Eric Lacy VOWLES MC, MiD

VOWLES, Eric Lacy

Service Number: Officer
Enlisted: 14 August 1914, Blackboy Hill, Western Australia
Last Rank: Brigadier
Last Unit: Royal Military College
Born: Kew, Victoria, 13 July 1893
Home Town: Not yet discovered
Schooling: Scotch College, W.A., & Royal Military College, Duntroon
Occupation: Brigadier (Australian Army)
Died: 28 September 1977, aged 84 years, cause of death not yet discovered, place of death not yet discovered
Cemetery: Centennial Park Cemetery, South Australia
Cremated and placed in South Australian Garden of Remembrance, Wall 17, Row F.
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World War 1 Service

14 Aug 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, SN Officer, Blackboy Hill, Western Australia
3 Oct 1914: Involvement AIF WW1, Lieutenant, 3rd Field Artillery Brigade , Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
3 Oct 1914: Embarked AIF WW1, Lieutenant, 3rd Field Artillery Brigade , HMAT Medic, Fremantle
5 Jun 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Lieutenant, 5th Division Medium and Heavy Trench Mortar Batteries, AIF, Fromelles (Fleurbaix)
1 Aug 1917: Involvement AIF WW1, Major, AIF Headquarters
13 May 1919: Discharged AIF WW1

World War 2 Service

1 Feb 1946: Involvement AIF WW1, Brigadier, Royal Military College

Help us honour Eric Lacy Vowles's service by contributing information, stories, and images so that they can be preserved for future generations.


Also awarded the Silver Medal for Military Valour (Italy)

Father   Thomas Vowles - c/o GPO Box Melbourne, Victoria; and
Mother   Mary Lacy Vowles (nee _____, d. 18/5/1908 Claremont, WA)
             buried in Karrakatta Cemetery and Crematorium, WA

Sister     Violet Isabel  (b. 1894 - d. 21/5/1905 11 years old,
                                 buried with mother)

Next of kin in service:
Brother   Alan Stewart Vowles
              Captain in 12th Infantry Battalion AIF WWI
              1918 discharged AIF
              1918 attached to 1/113th Indian Army

Prior to enlisting Eric had begun an engineering course.

In 1911 Eric Vowles was in the first graduating class from Duntroon. 
In 1914, graduating 28th from the First Class to attend the Royal Military College.

**Eric Vowles designed the  RMC BADGE  which is used to this day.**

Described on enlisting as 21 years old; single;
Church of England.

14/8/1914   Enlisted in AIF, from Royal Military College, Duntroon

2/11/1914   Embarked from Fremantle, Western Australia, on board HMAT A7 Medic
                  as a Lieutenant with 3rd Field Artillery Brigade, 8th Battery

4/4/1915     proceeded to join Mediterranean Expeditionary Forces, Dardanelles, Gallipoli
                  9th Battery of the 1st Division

**He was one of three RMC graduates chosen for the task of directing fire of naval guns
during the landing at Anzac Cove.

5/6/1915     Promoted to Captain

13/6/1915    Special Mention in Divisional Orders
                   "for acts of conspicious gallantry or valuable service during period
                    6/5/1915 - 28/6/1915 - Dardanelles, Gallipoli."

4/9/1915      transferred to 8th Battery, Dardanelles, Gallipoli

After the evacuation from Gallipoli to Egypt, he was transferred to the artillery of the 5th
Division and proceeded to France.

June 1916     took part in the Battle of Fromelles

early 1917    Staff course at Clare College, Cambridge, England

9/3/1917      Recommended for Military Cross - Captain in 5th Australian Divisional Artillery
                    "In France, this officer commanded the 59th Battery, and received valuable service
                     in supporting
the attached at Fleurbaix during the period 16th-20th July 1916, for
                     which he was mentioned i
n Sir Douglas Haig's Despatches (13/11/1916 (AIF List 138).
                     He also did excellent work at Gallipoli, and was mentioned in Sir C C Munro's Despatches

26/5/1917     Awarded in London Gazette - Italian Silver Medal for Military Valour
                    - Lieutenant in 5th Australian Divisional Artillery

4/6/1917       Awarded Military Cross - in London Gazette

1/8/1917       Promoted to Major
10/8/1917     taken on strength and posted to Command the 54th Battery
                    of the 5th Division Artillery in France

30/10/1917    wounded by shell and gassed - Passchendaele, France
2/11/1914      transferred to England
3/11/1917      admitted to 3rd London General Hospital, Wandsworth

2/2/1918        proceeded overseas to Havre, France

29/7/1918      proceeded to Egypt, ex Folkestone, England
17/8/1918      disembarked into Alexandria, Egypt

24/8/1918      Posted for duty with Hants Battery, RHA

28/11/1918     Sick to hospital
21/12/1918     rejoined Hants RHA
23/12/1918     attached to 1st Inverness Brigade, ex RHA

During late 1918 - February 1919 he served in Palestine with the Royal Horse Artillery

27/1/1919       Embarked on board HMAT City of Exeter at Cairo, returning to Australia
12/2/1919       Assumed Command of HMAT City of Exeter
2/3/1919         disembarked into Melbourne, Victoria

13/5/1919       Discharged from service in AIF WWI

WWI Medals
1914-15 Star (27569); British War medal (3298); Victory medal (3297);
Gallipoli Medallion; Military Cross, MID bar.

On his return to Australia he was stationed in Perth, Western Australia, and
continued to occupy a series of staff postings, mainly artillery reltated throughout

1926-27   he was chosen to attend Staff College at Camberley, England.

1928        he continued with further staff postings throughout Australia, but at a
               higher level.

Then at the Royal Military College, Duntroon, Canberra ACT, as Instructor of
Artillery, and at Sydney.

July 1938       arrived into Brisbane, Queensland taking on the role as
                     General Staff Officer of the 11th Brigade, being charge of training
                     operations in Queensland.

Married:      Eric married Mary Lacy.
Son:           Robert Vowles

1939           Royal Military College, Duntroon - as the Director of Military Art.

Nov 1939    With the outbreak of WWII he was posted as Director of Military Training
                  at Australian Head Quarters. 

WWII Service #VX101868 (WP22111)

2/11/1939 - 5/1/1942  Director of Military Training, Army Headquarters

6/1/1942 - 14/2/1942  District Officer, Commanding 6th Military District

15/4/1942 - 5/4/1943  Commanding Officer Tasmania Lines of Communication Area

7/6/1942 - 5/4/1943    Commanding Officer Tasmania Force

6/4/1943 - 2/4/1944    Commanding Officer 12th Australian Infantry Brigade

3/4/1944 - 1/9/1944    Commanding Officer Lae Base Sub Area - New Guinea

2/9/1944 - 1945          Commanding Officer 4th Australian Base Sub Area - New Guinea

March 1945                Became Commandant (Brigadier) of the
                                 Royal Military College Duntroon
                                 which also included administrative responsibility for the Army
                                 School of Civil Affairs

13/6/1949                 Retired from service with the RMC and the Australian Army.

Eric's last address was in North Adelaide, South Australia.

28/9/1977                 Eric passed away
cremated in:             Centennial Park Cemetery
                                WW Section

Thank you to Robert Kearney for his links. 5/3/2015.

Information sourced and submitted by Julianne T Ryan.  7/3/2015.  Lest we forget.