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Remembering Sir Roden Cutler VC

Jun 24, 2024 | Sport History

Sir Arthur Roden Cutler VC was a rifle shooter from a strong shooting family before the Great War and would…

Sir Arthur Roden Cutler VC was a rifle shooter from a strong shooting family before the Great War and would continue his support for the sport becoming Patron of NSWRA while he was Governor of NSW.

The article below was published by the Australian War Memorial on 19 June 2024.

Lieutenant A. Roden Cutler VC, 2/5th Australian Field Regiment, 1942. AWM134905

On this day in 1941, Lieutenant Arthur Roden Cutler performed the actions for which he was awarded the Victoria Cross.

Arthur Roden Cutler was born at Manly on 24 May 1916. He was a keen sportsman growing up and went on to study economics at Sydney University.

Cutler joined the Australian Imperial Force in 1940 and was posted to the 2/5th Field Regiment of the 7th Divisional Artillery. Later that year, his unit left Australia for the Middle East.

Cutler’s first experience of combat came against the Vichy French in Syria in June 1941. At Merdjayoun, Cutler proved to be a courageous soldier and placed himself in danger several times to direct Allied artillery fire against the enemy.

Over 18 days of fighting, Cutler fought back enemy troops, restored communications and supervised the evacuation of injured Australian soldiers. He was eventually wounded leading to the amputation of his right leg.

For ‘conspicuous and sustained gallantry’, Cutler was awarded the Victoria Cross. He was invalided home and while standing on crutches, was invested with the Victoria Cross by then Governor General of Australia, Lord Gowrie, on 11 June 1942.

Lieutenant A. Roden Cutler after the investiture by the Governor General, Lord Gowrie with the Victoria Cross, 1942. AWM012576

Returning home, Cutler began his diplomatic career which included appointments as Australian High Commissioner New Zealand, Australian High Commissioner Ceylon and Australian High Commissioner to Pakistan. In 1965 he was appointed Governor of New South Wales.

Cutler was widely respected by many Australians and in 2000 he was commemorated on a stamp and coin issue. He died from illness in February 2002 at the age of 85.

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