wounds, Gallipoli, Trooper 9th Light Horse Regiment, 15th June 1915.

2. Joseph Weathers. 1 child.

3. ‘Sis’ Florence Weathers. Married Innes. 2 children.

4. Lawrence Carthage Weathers. Married Annie Elizabeth Watson.
2 children.

5. Gertrude Hilda Mary Agnes Weathers. Married John Walsh. 4 children.


We met Joan Naco, daughter of John Walsh & Gertrude Weathers (sister of Lawrence Weathers) in 2006, at the sesquicentenary of the Mintaro Catholic Church. Gertrude Walsh nee Weathers represented her brother at the Centenary celebrations of the inauguration of the Victoria Cross award in London, and visited her brothers grave in 1956.

Lawrence and his brother Frank enlisted, Frank was in the 9th Light Horse and was killed at Gallipoli. The third son attempted to enlist, but was claimed by his mother as he was about to sail, saying she depended on his support, but he always felt he had let his brothers down.


Lawrence Weathers is Brendan & Kath’s first cousin, two times removed.

He is Joe & Rose & Andrew’s first cousin, three times removed.

He is the of Finnan, Eamon & Eoghan’s first cousin, four times removed.

Lawrence Weathers was Patsie McEvoy’s first cousin, once removed.  
Citation.

For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty on 2nd September 1918, north of Peronne, when with andadvanced bombing party. The party having been held up by a strongly held enemy trench, Corporal Weathers went forward alone under heavy fire and attacked the enemy with bombs. Then, returning to our lines for a further supply of bombs, he again went forward with three comrades and attacked under very heavy fire.
Regardless of personal danger, he mounted the enemy parapet and bombed the trench, and, with the support of his comrades, captured 180 prisoners and tree machine guns. His valour and determination resulted in the successful capture of the final objective and saved the lives of many of his comrades.
London Gazette, 26th December 1918.



Unicorn Cemetery, Vendihule.

The German held village of Vendihule was on the extreme left of the Australian front in the push to the Hindenberg Line in September 1918. The 3rd Division was involved, with two American Divisions on its left. The enemy positions were captured on 29-30 September and the Diggers who died were buried in the Unicorn Cemetery. The rest of the Cemetery was formed after the Armistice by the concentration of isolated graves. It contains seventy eight Australians, 689 British servicemen, one Canadian and 218 unidentified soldiers. Of the AIF men, forty three were killed in the furious fighting of 29 September, with machine-gunners and trench-mortar men particularly hard hit.
One of the casualties that day was Corporal Lawrence Weathers V.C. Sadly, he did not know of his V.C., awarded for extraordinary courage near Peronne. It was not gazetted until 24 December. (Grave III.C.5). Another outstanding soldier buried here is Lieutenant Henry Davis M.C., 13th Battalion, who was a member of the ‘Australian Mission’, a grou[p of handpicked officers and NCO’s chosen to help the inexperienced American infantry. For instance, US infantry units were arriving in the front lines without water, rations, Lewis guns, ammunition and telephones. Lieutenant Davis was killed while reconnoitring for these Americans. (Grave I.D.19).

Directions.
As for Hargicourt British Cemetery. Then take the D57 signposted Bony. 1 kilometre from Hargicourt, at the crossroads, turn left on to the D58 for Ronssoy. In this town turn right for Lempire and pass through it towards Vendhuile. Unicorn Cemetery is less than 1 kilometre from Lempire. Vendhuile, though the official site of the cemetery, is 2 kilometres further on. The valley across the road from this cemetery, Gillemont Valley, saw much Australian activity, as did Gillemont Farm, 1.2 kilometres distant.


Allaines.

After the capture of Mont St Quentin, fighting continued on 2nd September with the Germans being pressed back steadily. Many of them took up positions in the twin villages of Allaines and Haut-Allaines which lie on the Canal du Nord, 2 kilometres south of Bouchavesnes and the same distance north-east of Mont St Quentin. The only unit of the 3rd Division then remaining in the line, the 43rd, was given the task of clearing a triangle of ground between the 2nd Division, advancing north-east, and a British division which was heading east.
The attack went well but as the Germans were driven back their fire became more concentrated until it was so heavy it stopped the 43rd’s advance. Corporal Lawrence Weathers rushed in and bombed the Germans in two trenches, the garrison’s leader being one of his victims. Returning for more bombs, Weathers went out again, this time leading three mates in an attack under heavy fire. While Lance-Corporal H.H. Thompson, with a Lewis gun, kept enemy heads down, Weathers stood on the parapet and bombed them. He captured three machine-guns and 180 prisoners. On 28 September, when with his unit in the Beaurevoir Line, Weathers was seriously wounded and died the next day, before having learnt of the V.C. awarded for his gallantry on 2 September.

Directions.
Lawrence Weathers’ battalion was operating along the northern bank of the Canal du Nord. From the crossroads in Mont St Quentin, take the D43 to Haut-Allaines and in that village turn left and pass a small wood to a T-junction. Turn right and cross the bridge over the Canal du Nord. Scutari Trench, which Weathers attacked and captured, crossed the field to the left of this road and parallel to it. Note: the site cannot be reached by car from Allaines, only from Haut-Allaines.

Written and researched by relative Andrew Brendan McEvoy

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Posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross

"For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty on the 2nd September, 1918, north of Peronne, when with an advanced bombing party. The attack having been held up by a strongly held enemy trench, Corporal Weathers went forward alone, under heavy fire, and attacked the enemy with bombs. Then, returning to our lines for a further supply of bombs, he again went forward with three comrades, and attacked under very heavy fire. Regardless of personal danger, he mounted the enemy parapet and bombed the trench, and, with the support of his comrades, capturred 180 prisoners and thee machine guns. His valour and determination resulted in the successful capture of the final objective, and saved the lives of many of his comrades." - Source: Commonwealth Gazette No. 61, Date: 23 May 1919

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Biography

Lawrence Carthage Weathers was born on 14 May 1890 in Te Koparu, New Zeland, to John Joseph and Ellen Frances Johanna WEATHERS.  The family later moved to Australia and Lawrence was educated at Snowtown public school.  By the time war broke out his parents were resident in Frewville, a suburb of Adelaide, and Lawrence was married to Mrs Annie Elizabeth Weathers, of "Drumsberg", Kenilworth Road, Parkside, South Australia.  He was an undertaker by vocation.

Lawrence enlisted in Adelaide on 8 Feb 1916. 

He embarked with A Company of the 43rd Battalion from Adelaide, on 9 June 1916 aboard the HMAT Afric A19.  They disembarked Marseilles, France, 20 July 1916 and were sent to England for pre deployment training on the Salisbury Plain and then proceeded overseas to France, 25 November 1916 into the worst winter in living memory.

He was admitted to 9th Field Ambulance, 18 January 1917 then transferred to a Divisional Rest Station on 19 January 1917; to 2nd Australian Casualty Clearing Station, 19 January 1917; to 1st Canadian Casualty Clearing Station, 20 January 1917; to Ambulance Train No 24, 23 January 1917, and admitted to No 1 Convalescent Depot, Boulogne, 23 January 1917; to 51st General Hospital, Etaples, 24 January 1917; discharged to Base Details, 8 February 1917.  This period of hospitalisation was as a consequence of a recurring bout of venereal disease.  He rejoined unit, 24 April 1917.

Wounded in action, 10 June 1917 during the fighting near Messines (gun shot wound, left leg), and admitted to 9th Field Ambulance; transferred to 53rd Casualty Clearing Station, 11 June 1917; to 2nd Canadian General Hospital, Le Treport, 13 June 1917; to England, 20 June 1917, and admitted to Southwark Military Hospital, 21 June 1917 (wound: severe); discharged on furlough, 20 August 1917, to report to No 1 Command Depot, Perham Downs, 3 September 1917. Lawrence proceeded overseas to France, 23 November 1917;he rejoined the Battalion on 3 December 1917.

He was Wounded in action (2nd occasion), 26 May 1918 (gas), and admitted to 49th Casualty Clearing Station; discharged to duty, 18 June 1917; rejoined unit, 19 June 1918.

He took part in the attack on Le Hamel on 4th July and on the 8th August the great Allied offensive began.

The 3rd Division was tasked to secure the northern flanks for the 2 Division attack on Mont St Quentin on 30 August.

On September 2, 1918, the day after the capture of Mont St Quentin, France, Corporal Weathers was with a party of men sent in to clear remaining enemy positions near Peronne. He and his comrades came suddenly came under an attack by a strongly held enemy trench, so Corporal Weathers went forward alone with hand grenades. Then, returning to his lines for more grenades, he again went forward with three comrades, under heavy fire and captured 180 prisoners and three machine guns. In actions at Louverval, France, four weeks later, he was mortally wounded by artillery fire and died of his wounds. For most conspicuous bravery at Peronne, he was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross on December 24, 1918.

Victoria Cross

British War Medal

Victory Medal

Commemorative Plaque

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