Letters from the Front Line
Many soldiers wrote home giving details of what life was like on the front line. One such letter writer was Company-Sergeant-Major John Gutteridge, whose letters were published in the Bromley & District Times.
Gutteridge had joined up in September 1914, when he was about 24. He was born about 1890, and listed on the 1911 census as the second son of eight children. He had worked at Messrs Howard’s Store, a fishmongers shop, before the war.
Throughout the war he was shown as a great letter-writer. He was always cheerful and seems to have accepted the hardships and dangers with great fortitude and seems to have enjoyed the challenge of the war. Through the District Times, we can trace his steady rise to, Lance-Corporal, Corporal to Sergeant and Company-Sergeant-Major.
In 1919, it was reported that his father received the D.C.M. awarded to him posthumously. Awarded for gallantry in the field all through his career from the time he enlisted as a private in 1914. He was a man never discouraged, always cheerful and full of great influence on those around him.
NB In 1911 his mother had already given birth to 14 children of which 6 had died. The youngest child was a boy, Cyril aged 4 months.