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Town Hall, 333 Bay Street, Port Melbourne
Town Hall, 333 Bay Street, Port Melbourne

McNicoll, Walter Ramsay

Place of Birth: South Melbourne, VIC

Age: 37 years 3 months

Enlistment Details: Friday, 28 August 1914

Service Number:view online service record

279 Ryrie Street
Geelong, VIC

Next of Kin:
Hildur McNicoll (wife)
279 Ryrie Street
Geelong, VIC

Embarkation Details:
Date: Sunday, 18 October 1914
Ship: HMAT Hororata A20
Port: Melbourne, VIC
Unit: 7th Infantry Battalion

RTA: Thursday, 6 November 1919
Discharged: Monday, 5 January 1920

Awards: CB, CMG, DSO, Belgian Croix de Guerre

Percy McMillan. Courtesy Janice Brooks.

Brigadier-General Sir Walter Ramsay McNicoll was headmaster at both the Nott Street School and the Graham Street School. He was headmaster at Geelong High School when he joined the AIF. He landed at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915 and was awarded a Distinguished Service Order (DSO) during those first few days on the peninsula. He was severely wounded during the second battle of Krithia.

Whilst commanding the 10th Infantry Brigade he was awarded a Member of 3rd Class or Companion of the Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) and an additional Member of the Military Division of the 3rd Class of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath (CB).

He also received the Croix de Guerre (Belguim) and was mentioned in dispatches 5 times.

After the war he returned to the education system in Australia and then took up the position of Administrator of the Mandated Territory of New Guinea in 1934. For his service in New Guinea, particularly during a volcanic eruption near Kabul in May 1937, he was awarded a Knight Commander of the Civil Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (KBE).

He died in Sydney on 24 December 1947, aged 70 years

An informal portrait of Brigadier General Walter Ramsay McNicoll CMG DSO, GOC of the 10th Australian Infantry Brigade, sitting on a bench outside of the Brigade Headquarters with his dog Karl, a captured German messenger dog.

1916 ‘Empire Day.’, Port Melbourne Standard (Vic. : 1914 – 1920), 27 May, p. 2. , viewed 24 Oct 2019,

Ronald McNicoll, ‘McNicoll, Sir Walter Ramsay (1877–1947)’, Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, published first in hardcopy 1986, viewed 09 Sep 2019,

1937 ‘NEW GUINEA HONOURS.’, The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 – 1954), 15 December, p. 16. , viewed 09 Sep 2019,

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Acknowledgement of Traditional Custodians

We respectfully acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we meet and work, the Bunurong Boon Wurrung and Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung peoples of the Eastern Kulin Nation and pay respect to their Elders past, present and emerging.