Sergeant William Ruthven V.C.Print Page Print this page

The monument at the primary school commemorates William Ruthven V.C. (1893-1970). The primary and secondary college were named in his honour. 

William "Rusty" Ruthven (21 May 1893 – 12 January 1970) was an Australian soldier and state Labor politician. For actions in World War One he was an Australian recipient of the Victoria Cross (V.C.) , the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.

On 19 May 1918, Ruthven took part in an attack near Ville-sur-Ancre in France.  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.

He was elected a councillor in the Melbourne municipality of Collingwood, and in 1945 was elected as mayor. He sat in the Victorian Legislative Assembly from 1945 until 1955 as the Australian Labor Party member for the electoral district of Preston, then following a redistribution, represented the electoral district of Reservoir until his retirement in 1961.


Address:60 Merrilands Road, William Ruthven Primary School, Reservoir, 3073
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -37.695869
Long: 145.002642
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:People
Actual Event STart Date:19-May-1918
Actual Event End Date:19-May-1918
Source: ADB, DVA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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