Granville Ryrie

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Major General
Sir Granville Ryrie
KCMG, CB, VD
Granville ryrie.jpg
Granville Ryrie in 1919
Member of the Australian Parliament
for North Sydney
In office
11 March 1911 – 16 December 1922
Preceded by George Edwards
Succeeded by Billy Hughes
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Warringah
In office
16 December 1922 – 13 April 1927
Preceded by New seat
Succeeded by Archdale Parkhill
Personal details
Born (1865-07-01)1 July 1865
Michelago, New South Wales
Died 2 October 1937(1937-10-02) (aged 72)
Sydney, New South Wales
Political party Liberal (1911–16)
Nationalist (1916–27)
Occupation Farmer, soldier
Military service
Allegiance  Australia
Service/branch Australian Army
Years of service 1898–1927
Rank Major General
Commands Australian Mounted Division
2nd Light Horse Brigade
Battles/wars Second Boer War

World War I

Awards Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George
Companion of the Order of the Bath
Volunteer Decoration
Mentioned in Despatches (5)

Major General Sir Granville de Laune Ryrie KCMG, CB, VD (1 July 1865 – 2 October 1937) was an Australian soldier and politician who served in the Second Boer War and the First World War.

Early life[edit]

Ryrie was born in Michelago, New South Wales on 1 July 1865, into a farming family. His father was Alexander Ryrie, a grazier and member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly (1880–91) and of the Legislative Council (1892–1909), and his mother was Charlotte, née Faunce, both born in New South Wales. Granville was educated at Mittagong and at The King's School, Sydney; he later became a jackaroo, and eventually managed his own property. He was also a good heavyweight boxer. In 1896 he married Mary McFarland, whom Ryrie nicknamed "Mick". Mary McFarland was the daughter of Sir Alfred McFarland (1824–1901), a judge in New South Wales.

Ryrie volunteered to serve in the Second Boer War, from 1899 to 1902. He was selected to serve in one of the Bushmen's Contingents, groups of light horsemen, because of his skills on horseback and in shooting. During the war he was promoted to the position of honorary Major.

Pre-war political career[edit]

In April 1906, Ryrie was elected to the New South Wales Legislative Assembly as member for Queanbeyan, where he served until 1910. He was an unsuccessful candidate for the Australian House of Representatives at the 1910 election, but was elected to the Division of North Sydney at a by-election on 11 March 1911, following the death of Hon. George Edwards.[1]

Military career[edit]

Ryrie conducting an informal inspection of Australian light horsemen on 9 April 1918, following the first Transjordan attack on Amman

At the beginning of the First World War, Ryrie was promoted to Brigadier-General, and was given command of the 2nd Light Horse Brigade, part of the ANZAC Mounted Division. He was in the Suez canal area and then joined the Battle of Gallipoli on 19 May 1915, where he was wounded twice. He was later moved to Egypt and London for respite, but rejoined the Brigade for the Sinai and Palestine campaign. He was involved in the famous charge of the light horse in the Third Battle of Gaza, in which Australian forces captured the town of Beersheba. In December 1918 he was made commander of the ANZAC Mounted Division, and in April 1919 was put in charge of the Australian Imperial Force. He was promoted Major General in September.

Post-war career[edit]

After returning to Australia, Ryrie remained the Member for North Sydney. In 1920, he was made an Assistant Minister for Defence in the ministry of Billy Hughes, assisting Senator George Pearce. At the 1922 election he was elected to the newly created Division of Warringah, where he served until 1927, when he was appointed the Australian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom in London. He was also an Australian delegate to the League of Nations. In 1928 and 1929 Ryrie acted as the Australian accredited representative before the League's Permanent Mandates Commission for the annual examinations of the Australian administration of the Mandated Territory of New Guinea.

Ryrie returned to Australia in 1932, and died in Sydney on 2 October 1937, survived by his wife and children. He was buried at Michelago, New South Wales, after a state service at St Andrew's Anglican Cathedral.

Michelago Station is still in the Ryrie family and is run by David Ryrie, Granville's eldest grandson. David and his family still reside in the original homestead.

Ryrie Street in North Ryde, Sydney is named in his honour.

A WWI German Field Gun near North Sydney Oval. It was unveiled by Ryrie in 1921.[2]

References[edit]

Parliament of New South Wales
Preceded by
Alan Major Millard
Member for Queanbeyan
1906–1910
Succeeded by
John Cusack
Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
George Edwards
Member for North Sydney
1911–1922
Succeeded by
Billy Hughes
New division Member for Warringah
1922–1927
Succeeded by
Archdale Parkhill
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Sir Joseph Cook
Australian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom
1927–1932
Succeeded by
The Viscount Bruce