Sergeant William Ruthven, 22nd Battalion, Victoria Cross action at
. Ville-sur-Ancre, France
William "Rusty" Ruthven was born at Collingwood, Melbourne, and was a mechanic in the timber industry before enlisting in April 1915. After serving on Gallipoli he went to
where he was wounded in April 1916.
During an attack near Ville-sur-Ancre on
19 May 1918, Ruthven performed
outstanding acts of bravery. He took command of a company after the
officer commanding was wounded, and personally assaulted enemy strongpoints.
Throughout the successful action, he led by example, inspiring and encouraging
his men. During the mopping-up and consolidation, he captured 32 Germans.
Ruthven was commissioned in July 1918 and discharged in December. He became a soldier-settler for a while, but returned to Collingwood and became a local councillor. During the Second World War he served in garrison battalions, reaching the rank of major. From 1945 to 1961 he was a member of the Victorian parliament.