1919 portrait by John Longstaff
|Born||12 February 1875
Berrima, New South Wales
|Died||11 May 1954
Green Point, New South Wales
|Years of service||1892–1937|
|Awards||Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath
Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George
Distinguished Service Order
Mention in Despatches (7)
Officier of the Légion d'Honneur (France)
Major General Sir Charles Rosenthal KCB, CMG, DSO, VD (12 February 1875 – 11 May 1954) was an Australian Major General of World War I, and later a politician elected as a member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly.
Rosenthal was born in Berrima, New South Wales to a Danish-born school master and Swedish-born mother. He trained as an architect and was elected associate of the Royal Victorian Institute of Architects in 1895. He became a draughtsman in the architectural division of the Department of Railways and Public Works in Perth. After becoming bankrupt and ill he returned to the eastern states in 1899. In 1906 he was made architect for the Anglican Diocese of Grafton and Armidale. He designed St Andrew's, Lismore, New South Wales, St Laurence's, Barraba, and Holy Trinity, Dulwich Hill, Sydney.
Rosenthal joined the Australian Imperial Force in August 1914 and sailed with the first convoy as lieutenant-colonel commanding the 3rd Field Artillery Brigade. In 1892 Rosenthal joined the Geelong Battery of the Victorian Militia Garrison Artillery as a gunner. In 1903 he was commissioned second lieutenant in the Militia Garrison Artillery. He transferred to the Australian Field Artillery in 1908 where he was promoted as major. In 1914 he became commanding officer of the 5th Field Artillery Brigade. Thus before the war he was established as a soldier as well as a professional architect.
Rosenthal was at the Gallipoli landing on 25 April 1915. He was twice wounded at Gallipoli, the second wound causing him to be evacuated to England in August 1915. He returned to Egypt when the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) was expanding and given command of the artillery of the new 4th Division and was promoted Brigadier General in February 1916. He was engaged in the heavy fighting on the Somme, at Pozières and Mouquet Farm and at Ypres in Belgium. He was wounded a third time in December 1916.
On 22 May 1918 Rosenthal was appointed to command the 2nd Division and promoted Major General. He took part in the attack at Hamel. He was wounded for a fourth time in 1918 by a sniper when on daylight reconnaissance. He returned to duty in August and was involved in the Battle of Mont St. Quentin.
After the war Rosenthal contemplated not returning to the profession of architecture but did so while leading an active public life. From 1921–26 and also 1932–37 he was commander of the 2nd Division, Australian Military Forces. He served as an alderman of Sydney Municipal Council in 1921–24 and was chairman of its works committee. He was also a Nationalist Party of Australia member for Bathurst in the New South Wales Legislative Assembly in 1922–25 and a member of the New South Wales Legislative Council in 1936–37. He was twice president of the Institute of Architects of New South Wales in 1926–30 and was also president of the federal council of the Australian Institutes of Architects in 1925–28. He also served as president of the Australian Museum, Sydney.
In popular culture
Rosenthal may have been a part-model for the authoritarian ex-soldiers' leader Benjamin Cooley in D. H. Lawrence's novel, Kangaroo (London, 1923). Rosenthal had been founding secretary in 1921 and later president of The King and Empire Alliance, with which Robert Darroch asserts D.H. Lawrence had been in contact, probably through W. J. R. Scott. It has also been alleged that Rosenthal was involved with the Old Guard, a secret anti-communist militia, set up by the Bruce government.
Honours and awards
|Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (KCB)||1919|
|Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB)||1915|
|Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG)||1917|
|Companion of the Distinguished Service Order (DSO)||1918|
|British War Medal|
|Victory Medal with palm for Mentioned in Dispatches|
|King George V Silver Jubilee Medal||1935|
|Volunteer Officers' Decoration (VD)|
|Croix de guerre||(Belgium) 1917|
|Croix de guerre||(France) 1918|
|Officer of the Legion of Honour||(France) 1919|
- Hill, A.J. (1988). "Rosenthal, Sir Charles (1875–1954)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Canberra: Australian National University. Retrieved 12 March 2008.
- "Major General Sir Charles Rosenthal". Australian Defence Force Academy. 2002. Retrieved 12 March 2008.
- Duffy, Michael (2002). "Sir Charles Rosenthal". Who's Who. firstworldwar.com. Retrieved 12 March 2008.
- See, for example, the research notes of Sandra Darroch & Robert Darroch (2000–01). ""The Darroch Thesis, "DHL in Australia research, 1972–2002, Part 1: September 1972 – March 1990"". DH Lawrence Society of Australia. Retrieved 8 July 2007.
- Moore, Andrew (2001). "What if Jack Lang had not been dismissed?". NSW Constitution website. NSW Department of Education and Training. Retrieved 3 July 2007. "The Old Guard was also linked to the Defence Department. Since the 'Internal Security Scheme' was an expression of the collective wisdom of generals like White, Chauvel, Monash, Lloyd, Heane, Bennett and Rosenthal, it was hardly surprising that senior military men knew where 'loyal and highly influential citizens' could be found if necessary."
- The London Gazette: . 28 January 1919. Retrieved 22 June 2012.
- "Major General Sir Charles Rosenthal". Australian Defence Force Academy. 2002. Retrieved 5 September 2007.
- Duffy, Michael (2002). "Sir Charles Rosenthal". Who's Who. firstworldwar.com. Retrieved 5 September 2007.
- Hill, A.J. (1988). "Rosenthal, Sir Charles (1875–1954)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Canberra: Australian National University. Retrieved 5 September 2007.
- Rosenthal diaries, 25 September 1914-5 January 1920 / Sir Charles Rosenthal held at State Library of New South Wales accessed 23 November 2013.
|Parliament of New South Wales|
|Member for Bathurst
Served alongside: Dooley, Fitzpatrick