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National Museum of Australia

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Leather horse saddle bag


Leather horse saddle bag

Object information


This saddle bag was used by Thomas Lloyd Forster Rutledge.

By the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, Rutledge was already a commissioned officer of one of Australia's oldest mounted volunteer regiments, the 3rd (later 11th) Australian Light Horse. In November 1914 he left for Egypt as a member of the 7th Light Horse of the Australian Imperial Force. Rutledge returned to Australia in December 1918, after fighting in Gallipoli, Egypt and France. He turned his attention to running sheep and cattle at Gidleigh.

In 1940, with Australia again at war, Rutledge rejoined the 11th Light Horse and assisted with training new recruits at a camp on the New South Wales coast.

Physical description

A leather saddle bag with two buckles at the front and two straps at the back. It has rounded edges and two decorative lines stamped into the leather following the edge of the bag. The bag has top stitched seams and white metal studs that attach the straps to the bag by prongs that go through the leather and fold back on in the inside.

Statement of significance

This collection comprises over two hundred objects belonging to the Rutledge family of 'Gidleigh', a pastoralist property first established near Bungendore, NSW, in 1855. The collection includes tools used for agricultural practices, animal and household management, and equipment used for fly-fishing and horse-riding. Collectively, these objects illustrate aspects of rural life and domestic activities undertaken most notably by Jane (Jean) Ruth Morphy Forster Rutledge (1853-1932) and her son Thomas Lloyd Forster Rutledge (1889-1958) during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

This collection is illustrative of broad areas of Australian social history including pastoralism, medicine and veterinary science, and domestic and recreational lives. The land at 'Gidleigh' was first granted to Admiral Philip Parker King (1791-1856) in 1834, and was subsequently purchased in 1855 by Irish settler Thomas Rutledge (1817-1904) to run sheep and cattle. The family owned and managed the property for 150 years until 2005. This collection offers significant research potential into both rural self-sufficiency, and agricultural and veterinary technologies.

Object information


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