Eltham Roll of Honour: Flying Off. David Rutter, 9 Dec 1941, Bir El Gubbi, Libya

RUTTER, David, Flying Off., 833 (400833)
(KIA 9 Dec 1941, Bir El Gubbi, Libya)
Flying Off. David Rutter, 1942 (Page 2002, p162)

David Rutter was born 2 August 1915 in Armadale, second son of Hubert and Beulah Alice (Simpson) Rutter after Hubert Jnr. (Joe), followed by June in 1917 and Donald in 1922. Their father was a notable figure in Eltham and beyond, with a career as a mining manager in Australia and Malaya. He served in the AIF in the First World War. While growing up at ‘Yarra Braes’, Eltham, their father was an Eltham Shire Councillor in the 1920s, shire president in 1928 and a leading figure in establishing the Shire of Eltham War Memorial League, which was responsible for building the Shire of Eltham War Memorial tower at Kangaroo Ground, near where the Shire Offices were located until the 1930s. The Rutter name was commemorated after the war at Eltham High School with one of the schoolhouses named ‘Rutter House’ and at Geelong Grammar School until the 1960s where a ‘Rutter Badge’ was awarded to junior boys for leadership.

The childhood home, ‘Yarra Braes’ was destroyed in the devasting Black Friday bushfire, 13 January 1939 and Beulah relocated to Toorak, Hubert working in Western Australia. Tragedy struck the family again December 19, 1940 when daughter June was killed after falling from the Heidelberg train on to an adjacent track into the path of a Reservoir train at Victoria Park station.

A mining engineer by profession, having graduated from the University of Melbourne at a ceremony held at Wilson Hall on December 21, 1937, David was working with the Zinc Corporation, part of the Broken Hill Pty Ltd in Broken Hill when he resigned to join the R.A.A.F.. At the time, David was Secretary and a popular member of the Broken Hill Aero Club. He had previously been a member of the Officer Training Corps at Geelong Grammar for three years whilst at school. He also had an Advanced “A” license with 45 hours solo flying experience in de Havilland DH-60 and DH-82 aircraft.

David was officially enlisted as an Air Cadet in the R.A.A.F., March 4, 1940, at Parafield, South Australia and assigned to No. 1 Elementary Flying Training School at Parafield following which, he was posted to No. 1 Flying Training School 29 July 1940 at Point Cook, Victoria and No. 1 Air Observer’s School 18 November 1940 in Cootamundra, New South Wales. His training involved flying Avro Anson and CAC Wirraway aircraft, he being most proficient in the latter.

On 25 November 1940 David was posted to general duties at 22 Squadron at Richmond, New South Wales. His next of kin was listed as his mother, Mrs Hubert Rutter of Toorak. Following training, David was promoted to Pilot Officer on 24 September 1940 and to Flying Officer on 24 September 1941.

David embarked for overseas service on 1 November 1941, assigned to 3 Squadron at Aboukir in the Middle East. At the time of his embarkation, David wrote a letter of thanks for the generous embarkation kits provided by the Australian Comforts Fund, which was countersigned by T. Threlkeld, H. Graham, H.H. Schlaeffer, Donald King and I. Furniss. He wrote: –

“We felt we must write to thank you personally for the parcel of comforts provided for each of us on departure overseas. Actually our scale of issue in the Air Force is very generous, but the collection of articles so carefully selected fills in the gaps which would otherwise remain. More than this is the sense of the close bond your work represents — the personal effort and sacrifice of the folk at home for those of us privileged to fight for our country and the things we love. This is just to assure you that your efforts are greatly appreciated.”

By December 4 David was on flying duties in a Curtiss P40 Tomahawk in the Second Libyan Campaign. That same day, the squadron was the first in the Desert Air Force to commence being equipped with the new Curtiss P40E Kittyhawk 1A; whilst not much faster than the Tomahawk, it packed a greater punch. Five days later, according to 3 Squadron Association website, December 9, at 10:35, nine 3 Squadron Tomahawks, with ten from 112 Squadron RAF, whilst sweeping the Tobruk-El Gobi area, were bounced out of the sun approximately 14 miles north of Bir El Gubi, in the general vicinity of south El Adem by six Messerschmitt Bf-109s of I/JG27. Dave Rutter in Curtiss Tomahawk IIB AK378, Rex Wilson (AN457), and Tiny Cameron (AK499) were shot down by Oberleutnant Gerhard Homuth, Unteroffizier Grimm and Oberleutnant Hugo Schneider respectively. Both David and Wilson were killed. An account of the incident as told by Royal Artillery Officer, Captain D.A. Temple to David’s father is recorded in Geelong Grammarians at World War Two (Affleck 2002): –

“My battery was moving forward as part of a brigade group to outflank the enemy near Bir el Gubbi, well south in the desert, and to force him to retire from Tobruk. He was very sensitive to this action and reacted violently in the air. We had casualties and lost vehicles as a result. About midday we were attacked by eighteen Messerschmitts who were having things very much their own way until a smaller number of our planes (about ten arrived – Kittyhawks, I think. They immediately dived in to attack and a tremendous aerial battle ensued only about 200 feet immediately above us. Thanks to this, we suffered no further casualties. Directly above, I saw one of our planes on the tail of a German one and fired hard into it, causing it to crash in flames about four miles away, but we saw also another German plane open fire on ours. The plane – your son’s – was hit, and became out of control. It was so low, we could see the pilot trying to gain control and make some sort of landing. You must remember that I those early days planes were few and valuable and anything that could be landed could be reconditioned. In a few seconds it was obvious that the plane must crash and that it was too low for a parachute jump with safety. However the pilot did jump, but from only about 100 feet, and the parachute did not open.”

