William (Rusty) RUTHVEN VC

RUTHVEN, William

Service Numbers: 1946, V144509
Enlisted: 16 April 1915
Last Rank: Major
Last Unit: 50 Garrison Company
Born: Collingwood, Victoria, Australia, 21 May 1893
Home Town: Collingwood, Yarra, Victoria
Schooling: Vere Street State School, Collingwood Victoria, Australia
Occupation: Wood machinist
Died: Natural causes, Heidelberg, Victoria, Australia, 12 January 1970, aged 76 years
Cemetery: Fawkner Memorial Park Cemetery, Victoria
Memorials: Keith Payne VC Memorial Park, North Bondi War Memorial, Winchelsea WWI Memorial
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World War 1 Service

16 Apr 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, 1946
26 Aug 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, 1946, 22nd Infantry Battalion, HMAT Anchises, Melbourne
26 Aug 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, 1946, 22nd Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
25 Oct 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, 1946, 22nd Infantry Battalion, ANZAC / Gallipoli
1 Jul 1918: Promoted AIF WW1, Second Lieutenant, 22nd Infantry Battalion
19 Oct 1918: Promoted AIF WW1, Lieutenant, 22nd Infantry Battalion
11 Dec 1918: Discharged AIF WW1, Lieutenant, 22nd Infantry Battalion

World War 2 Service

11 Dec 1941: Enlisted Australian Military Forces (Army WW2), Major, V144509
11 Dec 1941: Enlisted Lieutenant, V144509, 3 Garrison Battalion (Vic), St Kilda, Victoria
6 Jul 1945: Discharged Major, V144509, 50 Garrison Company

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Biography contributed by Robert Kearney

Ruthven, William (1893–1970)
by Matthew Higgins

William Ruthven, soldier and politician, was born on 21 May 1893 at Collingwood, Melbourne, son of Peter Ruthven, carpenter, and his wife Catherine Charlotte, née Bedwell, both Victorian born. He was educated at the Vere Street State School, Collingwood, and became a mechanical engineer.

Ruthven was employed in the timber industry when he enlisted as a private in the Australian Imperial Force on 16 April 1915. He left Australia in August with reinforcements for the 22nd Battalion which he joined in October on Gallipoli. Late in March 1916 the 22nd went to France. On 17 April, during his first tour of duty in the forward area near Fleurbaix, Ruthven was wounded. He rejoined his battalion in August on the Somme and was promoted lance corporal. On 26 January 1917 he was confirmed in the rank of sergeant.

On 19 May 1918 Ruthven took part in an attack near Ville-sur-Ancre. When his company commander was wounded, Ruthven assumed command but soon the advance was held up by heavy machine-gun fire. Unhesitating, he ran at the machine-gun post, bombed it, bayoneted one of the crew and captured the gun. Then, encountering enemy coming out of a shelter, he wounded two and captured six. Having reorganized his men and formed a post, he noticed further enemy movement in a nearby sunken road. Armed only with a revolver, he shot two men and captured thirty-two. He spent the rest of the day, under fire, supervising consolidation and encouraging his men. He was awarded the Victoria Cross.

https://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/ruthven-william-8306 (adb.anu.edu.au)