Colonel Thomas William (Bill) Glasgow

Birth Date 06 June 1876
Birth Place Australia: Queensland, Tiaro
Death Date 04 July 1955
Death Place Australia: Queensland, Brisbane
Final Rank Colonel
Units
Commonwealth of Australia Gazette 11 December 1919 on page 2374 at position 8
London Gazette 21 August 1919 on page 10607 at position 1

William "Bill" Glasgow was one of the most renowned Australian soldiers of the First World War, a politician, and later a diplomat. He was born on 6 June 1876 near Maryborough in Queensland. After finishing school, Glasgow found clerical work and joined the Queensland Mounted Infantry with whom he fought as a lieutenant in the Boer War, winning the Distinguished Service Order.

He ran his father's grocery store after returning from South Africa and married Annie Stumm in April 1904. Glasgow also remained in the military and by 1912 had reached the rank of major in the Australian Military Forces. He enlisted as a major in the 2nd Light Horse Regiment at the beginning of the First World War and landed at Gallipoli on 12 May 1915.

In August he took command of his regiment and served as a lieutenant colonel until after the evacuation. Having been made temporary brigadier and given command of the 13th Infantry Brigade on the Western Front, Glasgow led his men through many famous battles: Pozieres; Messines; Passchendaele, Mouquet Farm and Dernancourt. He was promoted to major general on 30 June 1918 and given command of the 1st Division, which he led through the final months of the war. A stern disciplinarian, Glasgow lobbied for the death penalty for a group of Australian deserters, but he was also said to have worked hard to ensure the welfare of his men, a labour that continued during the postwar years.

Glasgow was demobilised in August 1919 having been awarded several French decorations, the Belgian Croix de Guerre, and a knighthood but continued to serve as a reserve officer. At the 1919 election, Glasgow won a senate seat, becoming Minister for Home and Territories and later Minister for Defence. He was Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate during the Scullin Government but lost his seat in 1931.

After his political career ended, Glasgow directed several companies, sat on the Queensland Board of Advice of the National Bank of Australasia, and was President of the Queensland Branch of the United Australia Party. In 1939 he became Australia's first High Commissioner to Canada, working on the Empire Air Training Scheme and regularly visiting Australian airmen during their training. Glasgow's tenure was marked by a close and productive relationship with Canada's prime minister; he was a strong advocate for closer liaison on Pacific strategy and attended the 1944 conferences between Churchill and Roosevelt, receiving briefings and representing Australia's interests.

He returned to Australia in 1945 and died in Brisbane ten years later, on 4 July 1955.

Rolls

Honours & Awards

  • Honours and Awards:

    Award/Honour
    Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George
    Classification
    Order of St Michael and St George
    Unit
    2nd Australian Light Horse Regiment
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Major
    London Gazette
    3 June 1916 on page 5560 at position 8
    Commonwealth Gazette
    21 September 1916 on page 2621 at position 35
  • Honours and Awards:

    Award/Honour
    Distinguished Service Order
    Classification
    British/Australian gallantry awards
    Unit
    1st Queensland Mounted Infantry
    Conflict
    South Africa, 1899-1902 (Boer War)
    Rank
    Lieutenant
    London Gazette
    19 April 1901 on page 2702 at position 19
  • Honours and Awards:

    Award/Honour
    Companion of the Order of the Bath
    Classification
    Order of the Bath
    Unit
    13th Australian Infantry Brigade
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Temporary Brigadier General
    London Gazette
    1 January 1918 on page 2 at position 3
    Commonwealth Gazette
    18 April 1918 on page 845 at position 138
  • Honours and Awards:

    Award/Honour
    Mention in despatches
    Classification
    British/Australian gallantry awards
    Unit
    1st Queensland Mounted Infantry
    Conflict
    South Africa, 1899-1902 (Boer War)
    Rank
    Lieutenant
    London Gazette
    16 April 1901 on page 2607 at position 48
  • Honours and Awards:

    Award/Honour
    Mention in despatches
    Classification
    British/Australian gallantry awards
    Unit
    13th Australian Infantry Brigade
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Temporary Brigadier General
    London Gazette
    1 June 1917 on page 5419 at position 16
    Commonwealth Gazette
    4 October 1917 on page 2622 at position 38
  • Honours and Awards:

    Award/Honour
    Mention in despatches
    Classification
    British/Australian gallantry awards
    Unit
    2nd Australian Light Horse Regiment
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Major
    London Gazette
    28 January 1916 on page 1207 at position 69
    Commonwealth Gazette
    6 April 1916 on page 861 at position 70
  • Honours and Awards:

    Award/Honour
    Mention in despatches
    Classification
    British/Australian gallantry awards
    Unit
    2nd Australian Light Horse Regiment
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Major
    London Gazette
    13 July 1916 on page 6954 at position 12
    Commonwealth Gazette
    30 November 1916 on page 3233 at position 37
  • Honours and Awards:

    Award/Honour
    Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath
    Classification
    Order of the Bath
    Unit
    13th Australian Infantry Brigade
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Major General
    London Gazette
    9 June 1919 on page 7420 at position 2
    Commonwealth Gazette
    6 October 1919 on page 1468 at position 3
  • Honours and Awards:

    Award/Honour
    Mention in despatches
    Classification
    British/Australian gallantry awards
    Unit
    13th Australian Infantry Brigade
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Temporary Brigadier General
    London Gazette
    4 January 1917 on page 253 at position 15
    Commonwealth Gazette
    29 June 1917 on page 1391 at position 30
  • Honours and Awards:

    Award/Honour
    Mention in despatches
    Classification
    British/Australian gallantry awards
    Unit
    13th Australian Infantry Brigade
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Temporary Brigadier General
    London Gazette
    28 December 1917 on page 13563 at position 25
    Commonwealth Gazette
    18 April 1918 on page 841 at position 29
  • Honours and Awards:

    Award/Honour
    Mention in despatches
    Classification
    British/Australian gallantry awards
    Unit
    Staff
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Temporary Brigadier General
    London Gazette
    28 May 1918 on page 6200 at position 19
    Commonwealth Gazette
    24 October 1918 on page 2055 at position 35
  • Honours and Awards:

    Award/Honour
    Mention in despatches
    Classification
    British/Australian gallantry awards
    Unit
    13th Australian Infantry Brigade
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Major General
    London Gazette
    31 December 1918 on page 15225 at position 29
    Commonwealth Gazette
    23 May 1919 on page 878 at position 5
  • Honours and Awards:

    Award/Honour
    Mention in despatches
    Classification
    British/Australian gallantry awards
    Unit
    General List
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Major General
    London Gazette
    11 July 1919 on page 8826 at position 26
    Commonwealth Gazette
    30 October 1919 on page 1653 at position 29
  • Honours and Awards:

    Award/Honour
    French Officer of the Legion of Honour, Fourth Class
    Classification
    French Legion d'Honneur
    Unit
    1st Australian Division
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Major General
    London Gazette
    29 January 1919 on page 1445 at position 3
    Commonwealth Gazette
    23 May 1919 on page 899 at position 61
  • Honours and Awards:

    Award/Honour
    French Croix de Guerre
    Classification
    French awards and medals
    Unit
    13th Australian Infantry Brigade
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Major General
    London Gazette
    21 July 1919 on page 9220 at position 1
    Commonwealth Gazette
    17 October 1919 on page 1532 at position 15
  • Honours and Awards:

    Award/Honour
    French Croix de Guerre
    Classification
    French awards and medals
    Unit
    1st Australian Division
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Major General
    London Gazette
    21 August 1919 on page 10607 at position 1
    Commonwealth Gazette
    11 December 1919 on page 2374 at position 8
  • Honours and Awards (Recommendation):

    Award/Honour
    Mention in despatches
    Classification
    British/Australian gallantry awards
    Date of Recommendation
    09 March 1918
    Unit
    13th Australian Infantry Brigade
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Colonel
  • Honours and Awards (Recommendation):

    Award/Honour
    Mention in despatches
    Classification
    British/Australian gallantry awards
    Date of Recommendation
    08 March 1917
    Unit
    13th Australian Infantry Brigade
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Colonel
  • Honours and Awards (Recommendation):

    Unit
    2nd Australian Light Horse Regiment
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Major
  • Honours and Awards (Recommendation):

    Award/Honour
    Mention in despatches
    Classification
    British/Australian gallantry awards
    Date of Recommendation
    24 May 2017
    Unit
    1st Australian Division
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Colonel
  • Honours and Awards (Recommendation):

    Award/Honour
    Companion of the Order of the Bath
    Classification
    Order of the Bath
    Date of Recommendation
    20 September 1917
    Unit
    13th Australian Infantry Brigade
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Colonel
  • Honours and Awards (Recommendation):

    Award/Honour
    Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George
    Classification
    Order of St Michael and St George
    Date of Recommendation
    24 May 2017
    Unit
    2nd Australian Light Horse Regiment
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Major
  • Honours and Awards (Recommendation):