The Royal Artillery members buried David where he fell, about 14 miles north of Bir el Gubbi. Captain Temple read the burial service from the Field Service Pocket Book. A driver fabricated a cross from some wooden boxes in the vehicles. The coordinates of his grave recorded as accurately as possible for retrieval later.
David was the German Ace Homuth’s 30th victim. Though initially reported missing in air operations, his record was later revised to killed in action and his body recovered. According to the Wikinorthia article “The Rutter Family of Eltham”, David is buried in the El Alamein War Cemetery, Marsa Matruh, Egypt but there is no evidence from CWGC to corroborate this.

David is commemorated on Column 245, Alamein Memorial, Egypt.

RUTTER, F/O. DAVID, 400833. R.A.A.F.
9th December 1941. Age 26.
Son of Hubert and Beulah Rutter, of Armadale, Victoria, Australia.
B.M.Eng. (Melbourne)

◊         ◊        ◊

LEST WE FORGET

“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.”

ROLL OF HONOUR
1914-1918
  • Sgt. George Williams
  • Sgt. Reginald E. Sims
  • L/Cpl. George Moore
  • L/Cpl. Henry G. Philips
  • L/Cpl. John C. Bell
  • Pte. Geoffrey Grant
  • Pte. George Sommerville
  • Pte. George Brown
  • Pte. John Brown
  • Pte. William Bond
  • Pte. Thomas Cameron
  • Pte. Alfred Cassells
  • Pte. Robert Meadows
  • Pte. Walter Mosley
  • Pte. James Pryor
  • Pte. William Prior
  • Pte. Edward Barrett
  • Pte. William Crellin
  • Pte. Henry Norman
  • Pte. Edward Bird
  • Pte. Arthur Brown
  • Pte. Roslyn Stevens
  • Pte. Herbert Creed
  • Pte. Charles Bromfield
  • Pte. Kenneth Sharp
  • Pte. Henry McAlary
1939-1945
  • Capt. S.M. Gahan
  • Plt. Off. D. Rutter
  • Flt. Off. D.H. Rutter
  • Flt. Sgt. S.M. Mclean
  • Flt. Sgt. L. Ingram
  • Sgt. C.D. Dunlop
  • Cpl. T. Feldbauer
  • Cpl. A.C. Clerke
  • Spr. G.E. Castledine
  • Pte. J. Butherway
  • Pte. K.F. Field

Soldiers of the Shire of Eltham remembered on the Eltham Roll of Honour for their supreme sacrifice; located in the Eltham War Memorial Hall

References
#VictoriaRemembers   #VPDay75
The Eltham Roll of Honour: Second World War

Read the stories of all the men from the Shire of Eltham who sacrificed their lives in the Second World War and to whom the Eltham War Memorial is dedicated.

Eltham Roll of Honour: Capt. Studley Manston Gahan, 17 May 1941, Tobruk, Libya

GAHAN, Studley Manston, Capt., VX48379
(KIA 17 May 1941, Tobruk, Libya)
Vic. Paybook photograph, taken on enlistment, of VX48379 Captain Studley Manston Gahan (NAA)

Studley Manston Gahan was born in Ivanhoe, 8 December 1913, the son of Walter Ernest and Alice Miriam Gahan. By 1924, the family had moved to “Derril,” Eltham, on the western side of Main Road near the present-day site of Shillinglaw Cottage where they remained till about 1960 when Walter died. The house was demolished in 1968 during the widening of Main Road.

Gahan home, ‘Derril,’ (left) c. 1905 and (right) March 1968 immediately prior to demolition

Educated at Eltham High School and Melbourne Grammar, in April 1937 Studley was engaged to Kathleen Elsie (Kitty), daughter of Lieut. Colonel and Mrs C.A. Mitchell of Cowra Avenue, Mildura. Studley was employed by the Bank of New South Wales, stationed previously at Preston, Mildura and Melbourne offices. He was living at Caulfield when he enlisted 16 December 1936 and allocated to the 57/60 Battalion. He received a commission as Lieutenant on 15 September 1937. On 21 April 1938 he and Kitty married at Melbourne Grammar School Chapel. He was promoted to Captain, 28 March 1940.

