Dud Suttor – Soldier and Wallaby #129

Dudley Colin Suttor

Dudley Colin Suttor, was born at Koorawatha in 1892, whilst his parents, Walter and Louisa (Nee Monro), were living at the property “Warrangong”.

Walter and Louisa had 9 children, 5 boys (2 of those died young) and 4 girls. Dud Suttor was their seventh child and their other children were:-
Stella Louise 1881- 1967 married Francis Edmund Wickham in 1901
Reta Maria 1882 – 1968 married Edward Keith Wilson in 1906
James Frederick 1884 – 1947 married Mary Elwin Suttor in 1938
Clare Suttor 1886 – 1958 married Henry Annesley Voysey in 1908
Ena 1888 – 1969 married William Cargill Moodie in 1908
Walter Sydney 1890 – 1900 accidental death at 10 years
Dudley Colin 1892 – 1962 married Elizabeth B Palmer in 1921
Lindon Edgar 1895 – 1984 married Phyllis Maud Arnott in 1919
Philip Aldous 1897 – 1898 infant died, just over 1 year old

When Dud was 8 years old his elder brother Walter was thrown from a horse and killed, aged 10. Soon after this they moved to Mosman in Sydney for around 8 years and then to “Warrangunyah” Ilford.

Dud was a great sportsman and represented Shore at both Rugby and Cricket in 1909 and was in the school cadets for 2 years.

All 17 of the team and the Master served in WW1 and 3 died in action. D C Suttor front right.

Bathurst changes Football Code as Australia fails to pick Suttor

Dud Suttor represented NSW at Rugby Union in 1912, playing eight matches on the wing, and just missed selection in the Australian team which toured America that year with Billy Hill as manager. He seemed most unlucky to be passed over.

Bathurst was so upset over his omission that the city immediately swung over to the professional League game.

The late Jack Corless, well known Rugby Union writer in his day, made the following comment after a match in 1912:-
“Suttor, the left wing three quarter back was the crackerjack player of the side. He scored three brilliant tries and would have scored three dozen had J Flynn never been born. Suttor as a winger is the ideal, a man who shoots off the mark like lead out of a Winchester, fast as a Zebra, and generally, a reckless, daring smashing player. His style is immensely like Llewellyn, the dashing Welshman who came here with Dedell- Sivright’s 1904 Anglo Welsh team, and he is only a lightweight and stocky”

Although he continued to play in the country, Suttor’s abilities were well known in town. When South Sydney wing R.D. Fusedale did not have a particularly good match in the first contest against the visiting New Zealand Maori team, Suttor was called up. Suttor’s first real chance came from a slick move worked by Fred Wood and Tasker, which gave the speedy Bathurst man a modicum of space. It was all he needed, as he burst clear of the defence and scored after a 50-yard run that had the crowd on its feet. In the second spell, he again made a classy finishing run after good work by the inside backs who had created space. His defence also won acclaim on many occasions. Praised on all sides as the star turn of a hard-fought match, Suttor was always going to be chosen for the 1913 New Zealand tour

Wallaby Number 129

Suttor toured New Zealand as a wing three quarter with the 1913 Waratahs and earned his international cap (Wallaby number 129). He played all the main matches and, with Ernie Carr playing ever y match, Queensland winger Lou Meibusch did not get a look in. Suttor did little early on, as most of the play tended to run Carr’s way, but he made a mark in the second Test. Finally given a chance to show off his great pace, Suttor scored one of Australia’s three tries that day after receiving the ball from his centres and being given half a yard to move in. Once again, that was all he needed as he raced off to score. He scored again after coming on as a replacement at Timaru—the injury finishing any hopes Meibusch may have entertained of winning a Test spot—and Suttor had a stand-out game at Christchurch. He scored two fine tries, once after getting an overlap and the other after receiving a cut-out pass from Larry Wogan, and both times he was too quick for the chasers or the cover. Australia claimed an historic 16-5 win, its first over the All Blacks in New Zealand, and was value for ever y point. The tour finished with a match against a moderate Marlborough side at Blenheim, where Suttor and Carr enjoyed both the firm ground and the space created by the centres to register hat-tricks. Naturally the two wingers were the day’s star players and Suttor was the leading try scorer on the tour with seven tries.

