Colonel Reuter Emerich ROTH CMG, DSO, VD.

Posted on 26 April 2021

Born 20 March 1858, Brighton, Sussex, England

  • army medical officer 
  • colonial militia (Australia) 
  • general practitioner 
  • medical administrator 
  • public servant 
  • St John Ambulance leader

Service: City of London Rifle Brigade Cadet Corps

  • 1874 Artists' Rifles (Private)
  • 1894 Medical Staff Corps, Military Forces of New South Wales (Captain)

Boer War
First New South Wales contingent in South Africa where he was promoted Major, serving as Principal Medical Officer, 2nd Mounted Infantry Brigade, and as Officer Commanding a Bearer Company, in operations in the Cape Colony and Orange Free State to May 1900, including Paardeberg. He saw action at Poplar Grove, Driefontein, and near Johannesburg, Pretoria and Diamond Hill in the Transvaal through May and June. Later operations took him to Elands River and Bethlehem.

He was Mentioned in Dispatches and awarded the Distinguished Service Order
Mention in Despatches, London Gazette 16 April 1901
Awarded Distinguished Service Order, London Gazette 19 April 1901

Roth was medical officer in chief of the St John Ambulance Brigade from 1901, and was appointed a knight of grace of the Order of St John of Jerusalem.
Appointed a Knight of Grace of the Order of St John of Jerusalem, London Gazette 9 December 1904
Roth became Principal Medical Officer of Commonwealth forces in New South Wales and was promoted Lieutenant-Colonel in 1909.

Awarded Volunteer Decoration, Commonwealth Gazette, 17 January 1914

NSWFB Board’s Medical Advisor
Granted Leave of Absence by Board on 5 March 1915 to proceed overseas with 5 Field Ambulance

First AIF
On 1 March 1915 Roth was appointed Lieutenant-Colonel in the AIF, in command of the 5th Field Ambulance, Australian Army Medical Corps. He landed at Gallipoli on 20 August 1915 where he remained until 17 December. Serving in Egypt, he was promoted Colonel on 6 February 1916 and appointed Deputy Director of Medical Services, 1st Anzac Corps. In June he left for France as D.D.M.S., 2nd Anzac Corps. Wounded in the battle of Fromelles, Roth was invalided to Australia in November. Although a demanding officer, he was energetic, efficient and respected for his ability to delegate and consult. On 7 May 1917, Roth’s appointment to the AIF was terminated in Sydney and he was appointed President of the Permanent Medical Referee Board. He was transferred to the retired list in January 1921 as Honorary Brigadier-General.

He was twice Mentioned in Dispatches and appointed C.M.G. in 1917.
Mention in Despatches, London Gazette 28 February 1917
Mention in Despatches, London Gazette 1 June 1917
Appointed Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George, 
London Gazette 4 June 1917

Roth died in Noumea, New Caledonia, on 2 September 1924, survived by his wife and three daughters.