Biography

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
Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918
South Africa, 1899-1902 (Boer War)
Units:
  • Staff
  • Australian Imperial Force
  • Light Horse
  • 2nd Australian Light Horse Brigade
  • 2nd Australian Light Horse Regiment
  • New South Wales Imperial Bushmen

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 and Awards

Pre First World War Conflicts Nominal Rolls

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

First World War Embarkation Roll

  • Rank: Colonel
  • Date of embarkation: 21 December 1914
  • Place of embarkation: Sydney

Honours and Awards (Recommendation)

  • Unit: 2nd Australian Light Horse Brigade
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation)

  • Unit: 2nd Australian Light Horse Brigade
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation)

  • Unit: 2nd Australian Light Horse Brigade
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation)

  • Unit: 2nd Australian Light Horse Brigade
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation) : Companion of the Order of the Bath

  • Unit: Australian Imperial Force
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards : Mention in despatches

  • Unit: 2nd Australian Light Horse Brigade
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards : Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George

  • Unit: 2nd Australian Light Horse Brigade
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards : Companion of the Order of the Bath

  • Unit: 2nd Australian Light Horse Brigade
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards : Mention in despatches

  • Unit: 2nd Australian Light Horse Regiment
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards : Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George

  • Unit: Staff
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards : Egyptian Order of the Nile, Second Class

  • Unit: 2nd Australian Light Horse Brigade
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards : Mention in despatches

  • Unit: Staff
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards : Mention in despatches

  • Unit: Staff
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards : Mention in despatches

  • Unit: Light Horse
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Private Record

Ryrie, Granville (Colonel, 2nd L H Bde)

PART OF A LETTER FROM MA'ADU CAMP, EGYPT WRITTEN BY RYRIE. SPEAKS OF EGYPT, THE GALLANTRY OF THE 2ND LH BDE AND VARIOUS OTHER TOPICS. ONLY 3 FINAL PAGES Maker: Ryrie, Granville de Laune

3DRL/4053

Ryrie, Granville (Colonel)

Letter of sympathy sent to Mrs Kirby from Ryrie at `Ryries Post Office', Gallipoli. Mentions regret at loss of her son Ted (Edmund) of the 7th Light Horse, who was killed in action on 2nd July, and that her other son is still with Ryrie's headquarters. Maker: Ryrie, Granville de Laune

PR00556

Beatty, Robert T (b. 1871, d. 1936) Ryrie, Granville (Sir)

Letters written by Sir Granville Ryrie to Robert. T Beatty, from the period 1914-1935. The bulk of the letters were written in 1914-1918, sent from Gallipoli, Jericho, Egypt, Palestine and London. Maker: Ryrie, Granville de Laune

PR01288

Ryrie, Granville (Major General, Sir, KCMG, CB, CMG, VD: 1. 6th Regt of Imp Bushmen, Boer War, 2. 2nd LH Bde, AIF, WWI)

Letters written by Major General Ryrie to his wife regarding his Boer War service, letters to his wife describing his First World War service and two tracings of Ryrie's Post, trenches and tunnels, Gallipoli. Maker: Ryrie, Granville de Laune

PR84/193

Photograph

A00295

General Ryrie and staff (at rear of tent) being entertained by an Arab chief at Kabr Mujahid during the first Amman stunt.

A00295

A00297

General Ryrie (right) with Lieutenants Faunce and Wikner standing on a jetty by the Dead Sea. A boat is tied to the jetty.

A00297

A05788

MILKMAN'S HILL CAMP, ROOKWOOD, NSW, 1898. GROUP PORTRAIT OF MEMBERS OF THE 1ST AUSTRALIAN HORSE AT THE EASTER ENCAMPMENT. BACK ROW: J. BOURKE, W. DOWLING, FERGUSON, W. MILLER, G. IRVING, J. MACKELLAR, G. BROWN, W. GRIFFIN, K. WRAY. FRONT ROW: T. GOODWIN, GRANVILLE RYRIE, J. OSBORNE, J.A.K. MACKAY,...

A05788

B00441

Brigadier General Ryrie, General Officer Commanding, 2nd Australian Light Horse Brigade, mounted on his horse at Richon le Zion (Richon) Rest Camp, in Palestine.

