We are incredibly proud to be named in honour of former local member and World War I Victoria Cross recipient William “Rusty” Ruthven, whose strong commitment to community service and personal qualities of honour and bravery are reflected in our core promise; LEARN – Leadership Excellence Acceptance Respect Now @ WRSC.
Sergeant Ruthven was just 24 when his courageous actions at Ville-sur-Ancre, near Somme in France, earned him the prestigious Victoria Cross for bravery in 1918.
Born in Collingwood, Victoria, William Ruthven became an engineer and was employed in the timber industry prior to his enlistment in April 1915.
During his first tour of duty in the forward area of Fleurbaix Ruthven was wounded.
He returned to Australia in October 1918.
During the 1920s he moved to a soldier settlement block at Werrimull but he returned to the city in 1931, later working for the State Rivers and Water Supply Commission.
In 1945 he was elected to the Collingwood Council and became Mayor in 1945.
During the Second World War he served with the 3rd Garrison Battalion and other Garrison Units, including those centered around Murchison, Victoria’s largest prisoner of war camp.
He sat in the Victorian Legislative Assembly from 1945 until 1955 as a Labour member for Preston.