Albert Thomas HOLDEN CBE

HOLDEN, Albert Thomas

Service Number: Chaplain
Enlisted: Not yet discovered
Last Rank: Colonel (Chaplain 1st Class AIF)
Last Unit: Australian Army Chaplains' Department
Born: Geelong, Victoria, Australia, 21 August 1866
Home Town: Kew, Boroondara, Victoria
Schooling: Geelong College and Melbourne University, Victoria, Australia
Occupation: Clergyman
Died: Natural causes (cancer), Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 20 August 1935, aged 68 years
Cemetery: Boroondara (Kew) General Cemetery
Memorials: Geelong College Anglo-South African War Memorial, Kew War Memorial, Melbourne Chaplains on Active Service Stained Glass Window, Melbourne Methodist Church Memorial Window
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Boer War Service

1 Jan 1900: Involvement Australian and Colonial Military Forces (Boer War / Boxer Rebellion), Major (Chaplain), SN Chaplain, 4th Imperial Bushmen
1 May 1900: Embarked Australian and Colonial Military Forces (Boer War / Boxer Rebellion), Major (Chaplain), SN Chaplain, 4th Imperial Bushmen, SS Victorian, Melbourne - disembarking Beira, Mozambique 25 May, 1900, then by rail to Umtali (Mutare, Zimbabwe).
14 Jul 1900: Embarked Australian and Colonial Military Forces (Boer War / Boxer Rebellion), Major (Chaplain), 4th Imperial Bushmen, SS Persic, Capetown for return to Australia supporting invalided troops - arriving Melbourne 9 August 1900.

World War 1 Service

1 Aug 1916: Embarked AIF WW1, Colonel (Chaplain 1st Class AIF), Australian Army Chaplains' Department, HMAT Orsova, Melbourne
1 Aug 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Colonel (Chaplain 1st Class AIF), Australian Army Chaplains' Department, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
5 Nov 1917: Embarked AIF WW1, Colonel (Chaplain 1st Class AIF), Australian Army Chaplains' Department, HMAT Port Sydney, Sydney
5 Nov 1917: Involvement AIF WW1, Colonel (Chaplain 1st Class AIF), Australian Army Chaplains' Department, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
3 Jun 1919: Honoured Commander of the Order of the British Empire, For valuable services rendered in connection with the war.
22 Mar 1920: Discharged AIF WW1, Colonel (Chaplain 1st Class AIF), Australian Army Chaplains' Department

Died at day before his 89th Birthday

REV. A.T. HOLDEN DEAD
Honoured Methodist Leader

The Rev. Col. A. T. Holden, B.A,V.D., C.B.E., Methodist Chaplain-General with the Australian Forces in the Great War immediate past president of the Methodist Conference of Australia, and founder and director of the Methodist Federal Inland Mission, died in Melbourne early on Tuesday morning. He had been ill for three months, and died only a day before his 89th birthday.

The Queenslander Thursday 22 August 1935 page 49

Methodist President-General

REV. A. T. HOLDEN.
Methodist President-General.

The Rev. A. T. Holden, C.B.E.,B-A., President-General of the Methodist Church of Australasia, who is at present visiting Townsville, Is an Australian of the second generation. He was educated at Ormond College, Melbourne, and graduated at the Melbourne University. He began his ministry In the Methodist Church 48 years ago at Omeo, Victoria. From the first be displayed a sympathy with pioneer settlers, which has been the characteristic of his ministry ever since. He served ss Chaplain during the Boer War, and was later appointed Chaplain-General, a position which he still holds. Nearly 80 years ago Mr. Holden was appointed to assist the Rev. E.S. Bickford, who was known throughout Australia for his work In providing religious ordinances for settlers in new areas. Later, he succeeded Mr. Bickford and became Superintendent of Home Missions
in Victoria, which office he held until last year. During his term of office he revealed gifts of leadership which commanded the respect of the Church throughout Australia, and he was Instrumental in extending the help of Victorian Borne Mission Society to Queensland and West Australia. Thus the way was prepared for the establishment of the Federal Inland Mission In 1926 The General Conference, which Is responsible for this work, appointed Rev. Holden Director General, with control of an area embracing 1500,000 square miles, or more than half the Continent Ten stations have been established at strategic centres, namely, Cloncurry, Mount Isa, Camooweal, Catherine, Alice Springs, Meekathara, Wiluna. Wyndham and Port Hedland. The missionaries are equipped with up to-date motor cars, suitable for emergency ambulance work. Since the inception of the mission, practically every home In the Interior has been visited by a missionary and the ordinances of religion have been made available to the people In all possible ways. The mission is costing the Methodist Church £6,000 per annum. This sum Is provided by the people In the various States. Victoria and New South Wales provide one-third each, and the balance is contributed by West Australia, South Australia and Queensland. At the commencement of then enterprlse, Mr. Holden travelled over each of the areas, and is now visiting them for the second time. He will first visit the eastern stations and later will visit those In the north west On his present tour he will spend two months In the Interior and return to Melbourne via Adelaide. The President-General took part In the historic ceremonies In connection with the Union of the Methodist Church In Great Britain last year. He will, therefore, have a story of great interest to tell the people of the Inland.

Townsville Daily Bulletin Thursday 06 July 1933 page 5

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Biography contributed by John Edwards

"Albert Thomas Holden (1866-1935), Methodist minister, was born on 21 August 1866 at Geelong, Victoria, eldest child of Thomas Holden, produce merchant at Wallace, and his wife Mary née Hague. His younger brother was George Frederick Holden.

Holden matriculated from Geelong College in 1882, taught in 1883-84 at Prospect House Academy, Kyneton, where he came under the influence of Rev. Charles Lancaster, and became a Methodist lay preacher. In 1885 he entered Ormond College, University of Melbourne, to study law, graduating B.A. in 1888. He played football and was a member of the first Ormond eight-oar crew.

After entering the Methodist ministry in 1887 Holden served as probationer at Camberwell in 1888, working at Burwood with railway construction workers and then with miners while at the Omeo Home Mission (1890-91). He toured Europe and the Middle East with Rev. E. S. Bickford during 1892. On 29 March 1893 at Omeo he married Martha Mesley, daughter of a mining manager; both Holden and his wife were expert in equestrian skills. After his marriage Holden was appointed to Port Cygnet, Tasmania (1893-95), Dunkeld and Penshurst (1896-98), Hawthorn (1899-1901) and Elsternwick (1902-03).

From 1898 Holden was an army chaplain and in 1900 he accompanied the Victorian Fourth Contingent (Imperial Bushmen) to the South African War. He became Methodist chaplain general in 1913, serving with the Australian Imperial Force between 1916 and 1919, when he was appointed C.B.E. He was generally known as Major, later Colonel Holden. His second son was killed in France in 1917..." - READ MOR LINK (adb.anu.edu.au)

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