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Grant, William (1870–1939)

William Grant, c1917

William Grant, c1917

Australian War Memorial, H00020

Brigadier-General William Grant, veteran Anzac officer, and a Queensland pastoralist, died suddenly in Southport yesterday. He was aged 68.

He was a native of Stawell, Victoria, son of a mine owner-pastoralist, qualified as a civil engineer, but gave up his profession after his father died to manage the family interests in sheep and cattle.

Brigadier-General Grant bought Bowenville, on the Darling Downs, in 1896, and bred sheep, cattle and horses there until he sold it in 1931. In 1934 he purchased Corack, in the Dirranbandi district. He served continuously in the Darling Downs Light Horse Regiment, formed the 11th Light Horse Regiment. (A.I.F.), in March, 1915, and fought with it in Galipolli, Egypt, and Sinai.

In September, 1917, he became General Officer in Command of the 4th Light Horse Brigade, played a valiant part in the capture of Beersheba, Jerusalem, Tiberias, and Damascus, and was in temporary command of the Australian Mounted Division at the time of the Armistice.

Sir Henry Gullett, in the Official History of Australia in the War, pays glowing tribute to the bushcraft of this gallant officer from the Darling Downs. "He possessed the temperament for the exploit (Beersheba), which was to give lasting distinction to his name," says Sir Henry. "Tall and wiry, he was the accepted type of Australian countryside."

Grant's name will be associated for all time with the heroic, wild capture of Beersheba (Palestine), when the Australian mounted men, riding as they had never ridden before, galloped to victory, right through the town, and had all prisoners rounded up before midnight.

Brigadier-General Grant was awarded the following decorations: C.M.G., D.S.O. and bar; V.D., and Order of the Nile.

He leaves a widow and three sons—Mr. Eric C. Grant, of Corack, Dirranbandi, and Messrs. Ian and Donald Grant, of Brisbane—and two daughters, Mrs. R. S. Sword, of Westerton, Longreach, and Mrs. F. W. Hewson, of Highfield, Augathella.

Military honours will be accorded at the funeral this morning. The cortege will leave the Peel Street chapel of John Hislop and Sons, South Brisbane, for the Crematorium, at 10.30. All members of the 11th Light Horse, A.I.F., Association are desired to attend.

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'Grant, William (1870–1939)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/grant-william-6457/text24465, accessed 29 May 2020.

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