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Horace William Dangar (1871–1923)

from Sydney Morning Herald

Horace Dangar, (middle, back row), 1914

Horace Dangar, (middle, back row), 1914

Australian War Memorial, A03318

The death occurred in Melbourne on Saturday afternoon of Brigadier-General Horace William Dangar, the third son of the late Hon. H. C. Dangar, M.L.C., and a notable figure in the history of the permanent defence forces of Australia.

His death marks the close of a splendid career as a soldier. The profession of arms he had made a life study and a life enthusiasm. It was with the Royal Australian Field Artillery that he was most closely associated, and his promotion to the honorary rank of Brigadier-General on his retirement in 1919 was signal recognition of his useful and valuable work over a long period of years.

Brigadier-General Dangar did much during his long and active career to promote the status of the permanent forces of the Commonwealth, and to inspire the men of the R.A.F.A., especially with all those splendid qualities which have won for it an honoured name. Nothing perhaps in the whole of his life came as a greater blow to Brigadier General Dangar than his inability, through illness, to take part in the European war. He did his utmost to take his place in the A.I.F., despite his impaired health, but he had to remain behind, much against his will. Unable, however, to serve abroad, he gave himself unsparingly to the tasks which confronted the defence organisation in Australia consequent upon the war, and in this direction he did effective service. His long service, his keenness as a soldier, and his sound knowledge of defence matters had specially fitted Brigadier-General Dangar for a responsible post in the great European struggle, and the fact that his illness prevented him from going abroad was a matter for general regret.

Brigadier-General Dangar was a well known and popular figure both in Sydney and in Melbourne. In each city he had a wide circle of friends. For some years latterly he had resided in the Victorian capital. A keen soldier, Brigadier-General Dangar had been entrusted with many responsible posts in the defence forces. He was associated with the forces in New South Wales for many years, and was quite a youth when he took up the military as a career. He was first with the Garrison Artillery, and later with the Royal Australian Field Artillery. He was one of the officers of the New South Wales contingent that went to England for the Diamond Jubilee celebrations, while he saw service in South Africa with the Royal Australian Field Artillery.

Brigadier-General Dangar was 52 year of age, and was a big man physically until his illness. His first appointment to commissioned rank in the Australian permanent forces was in 1889, with the rank of lieutenant. He was promoted to the rank of captain in 1893, of Lieutenant-colonel with the R.A.F.A. in 1913, and of brevet-colonel, at the end of 1915. He was honoured with the post of A.D.C. to Sir Ronald Munro Ferguson (now Lord Novar) when the latter was Governor-General of Australia,

From April, 1902, until July, 1903, he was A.D.C. to the General Officer Commanding the Australian permanent forces. Towards the end of the latter year he was appointed Acting Inspector and Chief Instructor in the Field Artillery; those posts he occupied until January, 1906. A month later he was appointed Chief Instructor to the Field Artillery in Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia, and Tasmania; also Chief Instructor to the Corps of Signallers from June, 1907. Then came a further promotion, as Director of Artillery, from the end of 1907 until the end of 1910. From February, 1910, until December, 1912, he was Officer Commanding No. 2 Battery.

He was appointed Officer Commanding the R.A.F.A. from January, 1913, and then followed his appointment as Chief of Ordnance and as a member of the Commonwealth Military Board.

Brigadier-General Dangar was unmarried. He had always been closely interested in racing, and eyen his impaired health did not weaken his enthusiasm in this regard.

Arrangements are being made for the funeral to take place on Tuesday afternoon at the Waverley cemetery with military honours.

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Citation details

'Dangar, Horace William (1871–1923)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 25 June 2024.

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