On 1 August 1940 Studley was posted to the 2/23 Battalion, A.I.F., embarking 16 November 1940 per Strathmore for the Middle East. The Battalion arrived in Egypt mid-December where it was reassigned from the 7th Division to the 9th Division in early 1941. Shortly after they were sent to Cyrenaica in Libya. A German-Italian offensive led by the ‘Desert Fox’, Field Marshall Erwin Rommel of the German Wehrmacht drove the forces to the port of Tobruk where the 2/23 formed part of the garrison during the Siege of Tobruk, which lasted 241 days from April 10. These men were nicknamed by Rommel as the ‘Desert Rats of Tobruk’, something that was to become a source of pride amongst the Australians in their defiance of the German military might. A policy of ‘making the besiegers the besieged’ involved undertaking numerous and aggressive raids into German lines by small groups of men. On May 17, Studley led 12 men on such a raid on a German defensive outpost (Scates 2013). War Diary records note Gahan was last seen at 07.30 hours. Six of his men were wounded but he continued to push on to the next position. He was never seen again. On May 28, 1941, Studley was reported ‘Missing’ as of May 17th. On 9 June, his status was revised to ‘Missing Believed Prisoner’ and on May 3rd, to ‘Killed in Action’. His body was never recovered.

Studley’s younger brother Neil followed him into banking and the Army. Lt. Gahan departed Australia with 2/29 Australian Infantry Battalion for the Malayan campaign. Having initially been reported missing, he rejoined his unit just two days before Singapore fell.  He became a prisoner of war of the Japanese, alongside many other members of the 2/29 and was interned at Changi and sent to work on the Burma-Thai Railway as part of “F Force”. Neil survived the war and retuned to Australia, his final rank, Captain, like brother Studley.

Scates (2013) writes of Kitty Gahan’s efforts to be heard as a war widow. She was one of a select few to be invited to travel after persistent requests on behalf of the War Widows Guild to be part of the official Australian party to attend the dedication of the War Graves Commission cemetery at El Alamein, Egypt, in 1954. He also observes that while standing beside a grave to secure that finality of loss had no equal, from the 1940s, memorial funds were generally put towards useful and enduring purposes and less towards sponsoring pilgrimages, a more common demand after the Great War.

The State Library of Victoria holds the Papers of Kathleen Gahan, 1929-1982, which includes a scrapbook of correspondence, photographs, postcards, press cuttings and other ephemera relating to Kitty Gahan’s visit. Scates describes Kitty’s pilgrimage and this scrapbook of poignant material, not just as a souvenir, but as Kitty’s own personal memorial to her husband. The final image in the scrapbook being Studley’s name, etched in cool white stone in the desert, on a panel to the missing.

The following notices were published in The Age newspaper in memory of Studley: –

The Age, Saturday, 9 May 1942, p2

  • GAHAN. – Captain Studley Manston Gahan, killed in action May 17, 1941, dearly loved husband of Kitty.
  • GAHAN. – Captain Studley Manston Gahan, VX48379, killed in action May 17, 1941, beloved eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. Walter Gahan, of Derril, Eltham, and brother of Neil (2nd A.I.F.), Lorrainer, Peter, and Kevin, aged 27 years.

The Argus, Wednesday, 17 May 1944, p2

  • GAHAN. – In proud and loving remembrance of Captain Studley Manston Gahan, 2/23rd Batt., who made the supreme sacrifice at Tobruk on May 17, 1941.

The Argus, Wednesday, 17 May 1946, p2

  • GAHAN. – In fond and loving memory of Captain Studley Manston Gahan, 2/23rd Batt., who gave his life at Tobruk on May 17, 1941. – At the going down of the sun and in the morning we will remember.

The Argus, Wednesday, 17 May 1950, p11

  • GAHAN. – In loving memory of Captain Studley Manston Gahan, and comrades of B Coy., 2/23rd Battalion., who made the supreme sacrifice, May 17, 1941, Tobruk.

Studley is commemorated on Column 91, Alamein Memorial, Egypt.

GAHAN, Capt. STUDLEY MANSTON, VX.48379. A.I.F.
2/23 Bn, Australian Infantry.
17th May 1941. Age 27.
Son of Walter Ernest and Alice Miriam Gahan; husband of Kathleen Elsie Gahan, of St. Kilda, Victoria, Australia.

◊         ◊        ◊

LEST WE FORGET

“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.”

ROLL OF HONOUR
1914-1918
  • Sgt. George Williams
  • Sgt. Reginald E. Sims
  • L/Cpl. George Moore
  • L/Cpl. Henry G. Philips
  • L/Cpl. John C. Bell
  • Pte. Geoffrey Grant
  • Pte. George Sommerville
  • Pte. George Brown
  • Pte. John Brown
  • Pte. William Bond
  • Pte. Thomas Cameron
  • Pte. Alfred Cassells
  • Pte. Robert Meadows
  • Pte. Walter Mosley
  • Pte. James Pryor
  • Pte. William Prior
  • Pte. Edward Barrett
  • Pte. William Crellin
  • Pte. Henry Norman
  • Pte. Edward Bird
  • Pte. Arthur Brown
  • Pte. Roslyn Stevens
  • Pte. Herbert Creed
  • Pte. Charles Bromfield
  • Pte. Kenneth Sharp
  • Pte. Henry McAlary
1939-1945
  • Capt. S.M. Gahan
  • Plt. Off. D. Rutter
  • Flt. Off. D.H. Rutter
  • Flt. Sgt. S.M. Mclean
  • Flt. Sgt. L. Ingram
  • Sgt. C.D. Dunlop
  • Cpl. T. Feldbauer
  • Cpl. A.C. Clerke
  • Spr. G.E. Castledine
  • Pte. J. Butherway
  • Pte. K.F. Field

Soldiers of the Shire of Eltham remembered on the Eltham Roll of Honour for their supreme sacrifice; located in the Eltham War Memorial Hall

References
#VictoriaRemembers   #VPDay75
The Eltham Roll of Honour: Second World War

Read the stories of all the men from the Shire of Eltham who sacrificed their lives in the Second World War and to whom the Eltham War Memorial is dedicated.

