Major General Thomas William (Bill) Glasgow

Ranks Held Colonel, Lieutenant Colonel, Major, Major General, Temporary Brigadier General, Lieutenant
Birth Date 06 June 1876
Birth Place Australia: Queensland, Tiaro
Death Date 04 July 1955
Death Place Australia: Queensland, Brisbane
Final Rank Major General
Service Australian Imperial Force
Units
Places
Conflict/Operation First World War, 1914-1918
Gazettes Biographical information The Oxford companion to Australian military history in 1995
Published in London Gazette in 1918-01-01
Published in London Gazette in 1917-06-01
Published in London Gazette in 1916-07-13
Published in London Gazette in 1919-01-29
Published in London Gazette in 1901-04-19
Published in London Gazette in 1919-08-21
Published in London Gazette in 1919-07-11
Published in London Gazette in 1916-01-28
Published in London Gazette in 1918-05-28
Published in London Gazette in 1917-12-28
Published in London Gazette in 1916-06-03
Published in London Gazette in 1918-12-31
Published in London Gazette in 1917-01-04
Published in London Gazette in 1901-04-16
Published in London Gazette in 1919-07-21
Published in London Gazette in 1919-06-09
Published in Commonwealth Gazette in 1919-12-11
Published in Commonwealth Gazette in 1919-10-17
Published in Commonwealth Gazette in 1916-09-21
Published in Commonwealth Gazette in 1918-10-24
Published in Commonwealth Gazette in 1917-06-29
Published in Commonwealth Gazette in 1919-10-30
Published in Commonwealth Gazette in 1916-11-30
Published in Commonwealth Gazette in 1916-04-06
Published in Commonwealth Gazette in 1919-10-06
Published in Commonwealth Gazette in 1918-04-18
Published in Commonwealth Gazette in 1918-04-18
Published in Commonwealth Gazette in 1919-05-23
Published in Commonwealth Gazette in 1919-05-23
Published in Commonwealth Gazette in 1917-10-04
Description

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: Pozières; 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 and 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 (Recommendation):

    Unit
    1st Australian Division
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Colonel
  • Pre First World War Conflicts Nominal Rolls:

    Unit
    1st Queensland Mounted Infantry
    Conflict
    South Africa, 1899-1902 (Boer War)
    Rank
    Lieutenant
  • Honours and 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:

    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 (Recommendation):

    Unit
    1st Australian Division
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Colonel
  • First World War Nominal Roll:

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

    Unit
    13th Australian Infantry Brigade
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Colonel
  • Honours and 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 (Recommendation):

    Unit
    4th Australian Division
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Colonel

Timeline

Date of birth 06 June 1876
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 16 April 1901 Distinguished Service Order.
Date of honour or award 16 April 1901 Mention in Despatches.
Other 1903 Organised the 13th Light Horse Regiment at Gympie.
Date promoted 1906 Promoted to captain.
Date promoted 06 May 1912 Promoted to major.
Date and unit at appointment (Officers) 19 August 1914 Joined the AIF.
Other 19 August 1914 Appointed with the rank of major in the 2nd Light Horse Regiment.
Date of enlistment 29 August 1914
Date of embarkation 24 September 1914 Embarked for Egypt.
Date of recommendation honour or award 1915
Other 12 May 1915 Landed at Anzac.
Date promoted 08 August 1915 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 03 June 1916 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 08 March 1917
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 20 September 1917
Date of recommendation honour or award 1918
Date of honour or award 01 January 1918 Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB).
Date of recommendation honour or award 09 March 1918
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 10 May 1918
Date promoted 30 June 1918 Appointed major general and given command of 1st Division.
Other 08 August 1918 1st Division arrived at the Somme front and participated in the Battle of Amiens.
Other 09 August 1918 1st Division participated in the Battle of Lihons.
Other 23 August 1918 1st Division participated in the Battle of Chuignes.
Other 18 September 1918 1st Division participated in the battle at the Hindenburg Line.
Other 1919 Elected to the Senate as a Nationalist.
Date of honour or award 29 January 1919 French Legion of Honour - 4th Class Officer.
Date returned to Australia 06 May 1919
Date of honour or award 09 June 1919 Created a Knight Commander of the Bath (KCB).
Date of honour or award 21 August 1919 French Croix de Guerre.
Other 1921 Commanded 4th Division.
Other 28 June 1926 Became Minister for Home and Territories.
Other 1927-04 - 1929-10 Minister for Defence.
Other 1931 Lost his seat in the general elections.
Other 24 December 1939 Appointed first Australian High Commissioner to Canada.
Date of death 04 July 1955 Died in Brisbane, QLD. He was given a state funeral and cremated.