The Sutherland boys were sons of Daniel and Mary Sutherland and lived at Braeside, Ashford, north of Inverell. George and Robert both enlisted in January 1916, becoming members of the First Contingent of Inverell's Kurrajong recruiting drive.
As members of the 33rd Battalion, they sailed from Australia on A74 Marathon and trained in England with the 3rd Division prior to being sent to France in November 1916.
George was wounded during 1918 and evacuated to England for treatment before returning to his unit. He was awarded the Military Medal for gallant service near Warneton in Belgium. After the War, Corporal George Sutherland returned to Australia, married and lived in Sydney.
Robert married the day before his departure from Inverell. He was wounded and then gassed before being Killed in Action on August 1918 at Bray, France. He was buried at Bray Military Cemetery, France. The name of Private Robert Sutherland is inscribed on the Inverell Honor Roll and the Cenotaph. He was also one of the 215 men for whom a memorial tree was planted in Kurrajong Parade,Inverell.
David, an Electrical engineer, enlisted in Sydney on 13 Mary 1916 joining the 1st Battalion, 19th Reinforcement. He left Australia on HMAT A18 Wiltshire in August and spent a short time in England before being sent to France. He was wounded in 1917 but soon rejoined his unit until becoming ill in June 1918 when he was sent to hospital at Netley, England. He returned to Australia a few weeks later. David died in Sydney in 1944.
Alexander enlisted at Inverell shortly after his brother David and became a Private with the 36th Battalion, 1st Reinforcements. After arriving in England he was transferred to the 33rd Battalion before going to France. During October 1917 he was wounded and evacuated to the Norfolk War Hospital in England with gunshot wounds to both legs. Private Alexander Sutherland returned to Australia in May 1918.
Adam, known as Dan, made several attempts to enlist, finally succeeding in June 1918. He was a forty year old mechanic and at the end of the War was still at the Liverpool Camp in Sydney. He was discharged in January 1919.
After the War, George and Alexander were both involved with the formation of the Returned Soldiers' League Sub Branch at Ashford and served on its first committee.
Image: Sydney Mail newspaper 7 May 1919