b. 27/11/1896 Crystal Brook, South Australia. d. 09/04/1937 Westminster, London.
Arthur Percy Sullivan was born on 27 November 1896, at Crystal Brook, South Australia, the son of Arthur Monks Sullivan, a storekeeper, and his wife Eliza, (née Dobbs). He was educated at Crystal Brook Public School and Gladstone High School. After completing his education in 1913, he was offered an apprenticeship in the same year at the National Bank of Australasia in Gladstone. Shortly after he was transferred to Broken Hill, New South Wales, before returning to Maitland in his home state of South Australia. Sullivan enlisted as a volunteer private in 10th Battalion of the First Australian Imperial Force on 27 April 1918, and embarked for Europe in July 1918 as general reinforcements. Upon arriving in Europe, Sullivan transferred to the Royal Regiment of Australian Artillery on 5 October 1918. He was still in training in Wiltshire when the Armistice was declared on 11 November 1918, and Sullivan saw no action. Sullivan was a 22 year old corporal in the 45th Battalion, The Royal Fusiliers, British Army still under the command of Lionel Sadleir-Jackson when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the Victoria Cross:
For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty on the 10th August 1919, at the Sheika River, North Russia. The platoon to which he belonged, after fighting a rearguard covering action, had to cross the river by means of a narrow plank and during the passage an officer and three men fell into a deep swamp. Without hesitation, under intense fire, Corporal Sullivan jumped into the river and rescued all four, bringing them out singly. But for this gallant action his comrades would undoubtedly have been drowned. It was a splendid example of heroism, as all ranks were on the point of exhaustion, and the enemy less than 100 yards distant.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: AUSTRALIAN WAR MEMORIAL, CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA.
BURIAL PLACE: NORTHERN SUBURBS CREMATORIUM, AUSTRALIA.
A memorial plaque at Wellington Barracks, London for Arthur Sullivan VC
Arthur Sullivan's medals courtesy of the Australian War Memorial, Canberra website.
North Terrace Walkway, Adelaide, South Australia