Eltham Roll of Honour: Spr. George Ernest Castledine, 18 Apr 1941, Greece

CASTLEDINE, George Ernest, Spr., VX10044
(KIA 18 Apr 1941, Greece)
Vic. Paybook photograph, taken on enlistment, of VX10044 Sapper George Ernest Castledine (NAA)

The first soldier from the Shire of Eltham to pay the ultimate price in the Second World War was Sapper George Ernest Castledine.

George was born 18 May 1914 in North Hampton, England, the son of Arthur Frederick and Annie Castledine of ‘Abington’ (now known as ‘Araluen’) on the Old Eltham Road, Lower Plenty. A blacksmith by trade, George was engaged to Miss Jean Simonson of Montmorency when he enlisted on 23 January 1940 at Lower Plenty. His next of kin was his mother Annie, his father having died in September 1933. He was assigned to the 2/2 Field Company, Royal Australian Engineers, 6th Division.

Following training, the 2/2 was deployed to North Africa in mid-1940. They first saw action in January 1941 in the Western Desert in support of the 16th Brigade’s attack on Bardia and the capture of Tobruk. Further action was seen around Derna and Barce before the 6th Division was relieved and withdrawn to Mersa Matruh in Egypt.

The 6th Division arrived in Greece in late March and were joined by New Zealanders and British forces in early April. On April 6th, the Germans began their invasion of Greece sending in 27 Divisions. After arrival in Greece, the Australians were transported north towards the Yugoslav border taking up defensive positions around the Florina Valley. The 2/2 supported several of the 6th Division’s brigades but the campaign was short lived, the Germans quickly overwhelming the Allies. George was killed in action on April 18th. Nine days later the Allies were driven off the mainland, George’s unit heading to Crete without him.

Telegram, Victoria Barracks, Melbourne to Mrs Annie Castledine, Old Eltham Road, Lower Plenty, 3 May 1941.The telegram is oil stained as it was kept by George’s brother Sid, in his toolbox. (Private collection)

On May 3rd, Annie became the first woman in the district since the Great War to experience their world shattered by telegram.

It is with deep regret that I have to inform you that VX10044 Sapper G. E. Castledine has been killed in action April 18th & desire to convey to you the profound sympathy of the Minister for the Army and the Military Board. – Minister for the Army”

An obituary was published in the Eltham and Whittlesea Shires Advertiser, Friday, 9 May 1941, p 2

“SAPPER G. E. CASTLEDINE
Advice has been received of the death in action of Sapper George Ernest Castledine, son of Mrs. A. Castledine of Lower Plenty.
Deceased was very well known in the Eltham district, and was engaged to Miss Jean Simonson of Montmorency.
This was the first fatal casualty to be reported among those who enlisted from the Eltham Shire.”

The following notices were published in The Age newspaper in memory of George: –

The Age, Tuesday, 6 May 1941, p1

  • CASTLEDINE. —Killed in action, April 18, Spr. George, the loved finance of Jean. Loved, remembered, longed for always.

The Age, Wednesday, 7 May 1941, p1

  • CASTLEDINE. — On April 18. killed in action. Spr. George Ernest, loved son of Mrs. A. Castledine. Lower Plenty; loved brother of Annie, Lil, Gladys, Joyce, Lila, Syd, Les and John, aged 26 years. Always remembered.

George is buried in the Phaleron War Cemetery, Athens, Greece, Grave 2. E. 4.

CASTLEDINE, Spr. GEORGE ERNEST, VX.10044. A.I.F.
2/2 Field Coy., Royal Australian Engineers.
18th April 1941. Age 26.
His life was one of sacrifice
“Life is eternal
Love will remain”
Son of Arthur Frederick and Annie Castledine, of Lower Plenty, Victoria, Australia.

◊         ◊        ◊

LEST WE FORGET

“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.”