Note:- The first team to go by the name of ‘Wallabies’ was the Australian touring party who went to Britain in 1908. Organised and funded by the NSWRU, the team wore NSW sky blue jerseys with a waratah badge. The Wallabies first turned out in a predominately gold jersey in 1938, but it was not the permanent colour until 1962.

War Service AIF

Dudley Colin Suttor (Feature Photo at page top is of Members of the AIF First XV competing in the King’s Cup Competition taken in early march 1919. AWM D00373 – Dud Suttor on ground front left)

Dud enlisted in the Australian Imperial Expeditionary Forces on 16th June 1915, at the age of 23, and three months. He was posted to the 15th Army Service Corps 4th Reinforcements. On 30th September embarked from Sydney on board HMAT A8 Argyllshire. (Note: Some 328,583 Australian men and 2,131 women enlisted during WW1)

Dudley Colin Suttor

On the 18th December 1915 he was absorbed into the 15th A.A.S.C 2nd Division Training from the 4th Reinforcements. His initial rank was “Driver”, being promoted to Lance Corporal on the 1st September 1916. He saw service in Egypt, France and Belgium as well as in England.

D C Suttor

AIF Rugby Team

Following the signing of the Armistice in Compeigne France, for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front, which took effect at 11am on the 11th of November 1918, the Australian Military had a problem in keeping a couple of hundred thousand home hungry men occupied and contented with no way to get them home quickly as they had been brought over in small portions over an extended period of time. Some were able to get work in the “old country” until their return. Another solution was for the AIF to organise unlimited sport of which Rugby was just one.
(Note: While Armistice Day was the official date to mark the end of the war, it reflects the cease fire on the Western Front, hostilities continued in other regions, especially across the former Russian Empire and in parts of the old Ottoman Empire)

Dud became a star winger with the AIF Services team which did so much to rehabilitate Rugby Union after the World War One.

The AIF team had a grand pack of forwards headed by the late Billy Watson and Suttor was a star winger among an average set of backs.

Dud was promoted to Corporal on11th January 1919 and then to L Sergeant on the 16th January 1919.

An AIF team went to the French Capital and played a match against the French Army Team on 19th January 1919 with Corporal D. C. Suttor as three quarter. There had not been time to conduct test matches to select a team, so each Division was asked to submit names of its 8 best men. These were sent to a School of Physical and Recreational Training, which had been established near the village of Barbencon, in Belgium, on 1st January, 1919. Suttor entered the R. R. School on 4th January 1919. After a fortnight’s training the team was selected and sent to Paris. The final score was 6 to 3 in favour of the AIF.

On 28th January 1919 (could have been 22nd March 1919) the AIF team embarked from France to England on the Orontes for a football tour of England. The team was supplemented by additional players on arrival in England. They played various teams and the AIF Headquarters Team (defeating them 12 to 6). It was from these two teams that the Australian Fifteen for the International Service Rugby Competition was selected. An Australian Reserve Team was also formed and both teams, while in London, trained at Chiswick Park.

The Inter Services and Dominion Forces Rugby Competition commenced on the 1st of March with teams from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, the Imperial Army (knows as the Mother Country) and the Royal Air Force. The prize was a cup presented by His Majesty the King. Unfortunately Australia did not fare as well as hoped and although they were the only team to defeat the New Zealanders, New Zealand went on to win the competition followed by Mother County, South Africa, RAF, then Australia, and finally Canada.

There had been some early adverse press criticism on the rough methods employed by the Australian team, however as the competition progressed these proved to be unfounded and they were congratulated on their fairness and the spirit in which they played the game.

The team went on to tour Devon and Wales and played matches around London.

The teams left Devonport, England for Australia on 15th May 1919 on the Orontes disembarking at Sydney on 1st July 1919. The intention at the time was that they should play matches at Sydney and Brisbane before being disbanded.

They went on to play a series of matches against NSW, and other teams, and were undefeated. It was generally conceded that the AIF team had the finest pack of forwards ever seen on the Sydney ground.

