Image copyright: © Australian War Memorial,
Creative Commons License This image is licensed under CC BY-NC

ID number ART00195
Title Major General William Holmes
Collection Art
Object type Painting
Artist Carter, Norman
Date made 1920
Medium oil on canvas
Measurement overall: 81.2 cm x 65 cm


Portrait of Major General William Holmes, CMG, DSO, VD, commanded the 4th Division AIF and 5th Infantry Brigade, formerly also the Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force (AN&MEF). William Holmes was born at Victoria Barracks, Sydney, the son of a British Army Officer. Holmes began his citizen infantry at the age of ten. He served in the war in South Africa with the first NSW contingent; was commissioned and awarded the DSO, Mentioned in Despatches, wounded and finished the war as lieut-colonel. He commanded the Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force that occupied German New Guinea in 1914 and acted for a period as administrator. In 1915 Holmes went to Egypt as commander of the 5th Infantry Brigade, AIF, and led it in the Gallipoli campaign. He then became GOC of the 4th Division, commanding that formation on the Western Front until he was mortally wounded on 2 July 1917 at Messines. General Holmes, earlier appointed a CMG, was the second AIF divisional commander killed in action in the war - the first being General Bridges at Gallipoli.