ROLL OF HONOUR
1914-1918
  • Sgt. George Williams
  • Sgt. Reginald E. Sims
  • L/Cpl. George Moore
  • L/Cpl. Henry G. Philips
  • L/Cpl. John C. Bell
  • Pte. Geoffrey Grant
  • Pte. George Sommerville
  • Pte. George Brown
  • Pte. John Brown
  • Pte. William Bond
  • Pte. Thomas Cameron
  • Pte. Alfred Cassells
  • Pte. Robert Meadows
  • Pte. Walter Mosley
  • Pte. James Pryor
  • Pte. William Prior
  • Pte. Edward Barrett
  • Pte. William Crellin
  • Pte. Henry Norman
  • Pte. Edward Bird
  • Pte. Arthur Brown
  • Pte. Roslyn Stevens
  • Pte. Herbert Creed
  • Pte. Charles Bromfield
  • Pte. Kenneth Sharp
  • Pte. Henry McAlary
1939-1945
  • Capt. S.M. Gahan
  • Plt. Off. D. Rutter
  • Flt. Off. D.H. Rutter
  • Flt. Sgt. S.M. Mclean
  • Flt. Sgt. L. Ingram
  • Sgt. C.D. Dunlop
  • Cpl. T. Feldbauer
  • Cpl. A.C. Clerke
  • Spr. G.E. Castledine
  • Pte. J. Butherway
  • Pte. K.F. Field

Soldiers of the Shire of Eltham remembered on the Eltham Roll of Honour for their supreme sacrifice; located in the Eltham War Memorial Hall

References
#VictoriaRemembers   #VPDay75
The Eltham Roll of Honour: Second World War

Read the stories of all the men from the Shire of Eltham who sacrificed their lives in the Second World War and to whom the Eltham War Memorial is dedicated.

Eltham Roll of Honour: Pte Jack Herbert Butherway, 8 Jul 1945, Borneo

BUTHERWAY, Jack Herbert, Pte, VX37645
(DOD 8 Jul 1945, Borneo)
Vic. Paybook photograph, taken on enlistment, of VX37645 Craftsman Jack Herbert Butherway (AWM)

Jack Herbert Butherway was born 20 November 1918 at Clifton Hill, the son of Thomas James and Florence Mary Butherway of Clifton Hill, younger brother to Harry (UK 1911) and Tom (1914). His father was a coach/car painter by trade however work must have been hard to find as the family moved shortly after Jack’s birth to Kinglake West where his father sought work as a labourer, then on to Whittlesea as a sawmill hand. By 1924 Thomas was painting coaches again, in Collingwood, and around 1930 the family moved and settled in Falkiner Street, Eltham where Thomas initially continued as a coach/car painter but by 1936 had set himself up as a printer.

Educated at Eltham High School, Jack played cricket with several local teams. In 1935, playing for Diamond Creek, Jack was the star performer. Only just left school, Jack took six wickets for nine runs. The Advertiser said, “This lad should develop into a fine cricketer.” Coincidentally, he was a cricketing and football mate of Theo Feldbauer, though on opposing teams, and suffered the same fate as Theo at Sandakan. He won the best bowling average in 1938 for Lower Plenty and was also caught and bowled by Theo Feldbauer for Research. His brother Tom Butherway was a star football player for Eltham.

Before enlisting, Jack worked at Jack O’ Lantern knitting mills in Richmond. His service file is currently not freely available from the National Archives, but we know he enlisted at Royal Park on 16 July 1940.  Jack was assigned to the Australian Corps of Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, A.I.F., 2/4 Field Workshop. At a function arranged by the Badminton Club held in the Church of England Hall on 23 January 1941, Jack was guest of honour and was presented with a money belt on behalf of the members. He was posted to 22 Independent Brigade Group Ordnance Workshop Australian Army Ordnance Corps, his rank Craftsman, when Singapore fell on 15 February 1942. Jack’s father, Thomas, died early June 1942 not knowing his son’s true fate. Jack was listed as missing in July 1942 and a Prisoner of War in April 1943.

The Australian War Memorial advises Jack was one of over 2,000 Allied Prisoners of War (POW) held in the Sandakan POW camp in north Borneo, having been transferred there from Singapore as a part of B Force. The 1,494 POW’s that made up B Force, were transported from Changi on 7 July 1942, on board the tramp ship Ubi Maru, arriving in Sandakan Harbour on 18 July 1942. Jack ultimately died, only 26 years old, a prisoner of the Japanese on 8 July 1945, at Ranau Number 1 Jungle Camp (near Sinarut). It was recorded that he was buried at Ranau Number 2 Jungle Camp (First Cemetery, near Japanese hut, used from 11 June to about 9 July 1945). Although Jack died young, his elder brother Harry kept his memory alive till 101 and is buried in Eltham Cemetery.

Even before the end of the Second World War, the citizens of Eltham began to consider an appropriate form of memorial for those from the area who fought and died in the Second World War. In 1943 the Eltham Women’s Auxiliary raised funds for the construction of buildings to be established on land to be purchased for the proposed War Memorial. On March 27th, 1945, the Eltham District Progress Association called a meeting of local people who in turn set up and registered the Eltham War Memorial Trust Inc. As a focus for the purpose of the memorial, the newspaper notice read: –

“Those who have had a member of their family in the fighting services will want to see that the form of a memorial we are concerned with is the one which will be a constant reminder to us of those who fought for us and the little ones for whom they fought and died.”

Jack’s name is one of eleven listed on the Eltham Honour Roll (Second World War) located in the Eltham War Memorial Hall. Whist listed in order of rank; Jack was the last of the eleven from the Shire of Eltham who made that ultimate sacrifice for us, during the Second World War.

The following notices were published in the newspaper in memory of Jack.

