The AIF Project

Arthur Stuart Keylock RUSDEN

Regimental number5215
Place of birthRupanyup, Victoria
SchoolNhill State and Art School; Ballarat High School, Victoria
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationCivil servant
Address20 Errard Street, Ballarat, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation18
Height5' 8.75"
Weight146 lbs
Next of kinFather, Mr A S Rusden, 20 Errard Street, Ballarat, Victoria
Previous military serviceServed as Sergeant in School Cadets (Champion Company); also served in Citizen Military Forces.
Enlistment date3 January 1916
Place of enlistmentBallarat, Victoria
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name8th Battalion, 16th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/25/5
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A23 Suffolk on 1 April 1916
Rank from Nominal RollCorporal
Unit from Nominal Roll59th Battalion
Other details from Roll of Honour CircularMatriculated: 8 subjects (5 distinctions); passed State Public Service Examination. (details from father)
FateKilled in Action 4 July 1918
Place of death or woundingHamel, France
Place of burialMericourt L'Abbe Communal Cemetery Extension (Plot III, Row E, Grave No. 6), France
Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
168
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Commemorated on Roll of Honour, Peacock Hall, Ballarat High School, Victoria. Parents: Arthur and Blanche RUSDEN, 'Drumcondra', 52 Loch Avenue, Ballarat, Victoria. Native of Rupanyup, Victoria
Family/military connectionsCousin: Captain Gerard Robert STOCKFIELD, 22nd Bn, killed in action, 26 September 1917.
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Embarked Melbourne, 1 April 1916; disembarked Suez, 14 May 1916.

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 21 June 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 30 June 1916.

Taken on strength, 59th Bn, in the field, 23 July 1916.

Detached to Fifth Division Grenade School of Instruction, 17 September 1916; rejoined Bn from detachment, 22 September 1916.

Detached to Fifth Division Grenade School of Instruction, 28 September 1916; rejoined Bn from detachment, 13 October 1916.

Temporarily detached to 15th Infantry Brigade, 12 December 1916; rejoined Bn, in the field, 22 December 1916.

Appointed Lance Corporal, 5 August 1917.

On leave to United Kingdom, 7 August 1917; rejoined Bn from leave, 18 August 1917.

Wounded in action, 26 September 1917 (shrapnel wound, left arm), and admitted to 6th Australian Field Ambulance, and transferred to 17th Casualty Clearing Station, and then to Ambulance Train (record states wound to right arm); admitted to 14th Stationary Hospital, Boulogne, 27 September 1917; transferred to No 1 Convalescent Depot, 2 October 1917; to 5th Australian Division Base Depot, Havre, 6 October 1917; rejoined Bn, in the field, 13 October 1917.

On Command, 2nd Army Supply School, 29 December 1917; rejoined Bn, in the field, 18 January 1918.

Promoted Corporal, 12 February 1918.

On Command, Fifth Australian Division Scout & Patrol School, 6 March 1918; rejoined Bn, 17 March 1918.

Killed in action, 4 July 1918.

Buried Mericourt L'Abbe Cemetery by Rev. F.C. BREMER, 7 July 1918.

Statement, Red Cross File No 2380307N, 2125 Pte J. ADAMS, B Company, 59th Bn, 12 September 1918: 'He was a Corporal of my Company, 'B'. On the morning of the 4th July we made a stunt at Villers-sur-Ancre and Rusden was hit by a bomb. He wasn't able to be got out of the trench, he was in because there were so many casualties that morning and not nearly enough S/Bs to get the wounded away. Rusden was badly hit in several places. He was bandaged up as best they could but died in about 2 or three hours before the S/Bs could get him away. I didn't see him hit but I saw his grave at Merricourt [sic] Cemetery. It has a cross on it with his name and number on it.'

Second statement, 1740 Pte W.G. TAYLOR, B Company, 59th Bn (patient, 1st Australian Auxiliary Hospital, Harefield, England), 12 September 1918: 'He was of B. Company, VI Platoon. On morning of 4th July just behind Morlancourt. Was killed outright during our attack. I saw him lying on the field about 4.30 in morning. I did not look at him to see how he was killed, as we were going on at the time. Was buried in Military Cemetery just to right of Mericourt. I have not seen the grave, but S/B brought all bodies out to this Cemetery. was Corporal.'

Third statement, 3489 Pte I.A. ARTHUR, B Company, 59th Bn (patient, King George Hospital, London, England), 13 September 1918: 'Rusden was a Corporal. He was hit by a bomb and lay on the stretcher for some hours before he died. He was buried in Mericourt Cemetery. There is a cross.' Notation on file: 'Intelligent'.

Fourth statement, 2129 Pte W. BARFIELD, 59th Bn (patient, No 3 Stationary Hospital, Rouen), 18 September 1917: 'I knew Rusden very well. He was our Cpl. in B Co. 5 Pl. and came from Ballarat, Victoria. I was told by Pte. Robert Carter of B Co., who was with his unit when I left, that early one morning in July last, during an attack on the Germans, two or three of them, including Rusden, charged a M.G. Post. They obtained their objective and reached the German trench, when Rusden was badly wounded in the thigh by a hand grenade. He fell and some little time elapsed before his body could be moved, owing to continual sniping. He died about 4 p.m. and eventually was buried in a little village nearby ... Rusden was one of the best and always ready to lend a helping hand to his men.'

Fifth statement, 4850 Pte W. MULLARD, 59th Bn, 28 February 1919: 'I knew Casualty. He was a man about 5 ft. 8 ins, well built, medium complexion, about 22 years of age, known as "Rus". Casualty was in the front line at Villers sur Ancre on the 4th July. He was hit by a stick bomb which killed him almost instantly. I was 40 yds. away at the time of his death but I saw Casualty lying there and went to his assistance. (His body was not cold when I examined it.) I lifted him out of the trench. He was severely wounded in both legs and he was buried in a small cemetery behind the French Cemetery at Merricourt [sic] and I carried him there and sewed him up in a blanket and I saw his grave. A nice cross had been erected with his name, number and unit on it.'

Sixth statement, 5197 Pte H.F. PLOWMAN, 59th Bn, 4 July 1919: 'I knew casualty, he was a man of stout build, 5' 8" tall, dark complexion, about 23 years of age. Casualty was in a small stunt at Morlincourt [sic]. He was standing in a trench which had just been captured, when a high explosive shell landed near, a piece entering his body, killing him instantly. I was about five yards away at the time. He was buried near the village of Morlincourt, I saw him buried.'

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
Miscellaneous detailsSecond given name incorrectly entered on Embarkation Roll as Stewart.
SourcesNAA: B2455, RUSDEN Arthur Stuart Keylock
Red Cross File no 2380307N

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