The AIF Project

Murray William James BOURCHIER

Date of birth4 April 1881
Place of birthBallarat, Victoria
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationGrazier
AddressWoodland Park, Strathmerton, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation34
Next of kinMrs Bourchier, Woodland Park, Strathmerton, Victoria
Previous military serviceServed for 1 year as Private, 7 years as Lieutenant, 15th Australian Light Horse.
Enlistment date20 August 1914
Rank on enlistmentLieutenant
Unit name4th Light Horse Regiment, A Squadron
AWM Embarkation Roll number10/9/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board Transport A18 Wiltshire on 19 October 1914
Rank from Nominal RollLieutenant-Colonel
Unit from Nominal Roll4th Light Horse Regiment
Promotions

Captain (Temporary)


Unit: 4th Light Horse Regiment
Promotion date: 1 July 1915

Temporary Adjutant


Unit: 4th Light Horse Regiment
Promotion date: 7 September 1915

Captain


Unit: 4th Light Horse Regiment
Promotion date: 22 November 1915

Major


Unit: 4th Light Horse Regiment
Promotion date: 20 January 1916

Lieutenant Colonel


Unit: 4th Light Horse Regiment
Promotion date: 15 March 1917

Major


Unit: 4th Light Horse Regiment
Promotion date: 1 April 1920

Recommendations (Medals and Awards)

Mention in Despatches


Three Mention in Despatches were awarded in the course of the war. It is not possible to determine which recommendations resulted in awards. The details of promulgation are: (1) 'London Gazette', Supplement, No. 29845, 1 December 1916; 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 62, 19 April 1917; (2) 'London Gazette' No. 31383, 5 June 1919; 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 113, 6 October 1919; (3) 'London Gazette' No. 30169, 6 July 1917; 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 72, 2 September 1920.
Recommendation date: July-August 1915

Distinguished Service Order


Recommendation date: 2 November 1917

Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George


Recommendation date: 27 September 1918

Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George


Recommendation date: 30 September 1918

Mention in Despatches


Awarded, and promulgated, 'London Gazette' No. 3138 (5 June 1919); 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 113 (6 October 1919).

FateReturned to Australia 13 June 1919
Medals

Distinguished Service Order

'For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. As commanding officer he led his regiment into action in the most gallant and capable manner. By his skilful handling of the regiment and by his magnificent example of courage and determination he was very largely instrumental in the success of the attack and the capture of the objective.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 150
Date: 24 September 1918

Companion of the Order of St Michael & St George


Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 113
Date: 6 October 1919

Discharge date11 October 1919
Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli, Palestine, Syria

Embarked Alexandria o join the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force. 15 May 1915.

Appointed Temporary Captain, Gaba Tepe, 1 July 1915; temporarily to carry out duties as Adjutant, 7 September 1915; to command 'A' Squadron, 19 October 1915. Promoted Captain, 22 November 1915. Disembarked Alexandria, 26 December 1915 (general Gallipoli evacuation).

Transferred to Regimental Headquarters, Heliopolis, 4 January 1916. Promoted Major, 28 January 1916. To command 'A' Squadron, 1 February 1916.

Appointed Lieutenant-Colonel to command 4th Light Horse Regiment, 15 March 1917.

Admitted to 74th Casualty Clearing Station, Rafa, 5 September 1917 (paratyphoid), and transferred to 43rd Stationary Hospital; to 24th Stationary Hospital, Kantara, 6 September 1917 (phleb. fever); to Hospital Train, and transferred to 14th Australian General Hospital, Abbassia; to No 10 Red Cross Convalescent Depot, Alexandria, 11 September 1917; to Military Hospital, Ras el Tin, 20 September 1917; discharged to duty, 8 October 1917; rejoined 4th Light Horse Regiment, Tel el Fara, 11 October 1917.

Awarded Distinguished Service Order, 4 November 1917.

Resumed command of 4th Light Horse Regiment, 2 January 1918.

Detached to 4th Light Horse Brigade Headquarters, 29 January 1918. Marched out to rejoin 4th Light Horse Regiment and resumed command, 19 February 1918.

Detached to 4th Light Horse Brigade Headquarters, 14 June 1918.

Marched out to Alexandria on leave to United Kingdom, 21 June 1918; embarked Alexandria, 25 June 1918. Disembarked Port Said from Taranto, Italy, 28 August 1918; rejoined 4th Light Horse Regiment, 31 August 1918.

Detached to 4th Light Horse Brigade Headquarters, 7 September 1918; rejoined unit, 22 September 1918.

Admitted to 21st General Hospital, Alexandria, 31 December 1918 (pyrexia unknown origin); granted 14 days' sick leave, 11 January 1918; rejoined unit, Tripoli, 11 February 1919.

Detached to 4th Light Horse Regiment Headquarters, 11 February 1918; rejoined 4th Light Horse Regiment, 18 February 1919.

Performed duties of GOC, the Light Horse Brigade, 4 November-25 December 1918.

Confidential Report by Brigadier-General W. Grant, 4th Light Horse Brigade, 17 Februaryv 1919, recommended Bourchier for command of a Mounted Regiment or Brigade: 'A very keen and capable commander. He quickly appreciates the tactical situation and acts in a bold and decisive manner. He has skilfully handled his regiment in many difficult and dangerous places, and always with success. He commanded the two regiments of the Brigade (4th & 12th) that formed the advance guard on the advance into Damascus and captured the Kaukab position by a magnificent charge. He has maintained strict discipline in his regiment and has brought it to a high state of efficiency.He has several times acted as Brigade commander in the absence of the G.O.C. - on the last occasion for 7.5 weeks - and has always carried out his duties satisfactorily. He is strongly recommended for the command of a Mounted Brigade. he is physically fit for all duties.'

Marched out to 4th Brigade Headquarters, 27 April 1919; marched in to 4th Brigade Headquarters, 28 April 1919.

Appointed Companion of the Order of St Michael & St George (CMG), 3 June 1919.

Commenced return to Australia on board HT 'Essex', 15 June 1919; appointment terminated, Melbourne, 11 October 1919.

Medals: Distinguished Service Order, Companion of the Order of St Michael & St George, 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
Date of death16 December 1937

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