John Patrick McGlinn

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John Patrick McGlinn
Born 11 April 1869
Sydney, New South Wales
Died 7 July 1946(1946-07-07) (aged 77)
Melbourne, Victoria
Allegiance British Empire
Service/branch Australian Army
Years of service 1893 – 1927
Rank Brigadier General
Battles/wars Second Boer War
World War I
Awards Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George
Commander of the Order of the British Empire
Mention in Despatches (3)

Brigadier General John Patrick McGlinn CMG, CBE (11 April 1869 – 7 July 1946) was a senior officer of the Australian Army who served in World War I.

Early life and career[edit]

John Patrick McGlinn was born on 11 April 1869 in Sydney, New South Wales. He was educated at St John's School, Maitland. He became a telegrapher with the New South Wales Postmaster-General's Department on 29 January 1883 and worked throughout the state.

McGlinn was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the New South Wales Military forces on 27 November 1893. He was promoted to lieutenant in 1898. He volunteered for service in South Africa with the 1st New South Wales Mounted Rifles. Arriving in Cape Town in February 1900, he served all over South Africa. He returned to Australia in March 1901.

With Federation in 1901, McGlinn was transferred to the new Commonwealth Postmaster-General's Department, working in Maitland as a telephone linesman. McGlinn was promoted to captain in 1905, major in 1906, becoming brigade major of the 1st Infantry Brigade, and lieutenant colonel on 23 December 1911.

World War I[edit]

In September 1914, John Monash of the 4th Brigade chose McGlinn for his brigade major. Monash thus became the only brigadier general without a regular army brigade major, although Monash secured a regular, Captain C Jess, as staff captain. McGlinn joined the First Australian Imperial Force on 23 September 1914. While training in Egypt with the 4th Brigade, Monash and McGlinn became close.

The 4th Brigade landed at Anzac Cove on the evening of 25 April 1915. The brigade took over the critical left centre of the line. McGlinn worked hard to improve the quality of the brigade's defences, and the rule of thumb became that a trench had to be wide enough for McGlinn to walk down without touching the sides. McGlinn was acting commander of the 4th Brigade on Imbros from 17 October 1915 to 8 November 1915, while Monash was in Egypt. For his services at Gallipoli, McGlinn was twice mentioned in dispatches and was appointed a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG).

On 12 March 1916, McGlinn became Assistant Adjutant and QuarterMaster General of the newly formed 5th Division, under Major General McCay, and moved to Armentières, France, in June. He performed this task until he was evacuated sick on 9 November 1916. He was replaced by Lieutenant Colonel J Bruche and did not return to the 5th Division. Later in November he was again mentioned in dispatches.

In April 1917, McGlinn was appointed commander of No. 4 AIF Depot at Codford in England, again under McCay. Then on 24 October 1917, he took command of No. 2 AIF Depot at Weymouth. In this role he responsible for the processing of "casual reinforcements"; wounded men who had recovered and were being returned to their units. He was promoted to colonel in December 1917.

On 17 March 1918, McGlinn was promoted to temporary brigadier general and appointed Deputy Adjutant and Quartermaster General of all AIF Depots in the United Kingdom. For this work, he was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 1919 New Years List. On 31 August 1919, he became liaison officer in England for the Department of Repatriation.

Post war[edit]

On 11 November 1919, McGlinn was attached to AIF Headquarters as president of the courts martial which tried Father O'Donnell,[1] the Australian Catholic Chaplain. On 14 October 1919, O'Donnell was arrested in Ireland for traitorous and disloyal statements concerning British policy in Ireland, allegedly uttered at the International Hotel, Killarney. He also stated that Britain would have lost the war if not for the AIF. He was tried by McGlinn's court martial on 26–27 November 1929 and acquitted, although not honourably.

McGlinn returned to Australia in March 1920. He commanded the 6th Brigade and was placed on the unattached list as a brigadier general in July 1920.

Returning to the PMG, McGlinn became deputy State Engineer (lines) for New South Wales. He was appointed a commissioner of the Public Service Board in 1923 and served until 1930. He was chairman of the Commonwealth (AIF) Canteens Trust Fund. In 1935-1942 he was a member of the State War Council of Victoria. He died on 7 July 1946 and was buried at St Kilda Cemetery with full military honours. He was survived by his wife, two sons and a daughter.

See also[edit]

List of Australian Generals

References[edit]

  1. ^ L. L. Robson, (1988), "O'Donnell, Thomas Joseph (1876 - 1949)", Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 11, Melbourne University Press, pp 61-62.