Other Properties - Australian Groups


Lot 4966    SESSION 18 (2.30PM FRIDAY 28 JULY)    Other Properties - Australian Groups

Estimate $30,000
SOLD $32,000

GROUP OF FIVE: Military Cross (GRI); Distinguished Conduct Medal (GVR type 1); 1914-15 Star; British War Medal 1914-18; Victory Medal 1914-19 with MID. Lieut. L.W.Sutherland D.C.M. A.F.C., A.I.F. on first medal, 4 Sjt: L.W.Sutherland. 1/S.T.A. & N.Z.M.D. Aust:I.F. on second medal, 4 Cpl L.W.Sutherland, 1/Sig. Trp. A.I.F. on third medal, Lieut. L.W.Sutherland. A.I.F. on last two medals. First medal engraved, all other medals impressed. Swing mounted, second and fourth medals with contact marks, otherwise fine - very fine.

Together with,

1. Heavy, handcrafted wooden medal storage case with lid made from a barked slab from a tree, glued to the top of the lid is embroidered AFC pilot's wings, and on the underside is glued embroidered AFC pilot's wings, AFC colour patch, and Anzac Commemorative Medallion 1915 (issued 1967) (C.1915/3), naming on reverse not visible as glued to lid, and matching lapel badge, also a photo of Lieutenant Sutherland and written in left corner, 'Gee Blokes aint she sweet' and signed.

2. Anzac Commemorative Medallion 1915 (issued 1967) (C.1915/3) in original case, unnamed, also a matching lapel badge named on reverse, 'L.W.Sutherland.

3. Original flying goggles, trademarked, 'STG Triple Safety Glass A.B. Aero Mask'.

4. Original brown leather chamois-lined flying helmet, inside marked, '231 W (upright arrow) D/P'.

5. Pay Books for time in AFC.

6. Pilot's Flying Log Book (2), one for Army (AFC) and another for RAAF.

7. Program for presentation of War Decorations & Medals by General Sir William Birdwood at Melbourne Cricket Ground, Saturday 24th January 1920. No.68 on the list for award of a Military Cross is Lieutenant L.W.Sutherland, M.C., D.C.M., 67th A.F.C.

8. Aces and Kings by L.W.Sutherland, M.C., D.C.M. written in collaboration with Norman Ellison, 1935, 1st edition, hard cover and dust jacket, 275pp with b&w photos (current retail approx $350).

9. Modern photo frame with copy photo featuring Lieutenants Ted Kenny and 'Woodie' Sutherland in their Bristol Fighter, and another featuring Pilots and Observers of 67 Sqn, AFC (later No.1 Sqn) at Deir-Rl-Belah, Palestine, 1917, between the photos is attached a gilt and enamel AFC (KC) sweetheart brooch.

MC: LG 18/7/1918, p8483; CAG 18/2/1918, p2162, to Lieutenant L.W.Sutherland, No.67 Sqn, Aust Flying Corps.

Recommendation: The reconnaissance reports submitted by this officer have consistently shown such accuracy and attention to detail as to render them of inestimable value, and his gallantry and determination in carrying out his duties in spite of attacks by H.A. and A.A. fire, have on numerous occasions, during the month of November, 1917, been worthy of the highest praise. He is exceptional in a Squadron whose reconnaissance reports have been really remarkable.

Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He continually carried out difficult reconnaissances and brought in most valuable reports, though he was often attacked by hostile aeroplanes. He showed the greatest initiative and determination.

DCM: LG 20/10/1916, p10211; CAG 19/4/1917, p918, to Sgt L.W.Sutherland, 1st Sig Trp A&NZ Mtd Div.

Recommendation: For consistent courage and devotion to duty. On 3/4th August, 1916, at Romani, under personal observation of the General Officer Commanding, carried out the difficult task of keeping communications intact, regardless of fire.

Citation: For conspicuous gallantry in action. He maintained communications during the day under dangerous and difficult conditions.

MID: LG 1/12/1916, p11808; CAG 19/4/1917, p926, to Sergeant L.W.Sutherland, Aust Engrs.

Recommendation: for action at Romani 4th Aug 1916 & Bir El Abd 9th Aug 1916.

Despatch details: for distinguished services rendered during the period of General A.J.Murray's Command of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force.