B00441

B01681

Portrait of General L. Ryrie, General Officer Commanding, 2nd Australian Light Horse Brigade, (looking toward the camera) mounted on his horse, Plain Bill. This is an original Paget Plate negative. The same image is available in colour and is held at P03631.064.

B01681

B01682

Portrait of General L Ryrie, General Officer Commanding, the 2nd Australian Light Horse Brigade, (in profile) mounted on his horse, Plain Bill. This is an original Paget Plate negative. The same image is available in colour and is held at P03631.065.

B01682

H00079

OUTDOORS PORTRAIT OF BRIGADIER GENERAL GRANVILLE DE LAUNE RYRIE, COMMANDING OFFICER OF THE 2ND AUSTRALIAN LIGHT HORSE BRIGADE.

H00079

H02776

MAADI, EGYPT. GENERAL VIEW OF THE 2ND AUSTRALIAN LIGHT HORSE BRIGADE CAMP WITH THE OFFICER COMMANDING, BRIGADIER GENERAL SIR GRANVILLE de L. RYRIE, MOUNTED IN THE CENTRE OF THE PHOTOGRAPH.

H02776

J06102

GALLIPOLI, TURKEY. BRIGADIER-GENERAL GRANVILLE RYRIE (RIGHT) AND ACTING STAFF CAPTAIN W.J. FOSTER AT THE HEADQUARTERS OF THE 2ND A.L.H. BRIGADE AT SHELL GREEN, ANZAC, IN 1915-08. THE GENERAL'S DUGOUT, SURROUNDED BY SANDBAGS, CAN BE SEEN IN THE BACKGROUND. THE FIRING LINE WAS JUST OVER THE RISE....

J06102

J06103

GALLIPOLI, TURKEY. BRIGADIER-GENERAL GRANVILLE RYRIE (RIGHT) AND COLONEL C. COX OUTSIDE THE HEADQUARTERS OF THE 2ND A.L.H. BRIGADE AT SHELL GREEN, ANZAC, IN 1915-08. (ALSO IN THE PICTURE ARE TWO DONKEYS, ONE OF WHICH WAS KNOWN TO MEN OF THE UNIT AS "LITTLE ANZAC".) (DONATED BY MR. H.H. SHELLEY.)

J06103

J06249

CAIRO, EGYPT. 1915. COLONEL G. DE L. RYRIE, 2ND AUSTRALIAN LIGHT HORSE BRIGADE, MOUNTED ON A DONKEY AT MAADI CAMP. (DONATED BY MR. H. H. SHELLEY.)

J06249

J06266

GENERAL G. DE L. RYRIE ACCEPTING THE SURRENDER OF AMMAN FROM THE REPRESENTATIVES OF THE CIVILIAN POPULATION, AT ABOUT 4 P.M. ON 1918-09-25. (THE THREE MEN WALKING ARE CARRYING A LARGE WHITE FLAG, WHICH DOES NOT SHOW UP AGAINST THE SKYLINE.) (DONATED BY MR. W.M. CAMPBELL.)

J06266

J06267

A PARTY OF BEDOUINS WHO SOUGHT AN INTERVIEW WITH GENERAL RYRIE ON ABOUT 1918-10-01, AT AMMAN. (DONATED BY MR. W.M. CAMPBELL.)

J06267

P00061.013

JORDAN VALLEY, PALESTINE, 1918-04. LIEUTENANT R.S. FARNES, MC, (LEFT); BRIGADIER-GENERAL D. DE L. RYRIE, CB, CMG, VD (2ND FROM RIGHT).

P00061.013

P00297.007

SECURITY CLASSIFICATION PHOTOGRAPHS - OFFICERS OF HEADQUARTERS, 8TH AUSTRALIAN DIVISION, AUSTRALIAN IMPERIAL FORCES. TOP ROW: LEFT TO RIGHT: CHAPLAIN M.K. JONES, COLONEL ROURKE (MILITARY CROSS), MAJOR GENERAL BENNETT & COLONEL BROADBENT. SECOND ROW: LEFT TO RIGHT: MAJORS BEALE, KAPPE, & G.WHITE,...

P00297.007

P00228.033

General Granville de Laune Ryrie with Lieutenants Hardy and Blair at Hill 70 Camp.

