Dudley Colin (Dud) SUTTOR

SUTTOR, Dudley Colin

Service Number: 7291
Enlisted: 15 June 1915
Last Rank: Sergeant
Last Unit: 15th Army Service Corps
Born: Koorawatha, New South Wales, Australia, 10 April 1892
Home Town: Koorawatha, Young, New South Wales
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Grazier
Died: Heart Failure, Dee Why, New South Wales, Australia, 15 April 1962, aged 70 years
Cemetery: Not yet discovered
Memorials: Ilford Roll of Honour WW1, Northbridge (Shore) Sydney Church of England Grammar School Memorial Cricket Ground Roll of Honour
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World War 1 Service

15 Jun 1915: Enlisted Australian Army (Post WW2), Sergeant, SN 7291, 15th Army Service Corps
30 Sep 1915: Involvement Driver, SN 7291, 15th Army Service Corps
30 Sep 1915: Embarked Driver, SN 7291, 15th Army Service Corps, HMAT Argyllshire, Sydney
23 Aug 1919: Discharged Australian Army (Post WW2), Sergeant, SN 7291, 15th Army Service Corps

Ambulance Collision by Motor Car

The village of Fovant in South West Wiltshire, England, along with nearby villages, became the site for very large military camps. Built at the foot of the Downs, an endless array of huts housed large numbers of soldiers. These men, though mainly in transit, still found time to carve their regimental badges on the Downs. The effect of their presence on the village was immense and lasting. The camps contained soldiers from many parts of Britain and Australia who were destined to serve on the Western Front in France and Belgium. Suttor was one of those soldiers. After the war, the camps were used as a demobilisation centre.
In October 1917 a board of enquiry was held into a collision between a motor vehicle and a horse drawn ambulance at Salisbury. Suttor was the first witness:-

“On Tuesday 23rd of October, I was in charge of a Horse Ambulance, which left Barkhouse Camp at 2-10 pm and was being driven by driver Estill.
He was riding postilion, and I was riding a hack in front of the ambulance.
We left Salisbury at about 6 pm. About one mile out from Salisbury on the road to Fovant, the rear of the ambulance was struck by a Motor Car.
The impact was so great that that the ambulance horses were thrown against the horse I was riding some yards in front, knocking all three horses down.
I was on the proper side of the road, having been previously advised by the Civil Police at Salisbury to be cautious, as there were no lights on the vehicle.
I was picked up by an Australian soldier (whose name was taken by the Civil Police) and who is stationed at Hurdcott.
I was unable to walk, owing to severe injury to my left ankle. After about an hour, I was assisted on to my horse and made my way top the A. A. S. C. Camp at Fovant.
I immediately reported the accident to Capt. Barratt, O/C A.A.S.C. Detachment at Fovant, who sent me to the Fovant Hospital.
We were perfectly sober at the time of the accident, not having had any intoxicating liquor all day. (Sgd ) L./Cpl. D.C. Suttor”

The driver of the motor car was Miss Doris Ewen and the police report stated that she:-
“..was taking a Theatrical party to Fovant Camp. She was driving in the centre of the road with only her side lights burning, it being a moonlit evening, but in the shadow of the trees, she did not see the Ambulance, until she was close to it, as there were no rear or front lights on it, and she could not stop the car in time to prevent a collision. The car struck the off side of the ambulance, doing very little damage to it, but the car was badly damaged, but no personal injuries to anyone in the car.
The width of the road, where the collision occurred is 23 feet. There is no doubt that had the ambulance carried proper lights, the collision would not have happened. Lighting up time for vehicles was 5.25pm.”

Now, the findings of the board of enquiry:-

“After receiving the evidence, the Board is perfectly satisfied, that had there been lights on the vehicle, the accident would not have occurred, and consider both L/Cpl. Suttor and Dvr. Estill, guilty of negligence by failing to light their lamp, even after being cautioned by the Civil Police.”

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Biography contributed by Greg Blackmore

Dudley Colin Suttor enlisted in the Australian Imperial Expeditionary Forces on 16th June 1915, at the age of 23, and three months. He was posted to the 15th Army Service Corps 4th Reinforcements. On30th September embarked from Sydney on board HMAT A8 Argyllshire. (Note: Some 328,583 Australian men and 2,131 women enlisted during WW1)

On the 18th December 1915 he was absorbed into the 15th A.A.S.C 2nd Division Training from the 4th Reinforcements. His initial rank was “Driver”, being promoted to Lance Corporal on the 1st September 1916.

He saw service in Egypt, France and Belgium as well as in England.

Following the signing of the Armistice in Compeigne France, for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front, which took effect at 11am on the 11th of November 1918, the Australian Military had a problem in keeping a couple of hundred thousand home hungry men occupied and contented with no way to get them home quickly as they had been brought over in small portions over an extended period of time. Some were able to get work in the “old country” until their return. Another solution was for the AIF to organise unlimited sport of which Rugby was just one.

Dud became a star winger with the AIF Services team which did so much to rehabilitate Rugby Union after the World War One.

The AIF team had a grand pack of forwards headed by the late Billy Watson and Suttor was a star winger among an average set of backs.

Dud was promoted to Corporal on11th January 1919 and then to L Sergeant on the 16th January 1919

The teams left Devonport, England for Australia on 15th May 1919 on the Orontes disembarking at Sydney on 1st July 1919. The intention at the time was that they should play matches at Sydney and Brisbane before being disbanded.

Dudley Colin Suttor (Regimental No 7291) attained the rank of F/C Sergeant and was discharged from the 15th A.A.S.C of the AIF on 23rd August 1919, after 4 years and 70 days of service including 3 years and 276 days service abroad. Entitled to and issued 4 blue chevrons and Returned Soldiers’ Badge 101557.  War service medals issued were: 1914-15 Star; British War Medal and Victory Medal.

I remember the day when Uncle Dud returned from the war looking very handsome in uniform. We were all waiting on the “Warrangunyah” verandah when the family car arrived, probably from Clandulla, but perhaps all the way from Sydney. There was a great rejoicing and  and welcoming and before long Uncle Dud was playing hide and seek with the numerous children.” (memories of Louis Baeyertz (nee Wilson) grand daughter of Walter Sydney Suttor via his daughter Reta Maria)

There was a welcome home dance held at “Warrangunyah” woolshed for Dud and his brother Jim and because there was so many children a “juvenile” dance was held for about an hour before the dance proper, and then the children were put to bed, more than often on a mattress in the back of a buggy.

Dudley Colin Suttor (1892 – 1962) married Elizabeth “Betty” Palmer (1895 – 1986) in 1921 at All Saints Cathedral, Bathurst. Betty was the only daughter of John Edward “Jack” and Louisa E (nee Lomas) Palmer of “Warraweena”, Bathurst. Jack Palmer was a well known Stock & Station Agent. The ceremony took place at All Saints Cathedral, Bathurst.

During the World War II years a local Ilford-Running Stream Volunteer Defence Corps was formed in 1942. Dud Suttor was in charge of the company and the writer believes that he may have held the rank of Captain. Measurements were taken, and uniforms sent up from Army Headquarters and everyone looked very smart in the uniforms, worn with the military hat. The training time was Sunday mornings at Ilford Recreation Ground from 9 am to 12 Noon. Some weekend camps were held at Bathurst. The company was disbanded in September, 1945.