The Age, Friday, 2 November 1945, p8

  • BUTHERWAY. – To honour the memory of our pal, Jack, VX37645, 2/10th Ordnance Workshop, died P.O.W. in Borneo on July 8. – Inserted by the Eltham Cricket Club.

The Age, Saturday, 3 November 1945, p11

  • BUTHERWAY. – VX37645, Jack, died P.O.W., in Borneo, July 8. A great pal, sadly missed. – Inserted by the Eltham Fire Brigade.
  • BUTHERWAY. – VX37645, Jack, 2/10th Ord. Workshops, died July 8, P.O.W., Borneo. Not just to-day but every day in silence we will remember you, Jack – From all who worked with him at Jack O’Lantern.
  • BUTHERWAY. – VX37645, Jack, 2/10 Ord. W’shop, died July 8, P.O.W., Borneo. – Inserted by his friend, Lillian.

The Argus, Saturday, 3 November 1945, p20

  • BUTHERWAY. – VX37645 Jack, 2/10th Ord. Workshops, died July 8, P.O.W., Borneo. – Not just today, but every day, in silence we will remember you Jack. (From all who worked with him at Jack O’Lantern.)

Jack is remembered on Panel 29 of the Labuan Memorial in the Labuan War Cemetery. The Labuan War cemetery is located on the small island of Labuan (part of Sabah, Malaysia) in Brunei Bay, off the north-west coat of Borneo.

BUTHERWAY, Craftsman JACK HERBERT, VX.37645. A.I.F.
2/4 Fd. Wksp. Australian Corps of Elec. and Mech. Engineers
8th July 1945. Age 26.
Son of Thomas James and Florence Mary Butherway, of Eltham, Victoria.

◊         ◊        ◊

LEST WE FORGET

“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.”

ROLL OF HONOUR
1914-1918
  • Sgt. George Williams
  • Sgt. Reginald E. Sims
  • L/Cpl. George Moore
  • L/Cpl. Henry G. Philips
  • L/Cpl. John C. Bell
  • Pte. Geoffrey Grant
  • Pte. George Sommerville
  • Pte. George Brown
  • Pte. John Brown
  • Pte. William Bond
  • Pte. Thomas Cameron
  • Pte. Alfred Cassells
  • Pte. Robert Meadows
  • Pte. Walter Mosley
  • Pte. James Pryor
  • Pte. William Prior
  • Pte. Edward Barrett
  • Pte. William Crellin
  • Pte. Henry Norman
  • Pte. Edward Bird
  • Pte. Arthur Brown
  • Pte. Roslyn Stevens
  • Pte. Herbert Creed
  • Pte. Charles Bromfield
  • Pte. Kenneth Sharp
  • Pte. Henry McAlary
1939-1945
  • Capt. S.M. Gahan
  • Plt. Off. D. Rutter
  • Flt. Off. D.H. Rutter
  • Flt. Sgt. S.M. Mclean
  • Flt. Sgt. L. Ingram
  • Sgt. C.D. Dunlop
  • Cpl. T. Feldbauer
  • Cpl. A.C. Clerke
  • Spr. G.E. Castledine
  • Pte. J. Butherway
  • Pte. K.F. Field

Soldiers of the Shire of Eltham remembered on the Eltham Roll of Honour for their supreme sacrifice; located in the Eltham War Memorial Hall

References
#VictoriaRemembers   #VPDay75
The Eltham Roll of Honour: Second World War

Read the stories of all the men from the Shire of Eltham who sacrificed their lives in the Second World War and to whom the Eltham War Memorial is dedicated.

Eltham Roll of Honour: Second World War

VP DAY 2020 – 75th Anniversary

#OnThisDay ( #OTD ) – 75 years ago, 14 August 1945, Japan accepted the Allied demand for unconditional surrender. A cease fire was called for at 7.00 p.m. (9.00 p.m. AEST). VP (Victory in the Pacific) Day, also referred to as VJ (Victory over Japan) Day was gazetted, in 1945, a public holiday and is celebrated on August 15th. It meant for all Australians, the Second World War was finally over, joyful their sons and daughters could finally come home at last. But one local Eltham family was still grieving the recent loss of their son, Private Jack Herbert Butherway, VX37645, who had died as a Prisoner of War of the Japanese just 37 days earlier in Borneo on 8 July 1945.

On VP Day 2020, in a series of posts, we will remember the 75th Anniversary of Victory in the Pacific, Victory over Japan, the end of the Second World War and the eleven men from the Eltham district who laid down their lives for us and their country.