Suttor played the first two matches during the AIF Team’s Australia Tour. One Australian journalist wrote: ‘ The final between the Diggers and Our Boys resulted in a ding dong struggle during the first half, but in the second spell the fighting boys, with a brisk breeze behind them, charged the line repeatedly, and had all the best of the game. Suttor electrified the shivering barrackers with his dashing sprints goal-wards.’ Suttor withdrew from the AIF Team’s Australia tour after the second match in May 1919 and returned to his orchards in Bathurst

D C Suttor on right of middle row and in jersey
Record of original assembly of the First AIF Rugby Union Team at Barbencon, Belgium, 1919. The Team was supplemented by additional players on arrival in England.

On 29th August 1930, a reunion of the AIF Rugby team was held in the Aarons Exchange Hotel, with the following menu and on the reverse, autographs of all the team members present.

AIF Football Photos in Australian War Memorial

Item H15523 – France. A rugby football team formed from members of the 18th Battalion, AIF. Cpl D C Suttor front row right (also in Suttor family collection)
Item D00524 – London, England 26 March 1919 rugby football match between 1st and 2nd Australian Fifteens at Chiswick. Sgt D C Suttor in striped jersey second from right
Item D00260 – Group portrait of the Australian ‘French’ rugby football team which defeated AIF Headquarters. Sgt D C Suttor middle row second left.
Item D00373 – Members of the AIF First XV competing in the King’s Cup Competition in early March 1919. Cpl Dud Suttor on sitting ground front left. (Colourised Feature Photo at page top)
The AIF Rugby Union Football Team of 1919 during the Australian Tour. The only team to defeat New Zealand and the winners of the Inter-Services Competition for the King’s Cup. Sgt Dud Suttor bottom row second from right.

Dudley Suttor (Regimental No 7291) attained the rank of F/C Sergeant and was discharged from the 15th A.A.S.C of the AIF on 23rd August 1919, after 4 years and 70 days of service including 3 years and 276 days service abroad. Entitled to and issued 4 blue chevrons and Returned Soldiers’ Badge 101557. War service medals issued were: 1914-15 Star; British War Medal and Victory Medal.

“I remember the day when Uncle Dud returned from the war looking very handsome in uniform. We were all waiting on the “Warrangunyah” verandah when the family car arrived, probably from Clandulla, but perhaps all the way from Sydney. There was a great rejoicing and and welcoming and before long Uncle Dud was playing hide and seek with the numerous children.” (Memories of Louis Baeyertz (nee Wilson) grand daughter of Walter Sydney Suttor via his daughter Reta Maria)

There was a welcome home dance held at “Warrangunyah” woolshed for Dud and his brother Jim and because there was so many children a “juvenile” dance was held for about an hour before the dance proper, and then the children were put to bed, more than often on a mattress in the back of a buggy.

After the War

Dudley Colin Suttor (1892 – 1962) married Elizabeth “Betty” Palmer (1895 – 1986) in 1921 at All Saints Cathedral, Bathurst. Betty was the only daughter of John Edward “Jack” and Louisa E (nee Lomas) Palmer of “Warraweena”, Bathurst. Jack Palmer was a well known Stock & Station Agent. The ceremony took place at All Saints Cathedral, Bathurst.

Dud and Betty lived most of their married life at “Myola”, Tabrabucca near Ilford, a small grazing property that had been a portion of “Warrangunyah”, where he also conducted an apple and pear orchard. He was also keen district sportsman playing cricket, tennis and football.

Betty and Dud Suttor

Dud’s younger brother Linden Edgar (1896 – 1974) and wife Phyllis Maud (nee Arnott 1896 – 1981) lived nearby at “Tara”, Ilford, a grazing property that they had moved to in 1928 from the Harris family when “Warrangunyah” was sold. They had two daughters, Phyllis Enid and Anne Yvonne and one son Walter Arnott. “Tara” is still held by the family.

One of Walter’s grandsons, Rory Suttor, played for the 1st 15 Rugby team at Dud’s old school, Shore for 3 years and was picked in the Australian school boys to tour NZ in 2016. Rory went on to play in Italy in 2022. While at Shore he made a lectern in his wood working class and dedicated it to the memory of his great great Uncle Dudley .

