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Rutledge, Thomas Lloyd Forster (Tom) (1889–1958)

Lieutenant-Colonel Thomas L. F. Rutledge, of Gidleigh, Bungendore, N.S.W., well known in grazing circles throughout Australia and a member of one of the oldest pastoral families in New South Wales, died in Sydney last month at the age of 69.

The Rutledge family has been on the land in Australia for more than 100 years. Colonel Rutledge's grandfather, Mr. Thomas Rutledge, came to Australia from the north of Ireland and joined his brother William, who had already settled in the Warrnambool district of Victoria. In 1840 Thomas Rutledge took up Carwoola, in the Bungendore-Queanbeyan district, and in 1857 he purchased Gidleigh, which is some 12 miles from Carwoola. Subsequently, his son, William Forster Rutledge, father of the late Colonel T. L. F. Rutledge, bought Gidleigh from the family.

When his father became ill Colonel Rutledge left King's College, Goulburn, N.S.W., to take over the management of the property and he had lived there ever since.

In World War I T. L. F. Rutledge, who was an Anzac and mentioned in despatches, left Australia with the Light Horse under the command of Colonel J. M. Arnott. He served as a major in Egypt and Gallipoli, where he was wounded and invalided to England. There he was transferred to the Pioneer Division, and at one time was in command of the 4th Pioneer Battalion. In World War II he commanded the 7th Light Horse Regiment from July 1940 to May 1942.

In 1919 Col. Rutledge returned to Australia and stood as Progressive Party representative for Goulburn in the N.S.W State Parliament. He took his seat in the Legislative Council in March 1920. He was re-elected to the next Parliament and was serving when the Progressive Party was evolving into the Country Party, as it is at present known. Amongst his contemporaries were Colonel Bruxner, recently retired leader of the N.S.W. section of the Country Party, Mr. T. R. (later Sir Thomas) Bavin, and others who played important roles in some of the most significant periods of the development of New South Wales.

Colonel Rutledge declined to stand for parliament at the next general election but continued to give generous public service. He became a councillor of the Graziers' Association of N.S.W. in 1923 and held that position for many years. His election to the council of the N.S.W. Sheepbreeders' Association in 1924 was followed by several terms as president. He was almost continuously a member of the flock register committee, and in recognition of his splendid services to the association he was recently made a life governor.

The late Colonel Rutledge, who served on the committee of the Australian Jockey Club for four years in the thirties and was a trustee of the Randwick racecourse, was a successful owner of thoroughbreds, including Goose Boy, who beat the great mare Flight, in the 1944 Doncaster. Amongst other business and public activities he was a former director of the Permanent Trustee Company of N.S.W. Limited and of Anthony Hordern and Sons Ltd., Sydney. He was a member of the Union Club, the Australian Club, the Royal Sydney Golf Club, and the Elanora Country Club.

Colonel Rutledge leaves a widow, two daughters, the Misses Martha and Caroline Rutledge, of Bungendore, and a son, William.

Original publication

  • Pastoral Review and Graziers' Record, 18 September 1958, pp 1031 & 1033 (view original)

Citation details

'Rutledge, Thomas Lloyd Forster (Tom) (1889–1958)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/rutledge-thomas-lloyd-forster-tom-887/text888, accessed 21 November 2017.

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