RUTTERFORD, James William

No.5825528, Private, James William RUTTERFORD
Aged 26

1st Battalion, Suffolk Regiment
Killed in Action on Friday, 31st May 1940

Harry Rumsey recounts that he lost two cousins at Dunkirk, Rutterford brothers, but so far I have failed to find more than Charles with a Rutterford/Rumsey parentage. No birth registration for a James William Rutterford has been found for the period. There was a William James, reg Mildenhall 1914 but mother FLACK. and James senior seems to have married Ethel RUMSEY in 1919. James RUTTERFORD married Susan Flack in 1913 (Ely)

In the 1939 register, at Brick Kiln Farm, Crown Street, Brandon, were his father James W [15-9-1893] a farm labourer and stepmother Ethel [25-2-1893]. here are two closed records.

His brother Charles Henry Rutterford was also serving in the Suffolk Regiment, was killed at Dunkirk this day, but he has no known grave. see here

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The retreat at Dunkirk was in full swing, the 1st Suffolks on 31st May , having been ordered to extend their front to the left to help the 4th Division in Nieuport had left a gap between companies. Through this gap, at 11:00, the Germans threw a pontoon bridge and established a bridgehead. This led to a temporary withdrawal but the battalion rallied and re-occupied the line
During the day attempts were made to throw the Germans back across the canal but these failed, they did however manage to pin the enemy down. The Suffolk were constantly under mortar and shellfire. They could only answer with the weapons each man carried, all other ordnance having been discarded. At 19:00 they were ordered to the beaches at La Panne where boats were waiting to evacuate them.

21 of the battalion are recorded killed on 31st by CWGC

photo: Commonwealth War Graves Commission

James Rutterford is buried in Wulpen Churchyard, grave C:3

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details