Corporal Arthur Percy Sullivan

Service number 133003, 56133
Ranks Held Corporal, Private
Birth Date 1896-11-27
Birth Place Australia: South Australia, Crystal Brook
Death Date 1937-04-09
Death Place United Kingdom: England, Greater London, London
Final Rank Corporal
Service British Army
Unit 45th Bn RF (Aty Dtls)
  • First World War, 1914-1918
  • First World War, 1914-1918
Gazettes Biographical information They dared mightily. in 1963
Published in London Gazette in 1919-09-29
Published in Commonwealth Gazette in 1920-01-29

Arthur Sullivan, born at Prospect, Adelaide, was a bank officer when he enlisted in April 1918. Too late for active service in France, and determined to see action, he volunteered for the British North Russia Relief Force.

On 10 August 1919, in action against the Bolsheviks, Sullivan's unit was cut off. While fighting their way out, an officer and three men fell into a deep swamp. Without hesitation and under heavy fire, Sullivan jumped in and rescued all four. His citation described the action as "a splendid example of heroism, as all ranks were on the point of exhaustion and the enemy less than 100 yards distant".

Known as "the shy VC", Sullivan died in 1937 as a result of a fall he sustained in London while a member of the Australian contingent attending the coronation of King George VI. A plaque has been placed on the railing at Wellington Barracks, near the site of his fatal accident.

Sullivan received the Victoria Cross, service medals for the First World War and the King George VI Coronation Medal.


  • First World War Embarkation Roll:

    First World War, 1914-1918
  • Honours and Awards:

    45th Bn RF (Aty Dtls)
    First World War, 1914-1918
    London Gazette
    29 September 1919 on page 11997 at position 1
    Commonwealth Gazette
    29 January 1920 on page 86 at position 27


Date of birth 27 November 1896
Enlisted 27 April 1918 enlisted AIF Service no. 56133, Private
Date of embarkation 23 July 1918
Military unit 1919-06 Enlisted in British Army. 45th Battalion, the Royal Fusiliers
Discharged 12 June 1919 discharged from AIF
Awarded Victoria Cross 10 August 1919 For action at Dvins River, south of Archangel, north Russia whilst serving with 45 Battalion, Royal Fusiliers, Sadlier Jackson's Brigade as a Corporal
Date of death 09 April 1937