Pte Muteham Bertie

  • Year of birth: 1894
  • Place of birth: Thetford, Norfolk, England, United Kingdom
  • Date of death: 11/08/1917
  • Place of death: Surbiton Villas, Belgium
  • Cause of death: Killed in action (K.I.A.)
  • Age: 23
  • Profession: Labourer
  • Religion: Unknown
  • Country: England, United Kingdom
  • Rank: Private
  • Service number: 24211
  • Enlistment date: 21/02/1916
  • Enlistment place: Norwich, Norfolk, England, United Kingdom
  • Last known unit: Norfolk Regiment, 8th Bn.
  • Force: British Expeditionary Force

Memorial

Distinctions and medals 2

British War Medal Medal
Victory Medal Medal

Additional information

Pte Bertie Muteham, a former labourer from Thetford Norfolk, was conscripted in February 1916 and enlisted with the 8th Bn. Norfolk Regiment (53th Brigade, 18th Division).

During the Battle of Passchendaele in 1917, the 53th Brigade relieved the assaulting brigades, 54th and 55th Brigade, after the attack on 10 August on Westhoek. In the morning of the 10th the battalion moved up to the Chateau Segard Area and from there to the Ritz Street Area, where they came under order of the G.O.C 54th Infantry Brigade. From there they were ordered to take over the front of the 54th Brigade together with the 6th Royal Berkshire Regiment. As the Germans were concentrating for a counter attack, they had to move at once to the line. Dispositions of the 8th Bn Norfolk Regiment were as followed:

A Company in the front line from J.14.a.5.6. to the strong point (inclusive) at J.14.a.3.2.
D Company in the front line from the strong point (exclusive) to J.13.d.9.9. (the Ypres – Menin Road exclusive)
B Company in support
C Company in reserve in the trench system around Surbiton Villas

The Germans started a counter attack under a intense barrage on the strong point and line held by the 8th Bn Norfolks. The strong point was taken by the Germans and the right flank of A Company was driven back. The opponents brought four machine guns into action. B Company was to attack them from the right flank simultaneously with C Company who were striking from the immediate front. The strongpoint was recaptured and consolidated. Since the attack was carried out over the open and the Germans were in possession of the high ground, they were able to sweep the whole line of advance. In the morning of the 11th August the companies in the line were reorganized.

A Company took over the line from the strong point (exclusive) to J.14.a.5.6., C Company, who suffered a lot of casualties, the strong point, B Company from the strong point (exclusive) to J.13.d.9.9. (the Ypres – Menin Road exclusive) and D Company were withdrawn from the line into reserve in the area around Surbiton Villas.

The Germans made several attempts in the following hours and day to recapture this strongpoint but were driven off on each occasion.

Pte Bertie Muteham was one of the casualties in the couter attack on 11 August 1917. His body was never recovered and he is remembered on the Menin Gate in Ypres.

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