Major General Granville de Laune Ryrie

Ranks Held Brigadier General, Colonel, General, Lieutenant Colonel, Major General, Temporary Brigadier General, Temporary Major General, Captain
Birth Date 07 January 1865
Birth Place Australia: New South Wales, Michelago
Death Date 02 October 1937
Death Place Australia: New South Wales, Michelago
Final Rank Major General
Service Australian Imperial Force
Units
  • 2nd Australian Light Horse Regiment
  • 2nd Australian Light Horse Regiment
  • 2nd Australian Light Horse Regiment
  • 2nd Australian Light Horse Regiment
  • 2nd Australian Light Horse Regiment
  • 2nd Australian Light Horse Regiment
  • 2nd Australian Light Horse Regiment
  • 2nd Australian Light Horse Regiment
Place Michelago
Conflicts/Operations
  • First World War, 1914-1918
  • South Africa, 1899-1902 (Boer War)
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 1916-07-13
Published in London Gazette in 1919-10-14
Published in London Gazette in 1918-01-16
Published in London Gazette in 1916-01-14
Published in London Gazette in 1919-06-05
Published in London Gazette in 1915-11-05
Published in London Gazette in 1917-07-06
Published in London Gazette in 1920-01-16
Published in Commonwealth Gazette in 1920-04-01
Published in Commonwealth Gazette in 1916-01-27
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 1917-10-11
Published in Commonwealth Gazette in 1920-02-12
Published in Commonwealth Gazette in 1918-04-18
Published in Commonwealth Gazette in 1918-05-23
Description

A First World War brigade commander, politician, and grazier, Granville Ryrie was born at Michelago, New South Wales, on 1 July 1865. He became a jackeroo and took easily to outback life, becoming a good horseman and an excellent shot. Ryrie managed a grazing property, married in 1896, and served in the Boer War with the 6th New South Wales Imperial Bushmen. He ended the war as an honorary major.

Ryrie returned home and continued to serve in mounted units while resuming his work as a grazier. In 1906 he was elected to the Legislative Assembly as member for Queanbeyan, resigning in 1910 in an unsuccessful effort to win a federal seat. The following year, however, he entered federal parliament as Member for North Sydney.

At the outbreak of war he took command of the 2nd Light Horse Brigade as brigadier general. He landed at Gallipoli on 19 May 1915, where his leadership, courage, and willingness to question orders earned him the respect of his men. He was wounded twice and returned to Egypt to lead his brigade under Chauvel. In London during the Romani battle, Ryrie was not involved in a major battle until Gaza in 1917. He was at Beersheba and led his men during the long northward march through Palestine, on one occasion allowing captured Turks, with whom his men bivouacked, to keep their weapons for defense against hostile Arabs.

Ryrie was not promoted during the war despite having led his men through a series of important victories the like of which were not possible on the Western Front. His success as a commander rested, as Charles Bean wrote, on his being "a hero to his men": he made no serious errors of command, led by example, and was careful with the lives of his soldiers.

He was made commander of the Australian Mounted Division in December 1918 and became commander of the AIF in Egypt in April 1919. A month previously he had ordered an Arab village burnt when its inhabitants refused to hand over two men that had murdered a Ghurka sentry under his command. He returned to Australia later that year.

Back home, Ryrie resumed his political career, serving as Honorary Assistant Minister of Defence in 1920-21, but did not retire from the Army until 1927. He held further political posts before becoming High Commissioner to London late in 1927. Ryrie's blunt style and forthright manner won him many admirers, not least among his fellow delegates to the League of Nations.

Ryrie returned to Australia in 1932 but failing health prevented resumption of his public career. He died in Sydney on 2 October 1937.

Rolls

  • Honours and Awards (Recommendation):

    Unit
    2nd Australian Light Horse Brigade
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Brigadier General
  • Honours and Awards:

    Unit
    2nd Australian Light Horse Brigade
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Temporary Brigadier General
    London Gazette
    01 January 1918 on page 2 at position 5
    Commonwealth Gazette
    18 April 1918 on page 845 at position 140
  • First World War Nominal Roll:

    Unit
    2nd Australian Light Horse Regiment
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Lieutenant Colonel
  • First World War Embarkation Roll:

    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Colonel
  • Honours and Awards (Recommendation):

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

    Unit
    Australian Imperial Force
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Colonel
  • Honours and Awards:

    Unit
    2nd Australian Light Horse Regiment
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Temporary Brigadier General
    London Gazette
    05 June 1919 on page 7189 at position 20
    Commonwealth Gazette
    06 October 1919 on page 1466 at position 52
  • Honours and Awards:

    Unit
    Staff
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Temporary Brigadier General
    London Gazette
    13 July 1916 on page 6943 at position 7
    Commonwealth Gazette
    30 November 1916 on page 3233 at position 22
  • Honours and Awards (Recommendation):