On the 10th March 1938, the second annual Rylstone Kandos Show pavilion exhibits included a most attractive display of apples by D. Suttor of Ilford. (John “Jack” Coleridge Blackmore was the first Show President)

On the 16th of December, 1939, Dud Suttor seconded a proposal to form a bush fire brigade at Ilford. One very big fire swept through the district in 1944. It started near Dud Suttor’s house. It was presumed that a truck travelling along the road threw a spark out from its “gas producer” unit (due to petrol rationing), and the fire quickly spread. The army was also called in to fight it and it was eventually contained some
miles to the east near Clandulla. (A “gas producer” is a sealed fire that effects the incomplete burning of wood – charcoal, to produce a gas that can be used to power a vehicle. Efficiency of around 2,000 miles to the ton of wood)

During the World War II years a local Ilford-Running Stream Volunteer Defence Corps was formed in 1942. Dud Suttor was in charge of the company and the writer believes that he may have held the rank of Captain. Measurements were taken, and uniforms sent up from Army Headquarters and everyone looked very smart in the uniforms, worn with the military hat. The training time was Sunday mornings at Ilford
Recreation Ground from 9 am to 12 Noon. Some weekend camps were held at Bathurst. The company was disbanded in September, 1945. Dud’s brother Lin was also a member of the Corps.

Eventually Dud and Betty retired to 29 Edward Street, Narraweena (Dee Why), sometime around 1952, where Dud started a lawn mowing business and developed a large vegetable garden in his back yard.

29 Edward Street, Narraweena (Dee Why)
Dud and Betty Suttor at 29 Edward St, Dee Why

Ever the sportsman, and excellent swimmer and body surfer, Dudley Colin Suttor passed away in 1962 aged 70 years whilst competing in a 55 yard RSL swimming
race at the Dee Why pool. His wife Betty later lived at Queenscliff and died at Toronto in 1986 aged 92.

Dudley Colin Suttor

Judith and Horace Norton “Dear William – The Suttors of Brucedale” 1994, 929.20994 Margaret Piddington “Over Cherry Tree Hill” 1989, ISBN 0 7316 6398 5
Lieutenant G.H. Goddard for the AIF Sports Control Board “Soldiers and Sportsmen” 1919. Marcus Fielder – “In the Field and On the Field” – A Highlight History of the Australian Army Rugby Union – Published around 2012 and updated and republished in 2017. Marcus Fielder – “Comrades in Arms and Rugby” – The remarkable achievements of the 1919 AIF Rugby Union Squad – Published in 2018. Press clippings and photos of the time in possession of the Blackmore/Suttor family.


3 thoughts on “Dud Suttor – Soldier and Wallaby #129

  1. Hi Greg ,
    My name is Wal Suttor from Tara Ilford .I have found your family history notes most interesting .
    One of my grandsons (Rory Suttor )played for the 1st 15s at Shore for 3 years and was picked in the Australian school boys to tour NZ in 2016 . He is now playing in Italy . While at Shore he made a lectern in his wood working class and dedicated it to the memory of his great great Uncle Dudley .
    I could tell you lots more ,but will leave that to another day ,
    Cheers ,
    Wal .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Wal and Robin,

      Thanks for getting in touch regarding Dud Suttor and your grandson Rory’s tribute Lectern that he made at his, and Dud’s, old school., Shore.

      Are you the Wally Suttor that played football with Roy Braddock and Tim Evans at Rylstone?
      Did you go to Shore or Kings? There was also a Wally Suttor at Kings, I think.

      As you know, Dud was one of my grandfathers and when we were very young, we visited Duddo and Narnie (our name for Betty) at “Myola”.

      I would have been only about 6 when they moved to Dee Why and a couple of years later Mum and dad flew to the USA and my brother Robert (AKA Bret) and I stayed there and I went to school at Narraweena for about 3 weeks.

      I started at Kings in 1956 at 10 years old and used to get “day leave” and take the train from Parramatta to Central Station and then a Leyland double decker bus to the Bonds Factory at Dee Why where Dud would pick me up in his Austin car. 4 hours later I would take the return trip.

      Our son Colin (named Colin Dudley) was also a good football player at school and captained the first 15 rugby team at St Brendans College, Yeppoon.

      Cheers Greg

      Liked by 1 person

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