Bellenden Seymour Hutcheson

   Bellenden Seymour Hutcheson

Source: Find a Grave

Bellendon Seymour Hutcheson (1883-1954) was an American who renounced his citizenship in order to fight in the Canadian army during the First World War. He was born in 1883 in Mount Carmel, Illinois, and was a graduate of Northwestern University Medical School. After he enlisted at Toronto in December 1915, Hutcheson became a captain in the Canadian Army Medical Corps, which was attached to the 75th (Mississauga) Battalion. During the intense fighting in the Battle of Drocourt-Quéant Line on September 2, 1918, Hutcheson repeatedly braved machine-gun and artillery fire in order to rescue men from the front and tend to wounded soldiers in full view of enemy lines. After the battle, he voluntarily tended nearly 100 enemy wounded who had been left behind. Hutcheson survived the war and reclaimed his American citizenship. He died in Cairo, Illinois, in 1954.

Service Record Details

Attestation Paper 1

Date of Birth: December 16, 1883

Date of Attestation: December 14, 1915 (Exhibition Camp, Toronto)

Age at Enlistment: 32 years

Height: 5 feet, 8 1/2 inches

Weight: 155 pounds

Description: Blue eyes, mole on right foot. Episcopalian.

Home Address: Mound City, Illinois

Trade: Physician and surgeon

Married: No

Next of Kin: Father, Bellenden Hutcheson, of Mound City, Illinois. Mother deceased.

Theatre of War: France

Casualties / Medical History

  • 1917 – Hutcheson is diagnosed with pleurisy (an inflammation of the lining of the lungs): “Previous to enlisting never had any serious illness. Family History negative. Present attack came on 10 days ago as an Influenza. Pain in the left chest 4 days ago preceded by a chill. Some dullness at base of left lung. Pain not so severe. Coughing a great deal dry + short (?).” He is hospitalized at Perkins Bull Convalescent Hospital in Putney Heath, England. (Pages 11 and 15)
  • January 13, 1917 – He is admitted to Ravenscroft Military Hospital in Seaford, England. (Page 49)
  • May 7, 1919 – Hutcheson is in good general health and physical condition when he is discharged at the end of the war. His medical examination form from this time indicates that he had been diagnosed with pleurisy in January 1917 and had suffered from “trench fever” in December 1917. Otherwise, he has no disability. (Pages 4 and 5)

Interesting Details from the Service Record

  • May 13, 1916 – He carries a life insurance policy with Royal Union Mutual Life Insurance Company and has already made arrangements for his premium to be paid during his service with the Canadian Expeditionary Force. (Page 8)
  • March to May 1917 – On March 23, 1917, he is sent to France for service. By May 1917 he is attached to the No. 2 Canadian Stationary Hospital in Boulogne for temporary duty. (Page 49)
  • 1918 – In 1918, his monthly pay as a captain is in the range of $140 to $190. (Page 20)
  • December 1918 – He is awarded the Military Cross on December 2, 1918 (LG 31043), and the Victoria Cross on December 14, 1918 (LG 31067). (Pages 35 and 50)
  • December 12, 1919 – Upon demobilization at the end of the war, in Toronto, he intends to move to Mound City, Illinois. (Page 3)

The London Gazette

  • The London Gazette—December 13, 1918, Supplement 31067, Page 14774
    “Capt. Bellenden Seymour Hutcheson, Can. A. Med. Corps, attd. 75th Bn., 1st Central Ontario R.—For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty on September 2nd, when under most intense shell, machine-gun, and rifle fire, he went through the Quéant-Drocourt Support Line with the battalion. Without hesitation and with utter disregard for personal safety he remained on the field until every wounded man had been attended to. He dressed the wounds of a seriously wounded officer under terrific machine-gun and shell fire, and, with the assistance of prisoners and of his own men, succeeded in evacuating him to safety, despite the fact that the bearer-party suffered heavy casualties. Immediately afterwards he rushed forward, in full view of the enemy, under heavy machine-gun and rifle fire, to tend a wounded serjeant, and, having placed him in a shell-hole, dressed his wounds. Captain Hutcheson performed many similar acts, and, by his coolness and devotion to duty, many lives were saved.”
  • The Edinburgh Gazette—December 4, 1918, Issue 13362, Page 4450
    “Capt. Bellenden Seymour Hutcheson, Can. A.M.C., attd. 75th Can. Bn., 1st Central Ontario R.—For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. Before the battalion reached its jumping off position the enemy put down a heavy barrage and many casualties were sustained. This officer worked unceasingly in attending to and dressing the wounded under heavy fire in open ground. During the mopping up of a village he passed through the streets several times attending to the wounded. He also voluntarily dressed nearly 100 enemy wounded who had been left behind.”

Military Medals, Honours and Awards (1815–1969)

Census Records

  • No records located.
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