The death and burial of Sir William Bridges

Brigadier General William Throsby Bridges was the inaugural commandant of the Royal Military College, Duntroon. With the outbreak of the First World War, he was promoted major general and made commander of the AIF, landing on Gallipoli on the first day of the campaign. To the troops, he became well-known for attracting sniper fire on his daily inspections of the firing line.

On 15 May he was wounded by a sniper in Monash Valley, and died en route to hospital in Egypt. In June it was decided to return his body to Australia for burial, making him the only Australian killed in the First World War whose remains were returned during the conflict. After a state funeral in Melbourne, his body was taken to Canberra for a memorial service at St John’s Church, Reid, on 3 September. His funeral procession went up what is today Anzac Parade, past the site of the future Australian War Memorial. He was buried on Mount Pleasant, overlooking the Royal Military College.

The burial of Major General (Maj Gen) Sir William Throsby Bridges, KCB, CMG. The burial of Major General (Maj Gen) Sir William Throsby Bridges, KCB, CMG. P10797.002