    Award/Honour
    Brevet Colonel
    Classification
    Brevet/temporary/honorary/promotions in rank
    Date of Recommendation
    10 May 1918
    Unit
    Unattached List
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Major
  • Honours and Awards (Recommendation):

    Unit
    2nd Australian Light Horse Regiment
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Lieutenant Colonel
  • Honours and Awards (Recommendation):

    Award/Honour
    Brevet Colonel
    Classification
    Brevet/temporary/honorary/promotions in rank
    Date of Recommendation
    10 May 1918
    Unit
    Unattached List
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Major
  • Honours and Awards (Recommendation):

    Award/Honour
    Brevet Colonel
    Classification
    Brevet/temporary/honorary/promotions in rank
    Unit
    Unattached List
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Major
  • Honours and Awards (Recommendation):

    Unit
    4th Australian Division
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Colonel
  • Honours and Awards (Recommendation):

    Award/Honour
    Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath
    Classification
    Order of the Bath
    Date of Recommendation
    24 May 2017
    Unit
    General List 1st Division
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Major General
  • Honours and Awards (Recommendation):

    Unit
    1st Australian Division
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Colonel
  • Honours and Awards (Recommendation):

    Award/Honour
    Italian Commander of the Order of the Crown of Italy
    Classification
    Italian awards and medals
    Unit
    13th Australian Infantry Brigade
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Colonel

Timeline

Date of birth 1876-06-06 Tiaro, Maryborough, QLD.
Date and unit at appointment (Officers) 1897 Volunteered for service in South Africa and served as a lieutenant in the 1st Queensland Mounted Infantry Contingent in the Boer War.
Date of honour or award 1901-04-16 Distinguished Service Order.
Date of honour or award 1901-04-16 Mention in Despatches.
Other 1903 Organised the 13th Light Horse Regiment at Gympie.
Date promoted 1906 Promoted to captain.
Date promoted 1912-05-06 Promoted to major.
Date and unit at appointment (Officers) 1914-08-19 Joined the AIF.
Other 1914-08-19 Appointed with the rank of major in the 2nd Light Horse Regiment.
Date of embarkation 1914-09-24 Embarked for Egypt.
Date of recommendation honour or award 1915
Date of recommendation honour or award 1915
Other 1915-05-12 Landed at Anzac.
Date promoted 1915-08-08 Appointed to command his regiment with the rank of lieutenant colonel.
Other units 1916-03 Appointed to command the 13th Infantry Brigade on the Western Front, with rank of temporary brigadier.
Date of honour or award 1916-06-03 Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG).
Other 1916-09 Led 13th Infantry Brigade in the battle at Mouquet Farm.
Date of recommendation honour or award 1917-03-08
Other 1917-06 Led 13th Infantry Brigade in the battle at Messines.
Other 1917-09 Led 13th Infantry Brigade in the battle at Polygon Wood.
Date of recommendation honour or award 1917-09-20
Date of recommendation honour or award 1918
Date of recommendation honour or award 1918
Date of recommendation honour or award 1918
Date of honour or award 1918-01-01 Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB).
Date of recommendation honour or award 1918-03-09
Other 1918-04 Led 13th Infantry Brigade in the battle at Dernancourt, where the brigade helped stem the German advance.
Date of recommendation honour or award 1918-05-10
Date of recommendation honour or award 1918-05-10
Date promoted 1918-06-30 Appointed major general and given command of 1st Division.
Other 1918-08-08 1st Division arrived at the Somme front and participated in the Battle of Amiens.
Other 1918-08-09 1st Division participated in the Battle of Lihons.
Other 1918-08-23 1st Division participated in the Battle of Chuignes.
Other 1918-09-18 1st Division participated in the battle at the Hindenburg Line.
Other 1919 Elected to the Senate as a Nationalist.
Date of honour or award 1919-01-29 French Legion of Honour - 4th Class Officer.
Date of honour or award 1919-06-09 Created a Knight Commander of the Bath (KCB).
Date of honour or award 1919-08-21 French Croix de Guerre.
Other 1921 Commanded 4th Division.
Other 1926-06-28 Became Minister for Home and Territories.
Other 1927-04 - 1929-10 Minister for Defence.
Other 1931 Lost his seat in the general elections.
Other 1939-12-24 Appointed first Australian High Commissioner to Canada.
Date of death 1955-07-04 Died in Brisbane, QLD. He was given a state funeral and cremated.

Find out more about Colonel Thomas William (Bill) Glasgow