The eleven men of the Shire of Eltham who died serving their country in the Second World War and for whom the Eltham War Memorial was dedicated. Their names are listed on the Eltham Roll of Honour in order of rank. Here we show them (left to right, top to bottom) by date of fatality:
CASTLEDINE, George Ernest, Spr., VX10044 (KIA 18 Apr 1941, Greece)
GAHAN, Studley Manston, Capt., VX48379 (KIA 17 May 1941, Tobruk, Libya)
RUTTER, David, Flying Off., 833 (400833) (KIA 9 Dec 1941, Bir El Gubbi, Libya)
CLERKE, Alfred Charles, Cpl., VX23112 (KIA 2 Feb 1942, Laha, Ambon Island)
DUNLOP, Cuthbert Douglas, Sgt., VX15252 (KIA 22 Nov 1942, Gona, New Guinea)
INGRAM, Lester Neil, Flt. Sgt., 410236 (DOD 22 Apr 1943, Longworth, England)
McLEAN, Stanley, Flt. Sgt., 419844 (KIA 7 Oct 1944, Emmerich, Germany)
FELDBAUER, Theodore, Sgt., VX51733 (DOD 27 Mar 1945, Borneo)
RUTTER, Donald Hemphill, Flt. Lt., 410262 (KIA 5 Apr 1945, Varrelbusch, Germany)
FIELD, Kevin Francis, Pte., VX144763 (KIA 28 Jun 1945, Bougainville, PNG)
BUTHERWAY, Jack Herbert, Pte, VX37645 (DOD 8 Jul 1945, Borneo)

◊         ◊        ◊

LEST WE FORGET

“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.”

ROLL OF HONOUR
1914-1918
  • Sgt. George Williams
  • Sgt. Reginald E. Sims
  • L/Cpl. George Moore
  • L/Cpl. Henry G. Philips
  • L/Cpl. John C. Bell
  • Pte. Geoffrey Grant
  • Pte. George Sommerville
  • Pte. George Brown
  • Pte. John Brown
  • Pte. William Bond
  • Pte. Thomas Cameron
  • Pte. Alfred Cassells
  • Pte. Robert Meadows
  • Pte. Walter Mosley
  • Pte. James Pryor
  • Pte. William Prior
  • Pte. Edward Barrett
  • Pte. William Crellin
  • Pte. Henry Norman
  • Pte. Edward Bird
  • Pte. Arthur Brown
  • Pte. Roslyn Stevens
  • Pte. Herbert Creed
  • Pte. Charles Bromfield
  • Pte. Kenneth Sharp
  • Pte. Henry McAlary
1939-1945
  • Capt. S.M. Gahan
  • Plt. Off. D. Rutter
  • Flt. Off. D.H. Rutter
  • Flt. Sgt. S.M. Mclean
  • Flt. Sgt. L. Ingram
  • Sgt. C.D. Dunlop
  • Cpl. T. Feldbauer
  • Cpl. A.C. Clerke
  • Spr. G.E. Castledine
  • Pte. J. Butherway
  • Pte. K.F. Field

Soldiers of the Shire of Eltham remembered on the Eltham Roll of Honour for their supreme sacrifice; located in the Eltham War Memorial Hall

#VictoriaRemembers   #VPDay75
The Eltham Roll of Honour: Second World War

Read the stories of all the men from the Shire of Eltham who sacrificed their lives in the Second World War and to whom the Eltham War Memorial is dedicated.

ThrowbackThursday: Hollywood comes to Eltham 1955

Hollywood star visits Eltham

#ThrowbackThursday – Grace Mitchell, a talented artist in later life and baker, managed a pastry shop business near the corner of Mount Pleasant and Main roads, Eltham in the 1950s.

Shortly after her marriage to Arthur Mitchell in 1948, Arthur incurred a head injury from an an accident and was unable to work.  Grace realised she needed to be home to care for her husband as well as earn an income.  She managed the bureaucracy of council permits, and made modifications to her home with savings to get the business off the ground without having to borrow money.

Grace and Arthur were avid gardeners and would grow, wash and mince vegetables for pasties while Grace hand made and rolled the pastry.  They cooked and minced their own meat for the pies and the fruit for the sweet pies came from their orchard at the rear of the property.  She also baked scones and cakes.

Katherine Hepburn
Unknown author Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studio publicity photographer / Public domain

With weekend visitors travelling to Eltham on the train for days trips, her reputation grew as the spot for afternoon tea.  Grace’s daughter Jenni mentions the visit of dancer, Robert Helpmann and U.S. actress Katherine Hepburn in her Grace Mitchell: a short history [2012].

Reminiscences in We did open a school in Little Eltham: Eltham Primary School 209, 1856-2006 a history [2006] include a mention of Grace’s famous pastry shop and the Sunday afternoon visit by Helpmann and Hepburn.

In Anne Edwards 2019 biography of Katherine Hepburn: A Remarkable Woman, she is described as a “grande dame of American actresses, fierce individualist, and Hollywood legend.”  A bonafide star she was nominated for twelve Academy Awards and won four.  Robert Helpman became world famous as Britain’s most outstanding ballet dancer and subsequently turned his attentions to stage and screen. The two first met in London in 1952 when they appeared together in the play “The Millionairess” on the West End.  He subsequently invited her to be part of an Australian tour presenting three Shakespearean plays.  In May 1955 Helpmann and Hepburn arrived in Sydney, Helpmann was returning to his native land after being away for 25 years.  They were accorded a reception by the Mayor of Melbourne.  In NSW Hepburn visited St Matthews Church and Rectory at Windsor and donated £50 to the church restoration fund. She later wrote of her fascination with the blue lakes area near Adelaide and the “extraordinary” lyrebird.

