George Macleay Macarthur ONSLOW CMG, DSO, MiD

ONSLOW, George Macleay Macarthur

Service Number: Officer
Enlisted: 1 November 1914
Last Rank: Brigadier General
Last Unit: 7th Light Horse Regiment
Born: Camden, New South Wales, 2 May 1875
Home Town: Camden, Camden, New South Wales
Schooling: Rugby School, England
Occupation: Grazier
Died: Natural causes (pneumonia), Camden, New South Wales, 12 September 1930, aged 55 years
Cemetery: Camden Park Cemetery, NSW
Memorials: Menangle Pictorial Roll of Honour No 3
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World War 1 Service

1 Nov 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Major, 7th Light Horse Regiment
20 Dec 1914: Embarked AIF WW1, Major, 7th Light Horse Regiment, HMAT Ayrshire, Sydney
20 Dec 1914: Involvement AIF WW1, Major, 7th Light Horse Regiment, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
22 Nov 1915: Promoted AIF WW1, Lieutenant Colonel, 7th Light Horse Regiment
5 Aug 1916: Wounded AIF WW1, Lieutenant Colonel, 7th Light Horse Regiment, Battle of Romani
3 Sep 1918: Promoted AIF WW1, Colonel, 5th Light Horse Regiment
10 Aug 1919: Discharged AIF WW1, Brigadier General, SN Officer, 7th Light Horse Regiment

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Biography contributed by John Edwards

"George Macarthur-Onslow was born on 2 May 1875 and was educated at Rugby School, England. He was commissioned in the New South Wales Mounted Rifles on 5 April 1895 and promoted lieutenant next year. In July 1903 he was made a lieutenant in the reorganized 2nd Light Horse. Promoted captain in 1911, next year he was appointed commanding officer of the 9th Light Horse Regiment. In February 1914 he was promoted major and, in December after joining the Australian Imperial Force, was appointed second-in-command of the 7th L.H.R. under Lieutenant-Colonel J. M. Arnott.The 7th reached Egypt in February 1915 and after completing its training at Maadi saw service as a dismounted unit at Gallipoli between May and December. After a period of illness which necessitated return to Egypt, Macarthur-Onslow took command of the 7th Light Horse in October. On 17 December he organized the famous cricket match at Shell Green two days before the final evacuation of Anzac Cove.

On 5 August 1916 he was severely wounded in the counter-attack at Romani which put him out of action for three months. For outstanding work he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order and mentioned in dispatches. Returning to duty with his regiment he played a conspicuous part in all the subsequent operations at Gaza, Beersheba, the pursuit up the Philistine Plain and the raids across the Jordan into Amman and Es Salt, displaying outstanding leadership. He was rewarded with the temporary command of the 2nd Light Horse Brigade from May to August 1918 during the absence of Brigadier General (Sir) Granville Ryrie. In September he was promoted colonel and temporary brigadier general commanding the 5th Light Horse Brigade for the advance on and capture of Damascus. In January 1919 he contracted typhoid fever and four months later was invalided back to Australia. For his war service since December 1916 he was twice more mentioned in dispatches, awarded the Order of the Nile (3rd class) and appointed C.M.G.

After the war Macarthur-Onslow held appointments in various light horse militia units. In 1920-23 he was an honorary A.D.C. to the governor-general and in 1927-31 temporary colonel-commandant of the 1st Cavalry Division. In addition to military matters he was general manager and a director of Camden Park Estate Pty Ltd, and took a close interest in local affairs, being a councillor of the Wollondilly Shire, alderman of Camden Council and four times mayor of Camden.

George Macarthur-Onslow was a genial, fresh-faced six-footer who loved wit and good company and was respected and beloved by many. Though quick-tempered, he soon forgave and forgot. As befitted a countryman he had a shrewd sense of ground; according to General Sir Harry Chauvel, 'He was a born cavalry leader, full of dash and initiative, quite fearless, at the same time possessing the entire confidence of his men'.

He died of pneumonia on 12 September 1931 at his residence, Murrandah, Camden, and was buried in the family cemetery. He had married at Manar, near Braidwood, Violet Marguerite Gordon on 16 October 1909. She and their daughter survived him." - SOURCE (adb.anu.edu.au)

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