Captain Donald Campbell Rutter - MC

Date of Birth 1 April 1897
Age at Death 20
Date of Death 7 June 1917
Service Number
Military Service 43rd Squadron Royal Flying Corps
Merton Address Hazelwood, Central Road, Morden
Local Memorial St. Lawrence Church, Morden

Additional Information

The Rutter’s had lived in the Morden area for many years: records show Donald’s Grandfather Isaac Rutter was born in Mitcham in 1816, and was the son of a gentleman. The family ran the Ravensbury Tobacco and Snuff Mill and lived at a large house called Hazelwood, in Central Road, Morden.

Donald was the eldest son born to parents Hugh Campbell Rutter and Hilda (Nee Stanton.) in April 1897. The census of 1901 and 1911 show Donald living with his parents at Hazelwood House in Central Road, Morden. Records indicate that Donald attended Shrewsbury Boarding School as a teenager.

When war broke out in 1914, Donald was just 17 years of age. He enlisted with the East Surrey Regiment as a private. He first saw service in the front line trenches. By November 1914 records show Donald was listed as being “made up to a Second Lieutenant (on probation)” in the Royal Sussex Regiment, 3rd Battalion. He was confirmed in Rank June 1915.

In May 1917 Donald was awarded the Military Cross for conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in completing a valuable reconnaissance alone, at a very low altitude and in face of heavy fire which riddled his machine. On another occasion he single-handed succeeded in driving off three hostile machines.

On 7th June 1917, during the course of a ground attack operation South East of Ypes , Acting Captain Rutter, with the Royal Flying Corps, took off at 0410 hrs, together with his observer, 2nd Lieutenant J B Jackson, was never seen again. Almost certainly their aircraft must have received a direct hit from a heavy shell as they flew towards their targets.

The family received £187 1s 2d war gratuity on 20th September 1918 and a further £5 on 14th November 1919.

Donald is remembered in Tyne Cot Cemetery, Zonnebeke Belgium. His name also appears on one of the panels in the Lychgate at St. Lawrence Church, Morden, which serves as the parish war memorial.


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