Roden Cutler VC
NX12378 Lieutenant Arthur Roden CUTLER
2/5th Australian Field Regiment
19th June to 6th July 1941, at Merdjayoun-Damour area, Syria
Lieutenant Arthur Roden CUTLER was born at Manly, New South Wales on 24 May 1916. Sir Roden Cutler VC, AK, KCMG, KCVO, CBE served as Governor of New South Wales from 1966 to 1981. He died on 21 February 2002 and was buried in the South Head Cemetery, Sydney, New South Wales.
London Gazette 28th November 1941:
"For most conspicuous and sustained gallantry during the Syrian campaign and for outstanding bravery during the bitter fighting at Merdjayoun when this artillery officer became a byword amongst forward troops with which he worked.
At Merdjayoun on 19 June 1941, our infantry attack was checked"... "Enemy machine gun fire swept the ground but Lieutenant Cutler with another artillery officer and a small party pushed on ahead of the infantry and established an outpost in a house." ... "The enemy then attacked this outpost with infantry and tanks, killing the Bren gunner and mortally wounding other officers. Lieutenant Cutler and another manned the anti- tank rifle and Bren gun and fought back, driving the enemy infantry away." ... "Lieutenant Cutler then personally supervised the evacuation of the wounded members of his party" ... "With a small party of volunteers he pressed on until finally with one other he succeeded in establishing an outpost right in the town" ... "At this time Lieutenant Cutler knew the enemy were massing on his left for a counter attack and that he was in danger of being cut off. Nevertheless he carried out his task of registering the battery on the road and engaging enemy posts" ... "His work in registering the only road by which enemy transport could enter the town was of vital importance and a big factor in the enemy's subsequent retreat.
On the night of 23rd-24th June he was in charge of a 25-pounder sent forward into our forward defended localities to silence an enemy anti-tank gun and post, which had held up our attack. This he did and next morning the capture of Medjayoun was completed. Later at Damour on 6th July, when our forward infantry was pinned to the ground by heavy hostile machine gun fire Lieutenant Cutler, regardless of all danger, went to bring a line to his outpost when he was seriously wounded. Twenty six hours elapsed before it was possible to rescue this officer, whose wounds by this time had become septic necessitating the amputation of his leg. Throughout the Campaign this officer's courage was unparalleled and his work was a big factor in the recapture of Medjayoun."
[Photo courtesy of the Australian War Memorial]