Leslie William 'Woodie' Sutherland, carpenter, age 21, born at Murrumbeena, Vic; Enl.19Aug1914 at South Melbourne, Vic with previous service with Corps of Signallers, 2/19 Sig Trp; Emb.21Oct1914; to Cpl 1st Sig Trp 19Aug1914; to Gallipoli 09May1915; to Sgt 22May1916; to School of Instruction 09Jun1916; to 1st ALH and 2/Lt 06Sep1916 and then Lt and Regimental Signalling Officer; Attch'd to No.8 School of Military Aeronautics 19Jun1917; to School of Aerial Gunnery 29Jun1917; to No.67 Sqn, AFC 13Jul1917; graded as Observer 14Aug1917; from Flying Officer (Observer) to be Recording Officer 1Nov1917; accidentally injured right ankle while on duty 05Mar1918; relinquished appt of Recording Officer and re-graded as Flying Officer (Observer) 13Jul1918; with No.1 Sqn, AFC in Egypt 28Aug1918; to RAF Trg Bde 26Oct1918; graduated and appt'd Pilot 20Jan1919; had 8 kills to his credit as an Observer/Gunner; RTA 05Mar1919; Appt terminated 16Jun1919; worked in architectural field but found this too boring; joined RAAF as a permanent officer 10Nov1924; based at RAAF Richmond, NSW he was Works and Parachute Officer; in 1926 flew test flights for Flt Lt E.C. Wackett for the testing of parachutes prior to introduction of parachutes to all aircrew in RAAF; some other entries in his log book include (16.7.25) Formation to greet Wing-Com De Pinedo Sydney, (27.7.25) Visit to Harbour & American Fleet, (6.8.25) Farewell flight to American Fleet flew 10 miles out to sea, (3.10.25) Aerial Escort to G.General from Sydney to Menangle, (11.8.26) "Welcome: Formation to A.Cobham; last entry in his log book is dated 24Oct 1926 - Crashed on forced landing; appointment terminated 31Mar1927.

In a newspaper article titled, 'Gamest Australian of the Year' is an account of how Leslie William Sutherland flew from Richmond to Duntroon to perform an aerial display at the annual sports meeting. On the following day, Sunday 24 October 1926, he was preparing to fly back to Richmond when 'his "bus" started to climb, the engine "conked out". As the last of many evils he decided to "pancake" on to a bridge that was ahead....A fence hurtled up to meet the plane heading for the ground at over 60 miles an hour. Away ripped the undercarriage. In a split second the machine had turned over, with Sutherland still in the cockpit beneath it.' As civilians rushed to the scene to help by trying to extricate him, 'Came an irate voice from the ground. "No, not that way - you'll finish me altogether. Some of you get hold of the tail, and others, the wings. Lift clear and then roll it over." Plenty of Australian adjectives too.'

As soon as he was released Sutherland knew there was something wrong with his neck and he immediately took steps to immobilise it as did the later medical staff. After medical treatment of various types, he finally made it to Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney. After an X-ray the doctor told him, 'Your neck has been broken in two places - two of the vertebrae. If it hadn't been kept absolutely still....well, you wouldn't be here today. Only a matter of a fraction of an inch and 'good night'..Sutherland smiled. Not because he had a broken neck, but because by keeping his head, he had kept his neck.'

It is noted that in 1967 Sutherland wrote to his local member, Mr Dugald Munro MP, in the electorate of Eden Monaro to congratulate him and at the same time asked him when the proposed 'Anzac Medal' would become available. In his words, 'What I require of you Sir, is the latest surrounding the "Anzac Medal". Naturally you surmise that I'm eligible for this distinction, but time moves along and I'm reminded that my fellow diggers eligible for this distinction are becoming less and less. Can we hope for the fulfilment of our hopes prior to next "Anzac Day"?' Mr Munro subsequently made representations to the Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser who replied on 22 Feb 1967 that the matter was under investigation at that time. The medal was announced shortly after and Mr Sutherland applied for his entitlement by letter dated 17 Mar 1967. 'Woodie' Sutherland died on 24 Oct 1967.

Transcripts of Sutherland's account of operations of 1 Sqn AFC are held in the State Library of NSW.

With research and photos including WWI service file.

Estimate / sale price does not include buyer's premium (currently 19.25% including GST) which is added to hammer price. All bids are executed on the understanding that the Terms & Conditions of sale have been read and accepted. For information on grading and estimates please refer to the Buying at Auction advice.

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