The AIF Project

William RUTHVEN

Regimental number1946
ReligionMethodist
OccupationMachinist
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation21
Next of kinMother, Mrs C Ruthven, 48 Francis Street, Collingwood, Victoria
Enlistment date16 April 1915
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll19 April 1915
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name22nd Battalion, 3rd Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/39/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A68 Anchises on 26 August 1915
Regimental number from Nominal RollCommissioned
Rank from Nominal Roll2nd Lieutenant
Unit from Nominal Roll22nd Battalion
FateReturned to Australia 24 August 1918
Medals

Victoria Cross

'For most conspicuous bravery and initiative in action. During the advance Sergeant Ruthven's company suffered numerous casualties, and his company commander was severely wounded. He thereupon assumed command of this portion of the assault, took charge of the company headquarters, and rallied the section in his vicinity. As the leading wave approached its objective it was subjected to heavy fire from an enemy machine gun at close range. Without hesitation, he at once sprang out, threw a bomb which landed beside the post, and rushed the position, bayoneting one of the crew and capturing the gun. He then encounterred some of the enemy coming out of a shelter. He wounded two, captured six others in the same position, and handed them over to an escort frrom the leading wave, which had now reached the objective. Sergeant Ruthven then reorganized the men in his vicinity and established a post in the second objective. Observing enemy movement in a sunken road near by, he, without hesitation and armed only with a revolver, went over the open alone and rushed the position, shooting two enemy who refused to come out of their dugouts. He then single handed mopped up this position and captured the whole of the garrison, amounting in all to thrity two and kept them until assistance arived to escorrt them back to our lines. During the remainder of the day this gallant non-commissioned officer set a splendid example of leadership moving up and down his position underr fire, supervising consolidation and encouraging his men. Throughout the whole operration he showed the most magnificent courage and determination, inspiring every oen by his fine fighting spirit, his remarkable courage and his dashing action.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 185
Date: 27 November 1918

Other detailsMedals: Victoria Cross, 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal