HOLMES, William

Service Number: Officer
Enlisted: 16 March 1915, Sydney, New South Wales
Last Rank: Major General
Last Unit: 4th Division Headquarters
Born: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 12 September 1862
Home Town: Sydney, City of Sydney, New South Wales
Schooling: Paddington Public School, New South Wales, Australia
Occupation: Chief Executive of NSW Metropolitan Board of Water Supply , Soldier
Died: Killed In Action, France, 2 July 1917, aged 54 years
Cemetery: Trois Arbres Cemetery, Steenwerck, Nord Pas de Calais
Memorials: Sydney Major General William Holmes Memorial Plaque, Sydney Metropolitan Water Sewerage and Drainage Board WW1 Honour Roll
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World War 1 Service

16 Mar 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, SN Officer, Sydney, New South Wales
12 May 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Colonel, 5th Infantry Brigade Headquarters
12 May 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, Colonel, 5th Infantry Brigade Headquarters, HMAT Themistocles, Sydney
19 May 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, HMAT Themistocles
11 Nov 1918: Involvement AIF WW1, Major General, 4th Division Headquarters

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General Holmes had served in the South African War as a Captain and was awarded the DSO.  At the Outbreak of WW1 he was appointed the first military administrator of German New Guinea, as well as commanding Australian forces in the area.  He departed New Guinea on the 9th January 1915.

  -  Australian War Memorial 133441

He was later successively Commander 5th Brigade at Gallipoli and Commander 4th Division on the Western Front.  Major General Holmes was killed soon after his greatest success, his division’s key part in victory at Messines, Belgium. This the AIF lost two Division Commanders killed on the Front Line (General Bridges at Gallipoli being the other)


Son: Captain Basil Holmes DSO, 17th Battalion AIF

Brother-in-law: Lieutenant Colonel Reginald John Travers SO & Bar, 4th Battalion AIF


William Holmes was born on 12th September, 1862 in Sydney to William & Jane HOLMES

Medals:  1914-15 Star, British War Medal & Victory Medal