The AIF Project


Regimental number3885
Place of birthSunbury, Victoria
SchoolBallarat High School, Victoria
OccupationCivil servant
AddressBallarat, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation20
Height5' 10.5"
Weight146 lbs
Next of kinFather, J Rutherford, Vale Street, Alfredton Ballarat, Victoria
Previous military serviceNil (exempted from Compulsory Military Training on account of aenemia)
Enlistment date16 July 1915
Place of enlistmentMelbourne, Victoria
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name14th Battalion, 12th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/31/3
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A40 Ceramic on 23 November 1915
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll46th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 11 April 1917
Age at death from cemetery records22
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsAustralian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux, France

Villers-Bretonneux is a village about 15 km east of Amiens. The Memorial stands on the high ground ('Hill 104') behind the Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery, Fouilloy, which is about 2 km north of Villers-Bretonneux on the east side of the road to Fouilloy.

The Australian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux is approached through the Military Cemetery, at the end of which is an open grass lawn which leads into a three-sided court. The two pavilions on the left and right are linked by the north and south walls to the back (east) wall, from which rises the focal point of the Memorial, a 105 foot tall tower, of fine ashlar. A staircase leads to an observation platform, 64 feet above the ground, from which further staircases lead to an observation room. This room contains a circular stone tablet with bronze pointers indicating the Somme villages whose names have become synonymous with battles of the Great War; other battle fields in France and Belgium in which Australians fought; and far beyond, Gallipoli and Canberra.

On the three walls, which are faced with Portland stone, are the names of 10,885 Australians who were killed in France and who have no known grave. The 'blocking course' above them bears the names of the Australian Battle Honours.

After the war an appeal in Australia raised £22,700, of which £12,500 came from Victorian school children, with the request that the majority of the funds be used to build a new school in Villers-Bretonneux. The boys' school opened in May 1927, and contains an inscription stating that the school was the gift of Victorian schoolchildren, twelve hundred of whose fathers are buried in the Villers-Bretonneux cemetery, with the names of many more recorded on the Memorial. Villers-Bretonneux is now twinned with Robinvale, Victoria, which has in its main square a memorial to the links between the two towns.

Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Commemorated on the Roll of Honour, Peacock Hall, Ballarat High School, Victoria. Parents: James and Eliza RUTHERFORD
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Allotted to and proceeded to join 46th Bn, and taken on strength, Tel el Kebir, 6 March 1916.

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 2 June 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 8 June 1916.

Wounded in action, 1 September 1916, and admitted to 3rd Canadian Field Ambulance; rejoined Bn, in the field, 3 September 1916.

Reported Missing in Action, 11 April 1917.

Court of Enquiry, held in the field, 26 November 1917, pronounced fate as 'Killed in Action, 11 April 1916'.

Note, Red Cross File No 23901031: 'No trace Germany. Cert. by Capt. Mills. 10.10.19.'

Statement, 4445 Lance Corporal R.S. BRYAN, 46th Bn, 3 August 1917: 'On the 11th April 1917, I was informed that Pte Rutherford was killed at Bullecourt that day, whilst retiring with a machine gun section. I did not speak to anyone who had seen him killed nor did I hear that his body had been recovered.'

Second statement, 1665 Pte W. BROOME, 46th Bn, 17 July 1919: 'I saw him killed between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. on the morning of April 11th 1917. He was hit in the head by a Machine gun Bullet and died instantly. As far as I know he was left unburied as the ground had to be evacuated and was afterwards held by the enemy.'

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, RUTHERFORD Hiram
Red Cross File No 23901031

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