Grace operated her pastry shop for over 16 years.  She supported the Shillinglaw Cottage Preservation Campaign to preserve the cottage through its Flavour of Eltham community cookbook published in 1964 and hosted cooking classes in the new Living and Learning Centre

Flavour of Eltham : recipes and other items collected by friends of the Shillinglaw Cottage, page 91 advertising Grace Mitchell’s Home Made Cakes & Pies (EDHS collection)
Grace Mitchell and Ursula Dors, Cooking Class, Eltham Living and Learning Centre (EDHS collection)

Katherine Hepburn passed way in 2003 aged 96 years. Her trademark was playing strong independent women with minds of their own.  Grace Mitchell passed away aged 95 years in 2011.

Touchstone – keeping in contact; No. 4, June 26

No.4 – 26th June 2020

  • Recently we promoted some work via our Website and Facebook page that the collections team had done digitising some old audio tapes in the collection. Now we need to listen to them and provide improved information and keywords. If anyone would like to help out with this project, please get in touch, and we can arrange for you to access a recording.
  • EDHS has been involved in the consultation for the Kangaroo Ground War Memorial Park Master Plan. Brand statement and site history documents have been updated.
  • Wikipedia is the largest and most popular general reference work on the internet. An article on Eltham District Historical Society was recently published.
  • A favourite resource for local and family historians and just the curious, Trove brings together a vast range of collections from almost 1,000 cultural, community and research organisations all over Australia. It includes specific content that cannot be easily found via a typical search engine. Trove has re-launched with a refreshed logo, colour, overall design and new features.
  • Eltham Library (and six other YPRL branches) is open from 30 June with restrictions in place.
  • Local historian and former EDHS member Bruce Draper passed away recently. His daughter has curated Up The Creek, a collection of his articles about the pioneers, people and local history of Arthurs Creek and surrounding districts.
  • Australia Post wants to mark this moment in our nation’ s history. They are inviting Australians to write a letter to share our experience of the COVID-19 pandemic with their Dear Australia Project. Record your impressions of this remarkable time. Please send EDHS a copy too!
  • A picture tells A thousand words is the inspiration for this new online exhibition from NSW State Archives and Sydney Living Museums.
  • The Royal Historical Society of Victoria has responded to recent events with official statements:
  • Our Little Eltham Street Library remains open and proving to be very popular, with a broad selection of titles on offer. So if you are out walking, please drop in at the Local History Centre at 728 Main Road, Eltham. . . . Take a book – leave a book – share a book !

Stay safe.
Jim Connor
President
on behalf of the committee of the Eltham District Historical Society

Stories from the Shire with Geoff Paine: Eltham District Historical Society

We have a new video to share thanks to the generousity of society member and local identity, Geoff Paine.

Stories from the Shire with Geoff Paine: Eltham District Historical Society

In this short video you will be given a brief look at the Eltham Justice precinct on Main Road and how it came about in Little Eltham as well as some background history leading to the establishment of the Shire of Eltham Historical Society (now Eltham District Historical Society) arising from the relocation of Shillinglaw Cottage.

Touchstone – keeping in contact

Greetings to all from Eltham District Historical Society; from our homes to your homes.

As an initiative to keep in touch with our members during the COVID-19 State of Emergency Stage 3 lock-down, our committee initiated a one-page information sheet to be sent approximately every two weeks to our members.

As part of documenting our own history and in the interests of sharing with all in the community, we are now going to make these Touchstone newsletters accessible via our web site, along with our regular Newsletter.

The following is a reproduction of Touchstone No. 1 and this issue and an archive of subsequent issues may be accessed from the Main Menu at the top of each page.

 

No.1 – 9th April 2020

We send our best wishes to all our members.

Until we are able to see you again for our Society Meetings and Heritage Excursions, we hope all our members are well and staying safe, during these times of enforced isolation.

EDHS will continue to connect with you, distribute our newsletters and email any other information of interest. There are also other ways you can still stay connected with our local history.

You can visit:

• Our Victorian Collection pages at:
https://victoriancollections.net.au/organisations/eltham-district-historical-society#collection-records

Here you can explore over 10,000 catalogued items, the majority of which are images, there due to the activities of our dedicated Collections Team who continue to work behind the scenes.

• You can visit our website at: http://www.elthamhistory.org.au

Here you can read various stories and also catch up on past newsletters.

• You can visit our Facebook pages at: https://www.facebook.com/elthamhistory/

Here you can explore a range of local history stories and information, including Throwback Thursday and On This Day features.

• You can visit the Wikinorthia website at: https://wikinorthia.net.au

Here you can see an extensive range of local history stories about the northern suburbs.

During this down time perhaps consider writing your memories and stories of living and working in Eltham and District for our archives. See the attached as a guide.

You could go through your photos and share your memories with family members. Consider donating archives, including photos relating to Eltham and District to EDHS. We can also arrange to digitise these.

So, while we cannot be with you in person, at this time, you are in our thoughts.

Please take care, we hope you are able to stay safe.

Regards
Jim Connor
President, on behalf of the committee of the Eltham District Historical Society

Our Society encourages interest in and the sharing of stories about the local history of the Eltham district in Victoria, Australia