May 10, 2021

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John Northcott

John Northcott AWM 107728.jpg

Northcott was promoted to the native rank of main common on 13 October 1939, when he was appointed Deputy Chief of the General Staff.[2] He accompanied Richard Casey to the Dominions’ Conference in London in later that 12 months as his navy adviser.[1] For his service as Deputy Chief of the General Staff, he was made a Companion of the Order of the Bath on 1 January 1941.[8]

Northcott served on the workers of the 4th Division from 17 September 1931 to 31 January 1932 after which with the third Division from 1 February to 22 November 1932. He returned to England as an alternate officer with the British Army, the place he served the workers of the forty fourth (Home Counties) Infantry Division.[2] He attended the Imperial Defence College in 1935. He was certainly one of solely six Australian Army officers to attend this prestigious course between 1928 and 1939, the others being Frank Berryman, John Lavarack, Henry Wynter, Vernon Sturdee, Sydney Rowell and William Bridgeford. Frederick Shedden, later Secretary of the Department of Defence, additionally attended this course.[7] Northcott was given the brevet rank of lieutenant colonel on 1 July 1935, which was made substantive on 1 January 1936. He attended the Senior Officers’ School at Sheerness in 1936, and was seconded to the Committee of Imperial Defence. He then served as an Australian defence attaché within the United States and Canada from September 1936 to June 1937. He was promoted to the brevet rank of colonel on 1 July 1937 and substantive rank on 13 October 1939. He served on the workers of the 4th Division till 1 September 1939, when he turned Director of Military Operations and Intelligence.[2]

Northcott was granted the honorary rank of main on 1 January 1919, and the brevet rank on 1 January 1920, however this was not made substantive till 1 October 1923.[2] He attended the Staff College, Camberley from 1924 to 1926. On returning to Australia, Northcott served as Staff Officer, and later Director, Stores and Transport, at Army Headquarters in Victoria Barracks, Melbourne.[1] He was appointed a Member (fourth class) of the Royal Victorian Order on 8 July 1927 for coordinating the transport for the 1927 six-month Royal Tour of the Duke and Duchess of York (later George VI and Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother) that 12 months to open the Old Parliament House, Canberra.[6]

Northcott embarked for Egypt from Hobart with the twelfth Infantry Battalion on the transport A2, HMAT Geelong on 20 October 1914.[3] This was one of many first battalions ashore within the touchdown at Anzac Cove on the primary Anzac Day, 25 April 1915. Northcott’s half within the battle was temporary, for that day he was wounded within the chest by a Turkish bullet. He lay amongst a pile of useless our bodies till the night, when he was discovered to be alive.[4] He was evacuated to Alexandria and later to England. While recuperating, he was joined by his fiancée, Winifred Mary Paton, who had travelled to England to be with him. The two have been married on the parish church in Oxted on 14 September 1915.[1][4] He returned to Australia on 30 December 1915 and took no additional half within the combating, it being “a inflexible rule that no common officer as soon as invalided to Australia may once more go abroad”.[5] His AIF appointment was terminated on 30 September 1916 and he was posted to the fifth Military District, the navy district masking the state of Western Australia.[1]

Northcott was assigned to workers of the sixth Military District, the navy district masking the state of Tasmania, the place he was serving when the First World War broke out in August 1914. His preliminary process was aiding with the elevating of Australian Imperial Force (AIF) items in Tasmania. He joined the AIF as a lieutenant on 24 August 1914 and was appointed adjutant of the twelfth Infantry Battalion, which was forming at Anglesea Barracks close to Hobart. He was promoted to captain within the AIF on 18 October 1914.[2]

John Northcott was born on 24 March 1890 at Creswick, Victoria, the eldest son of a storekeeper, John Northcott, and his spouse Elizabeth Jane, née Reynolds. Northcott was educated at Dean State School, Grenville College, Ballarat and the University of Melbourne. While at college, he served within the Australian Army Cadets.[1] He was commissioned as second lieutenant within the ninth Light Horse, a Militia unit, on 14 August 1908, and was promoted to lieutenant on 31 October 1910 and captain on 31 July 1911. On 16 November 1912, he was granted a fee as a lieutenant within the Administrative and Instructional Staff of the common forces, then referred to as the Permanent Military Forces (PMF), retaining the rank of honorary captain till he was promoted to that rank within the PMF on 1 June 1918.[2]

During World War II, Northcott was connected to the British seventh Armoured Division within the Middle East to review armoured warfare, returning to Australia in December 1941 to organise the brand new 1st Armoured Division. In March 1942, he assumed command II Corps. In September 1942, he was appointed Chief of the General Staff. As General Sir Thomas Blamey’s principal non-operational subordinate, he was liable for administering and coaching the wartime military. After the warfare, he served as commander of the British Commonwealth Occupation Force within the post-war Occupation of Japan. He retired from the Army in 1946 to turn into the Governor of New South Wales.

Northcott joined the Australian Army as a reservist in 1908, earlier than changing into a daily officer in 1912. On responsibility in Tasmania when the Great War broke out in 1914, he joined the twelfth Infantry Battalion, a unit from that state. He was wounded within the touchdown at Gallipoli on Anzac Day and invalided to Egypt, the United Kingdom, and finally Australia, taking no additional half within the combating. After the warfare, Northcott served on a sequence of workers posts. He attended the Staff College, Camberley and Imperial Defence College and likewise frolicked abroad as an alternate officer with the British Army and as a navy attaché within the United States and Canada.

Lieutenant General Sir John Northcott KCMG, KCVO, CB, KStJ (24 March 1890 – 4 August 1966) was an Australian Army common who served as Chief of the General Staff throughout the Second World War, and commanded the British Commonwealth Occupation Force within the Occupation of Japan. He was the primary Australian-born Governor of New South Wales.

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