P00228.033

P01778.002

NSW. c. 1910. Studio portrait of Lieutenant-Colonel Granville de Laune Ryrie, Commanding Officer (CO) of the 3rd Light Horse Regiment. He is wearing service dress of the first pattern design for federal military forces in Australia. On his left breast, he bears the ribbon of the Queen's South...

P01778.002

P01541.012

Captain (Capt) Douglas Gray Marks, Major General Granville De Laune Ryrie, Major William James Foster, and Capt Joseph Espie Dods of the 5th Light Horse Regiment (5ALH).

P01541.012

P01221.001

GROUP PORTRAIT OF OFFICERS OF THE 1ST AUSTRALIAN HORSE. LEFT TO RIGHT: BACK ROW: LIEUTENANT (LT) BURKE, LT DOWLING, MAJOR FERGUSON, LIEUTENANTS MILLER, IRVING, J. MACKELLAR, BROWN, GRIFFIN, RAY; FRONT ROW: LIEUTENANTS GORDON, GRANVILLE RYRIE, J. OSBORNE, COLONEL MACKAY, ADJUTANT THOMPSON,...

P01221.001

P01221.002

SYDNEY, NSW. C. 1914. COLONEL GRANVILLE RYRIE MOUNTED ON HIS HORSE PLAIN BILL, IN FRONT OF A BRISTOL BOX KITE. RYRIE TOOK THIS HORSE OVERSEAS WHEN HE LEFT AUSTRALIA WITH THE 2ND LIGHT HORSE BRIGADE 1914. (PHOTOGRAPHER: LAKER & CO., 119 GEORGE STREET, CAMPERDOWN). (DONOR: D. DECELIS)

P01221.002

P01316.001

SYDNEY, NSW, 1904-08. GROUP PORTRAIT OF PARTICIPANTS AT NO. 5 LIGHT HORSE SCHOOL, HELD AT VICTORIA BARRACKS. LEFT TO RIGHT: BACK ROW: LIEUTENANT OTTON, 3RD AUSTRALIAN LIGHT HORSE (3ALH); LIEUTENANT (LT) VOWELL, 5ALH; LT PHILIP VERNON, LT COOPER, 3ALH; LT DUTTON, 6ALH; WARRANT OFFICER BOND,...

P01316.001

H02764

EGYPT. C. 1915. TWO SENIOR OFFICERS OF THE 2ND AUSTRALIAN LIGHT HORSE BRIGADE. THE OFFICER COMMANDING THE BRIGADE, COLONEL (LATER MAJOR GENERAL) SIR GRANVILLE DE LAUNE RYRIE KCMG CD VD, IS MOUNTED ON THE RIGHT WHILE ON THE LEFT IS LIEUTENANT COLONEL HUBERT JENNINGS IMRIE HARRIS VD, WHO WAS KILLED...

H02764

A03083

Group portrait of senior officers of the Australian Imperial Force at Victoria Barracks. Identified from left to right in back row: to the front is Brigadier General (Brig Gen) Herbert William Lloyd (later Major General (Maj Gen)); to the back is Brig Gen Thomas Albert Blamey (later Field Marshal);...

A03083

Digitised Collection

Letters relating to Oliver 'Trooper Bluegum' Hogue, 1915-1927

Letters relating to the First World War service of Major Oliver 'Trooper Bluegum' Hogue, 14th Light Horse Regiment. In a series of letters to members of his family as well as his colleague at the Sydney Morning Herald, William Farmer Whyte, Hogue details his experiences in the First World War....

RCDIG0000997

Timeline

Date of birth 1865-01-07 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 1904-10-29 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) 1914-09-19 Appointed commander of the 2nd Light Horse Brigade, AIF.
Date of embarkation 1914-12-21
Other 1915-05-19 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 1915-09-29 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 1916-01-14 Companion of the Order of Saint Michael and Saint George.
Date of recommendation honour or award 1916-01-17
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 1917-03-26 The 2nd Light Horse the New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade attacked and captured Gaza.
Date of honour or award 1918-01-01 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 1919-04-16 Appointed commander of the AIF in Eygpt and was promoted to temporary major general.
Date promoted 1919-05-03 Promoted to substantive major general.
Date of honour or award 1919-10-14 Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG).
Date of honour or award 1920-01-16 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 1937-10-02 He was accorded a state funeral with military honours, and was buried at Micalago.