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

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

    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    General
  • Honours and Awards:

    Unit
    Staff
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Temporary Brigadier General
    London Gazette
    05 November 1915 on page 11001 at position 4
    Commonwealth Gazette
    27 January 1916 on page 155 at position 4
  • Honours and Awards:

    Unit
    2nd Australian Light Horse Brigade
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Temporary Brigadier General
    London Gazette
    16 January 1920 on page 698 at position 1
    Commonwealth Gazette
    01 April 1920 on page 545 at position 74
  • Honours and Awards:

    Unit
    Staff
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Temporary Brigadier General
    London Gazette
    14 January 1916 on page 567 at position 1
    Commonwealth Gazette
    06 April 1916 on page 860 at position 1
  • Pre First World War Conflicts Nominal Rolls:

    Unit
    New South Wales Imperial Bushmen
    Conflict
    South Africa, 1899-1902 (Boer War)
    Rank
    Captain
  • Honours and Awards:

    Unit
    Light Horse
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Temporary Brigadier General
    London Gazette
    06 July 1917 on page 6773 at position 5
    Commonwealth Gazette
    11 October 1917 on page 2664 at position 9
  • Honours and Awards (Recommendation):

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

    Unit
    2nd Australian Light Horse Brigade
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Colonel
  • Honours and Awards:

    Unit
    2nd Australian Light Horse Brigade
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Temporary Brigadier General
    London Gazette
    16 January 1918 on page 937 at position 14
    Commonwealth Gazette
    23 May 1918 on page 1125 at position 46
  • Honours and Awards:

    Unit
    2nd Australian Light Horse Brigade
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Temporary Major General
    London Gazette
    14 October 1919 on page 12650 at position 1
    Commonwealth Gazette
    12 February 1920 on page 142 at position 7

Timeline

Date of birth 07 January 1865 Michelago, NSW.
Date commissioned 1898 Commissioned as a second lieutenant in the 1st Australian Horse.
Other 1900-05 Arrived in South Africa as a captain with the Imperial Bushmen. Served in the Boer War.
Other 1900-09 Wounded near Wonderfontein.
Date returned to Australia 1901-06 Ryrie resumed serving with the 1st Australian Horse.
Other 1903 1st Australian Horse became the 3rd Light Horse Regiment.
Date promoted 29 October 1904 Became the commander of the 3rd Light Horse Regiment with the rank of lieutenant colonel.
Other 1906-04 Elected member for Queanbeyan in NSW Legislative Assembly.
Other 1911 Transferred to the unattached list.
Others 1911 Won the Federal seat of North Sydney.
Date and unit at enlistment (ORs) 19 September 1914 Appointed commander of the 2nd Light Horse Brigade, AIF.
Date of enlistment 19 September 1914
Date of embarkation 21 December 1914
Other 19 May 1915 The 2nd Light Horse Brigade arrive at Gallipoli.There it was broken up, and its regiments attached to infantry brigades.
Other 1915-06 The 2nd Light Horse Brigade was reconstituted.
Date wounded 29 September 1915 Ryrie was wounded by Shrapnel, and evacuated.
Other 1915-10 Returned to the front.
Date wounded 1915-12
Other 1915-12 The 2nd Light Horse Brigade arrived in Eygpt.
Date of honour or award 14 January 1916 Companion of the Order of Saint Michael and Saint George.
Date of recommendation honour or award 17 January 1916
Other 1916-03 The 2nd Light Horse Brigade became part of the newly formed Anzac Mounted Division.
Date of recommendation honour or award 1917
Other 26 March 1917 The 2nd Light Horse the New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade attacked and captured Gaza.
Date of honour or award 01 January 1918 Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB).
Other 1918-05 - 1918-07 Ryrie was hospitalised in Egypt with a stomach ailment.
Other units 1918-12 Ryrie took command of the Anzac Mounted Division.
Date promoted 16 April 1919 Appointed commander of the AIF in Eygpt and was promoted to temporary major general.
Date promoted 03 May 1919 Promoted to substantive major general.
Date of honour or award 14 October 1919 Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG).
Date returned to Australia 11 November 1919
Date of honour or award 16 January 1920 Egypt Order of the Nile - 2nd Class
Other 1920-02 - 1921-12 Assistant Minister of Defence.
Other units 1921 Returned to the militia as commander of the 1st Cavalry Division. He obtained leave from his command.
Other 1924 Resumed his command of the 1st Cavalry Division.
Other 1925 In the election Ryrie moved from the seat of North Sydney to neighbouring Warringah.
Other 1926 - 1927 Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee.
Other 1927 Retired.
Other 1927 - 1932 High Commissioner to the United Kingdom.
Date of death 02 October 1937

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