Dallas Brooks

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Sir Reginald Alexander Dallas Brooks
Dallas Brooks.jpg
Sir Dallas Brooks
19th Governor of Victoria
In office
18 October 1949 – 7 May 1963
Monarch King George VI (1949–1952)
Queen Elizabeth II (1952–1963)
Preceded by Sir Winston Dugan
Succeeded by Sir Rohan Delacombe
Personal details
Born Reginald Alexander Dallas Brooks
(1896-08-22)22 August 1896
Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England, United Kingdom
Died 22 March 1966(1966-03-22) (aged 69)
Frankston, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Nationality British
Spouse(s) Muriel Violet Turner Laing
Awards Distinguished Service Order (1918)
Military service
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch RoyalMarineBadge.png Royal Marines
Years of service 1914–1949
Rank General
Commands Political Warfare Executive
Commandant General Royal Marines
Battles/wars World War I
World War II
Reginald Brooks
Personal information
Full name Reginald Alexander Dallas Brooks
Born (1896-08-02)2 August 1896
Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England
Died 22 March 1966(1966-03-22) (aged 69)
Frankston, Victoria, Australia
Batting style Right-handed
Bowling style Right-arm medium
Domestic team information
Years Team
1919–1921 Hampshire
Career statistics
Competition FC
Matches 29
Runs scored 1,070
Batting average 20.57
100s/50s 2/3
Top score 143
Balls bowled 1,942
Wickets 38
Bowling average 28.73
5 wickets in innings 1
10 wickets in match
Best bowling 8/90
Catches/stumpings 15/–
Source: Cricinfo, 1 February 2010

General Sir Reginald Alexander Dallas Brooks GCMG, KCB, KCVO, DSO, KStJ (22 August 1896 – 22 March 1966) was a British military commander who went on to become the 19th and longest-serving Governor of Victoria, Australia.

Early life[edit]

Reginald Alexander Dallas Brooks was born on 22 August 1896 at Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England, United Kingdom, son of Dallas George Brooks and Violet Ruth, née Shepherd. He was an only child.

He was educated Dover College and joined the Royal Marines in 1914. During World War I service he was severely wounded during the Gallipoli landings in 1915. He took part in the Zeebrugge Raid in 1918, for which he was awarded a Distinguished Service Order.[1]

Cricketing career[edit]

Upon returning from war, Brooks made his first-class debut for the Royal Navy against Cambridge University in 1919 as a right-handed batsman who bowled right-arm medium.[2] The same season he made his debut for Hampshire against Surrey in the County Championship. Brooks represented Hampshire eight times in the 1919, making his maiden first-class century against Gloucestershire with a score of 107.

He represented Hampshire in nine first-class matches between 1919 and 1921, with his final first-class appearance for the county coming against Middlesex. He scored 244 runs for Hampshire at a batting average of 16.26, with one century and one half century and a high score of 107.[3]

In 1920 Brooks made his second first-class century, this time for the Royal Navy against the Army, which gave him his highest first-class score of 143. He played as an all-rounder for the Royal Navy, a role he did not fill at Hampshire.

In all Brooks represented the Royal Navy in sixteen first-class matches, with his final appearance for them coming against the Royal Air Force in 1929. In his sixteen matches for the Royal Navy, Brooks scored 690 runs at a batting average of 23.00, with one century and two half centuries and a highest score of 143.[3] With the ball he took 38 wickets at a bowling average of 27.63, with one five wicket haul which gave him his career best figures of 8/90.[4]

Additionally, he represented the Combined Services with four first-class matches.

Military career[edit]

Brooks graduated from the Royal Navy Staff College in 1934, and from 1943 served as Director-General (Military) of the Political Warfare Executive.[1] In 1946 he was appointed Commandant General Royal Marines in the rank of lieutenant general.[1] He was promoted to general in 1948, knighted that year, and retired in May 1949.[1]

Governor of Victoria[edit]

Brooks was appointed Governor of Victoria by Premier Thomas Hollway and served between 1949 and 1963.[5] During his term as Governor of Victoria he acted as Administrator of the Commonwealth three times.[1] He served in this capacity for almost seven months after the Governor-General Viscount Dunrossil suddenly died in office in 1961 after serving only one year. Sir Dallas was in effect Acting Governor-General until the appointment of the Viscount De L'Isle.

Brooks served the state for over 13 years, becoming Victoria's longest-serving governor. After his term ended in 1963, he chose to remain in Australia in retirement. He built a house in Frankston and died there three years later.


Dallas Brooks was Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of Victoria (Masonic Lodge or Freemasons) from 1951–1963.[6] He was Victoria's longest serving Grand Master, and he is the only governor of any Australian state initiated to the craft while serving as governor. Brooks had expressed a desire to become a freemason while in England but he had also stated that he preferred to become initiated in Australia. He met with the Grand Master of Victoria and notified him. He was initiated in the Clarke Lodge No. 98 on 6 February 1950 and was passed and raised within two months. He became Worshipful Master of the Lodge only five months after his initiation and he was elected Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Victoria the following year.[7]


Dallas Brooks Hall, East Melbourne

In 1969 the United Grand Lodge of Victoria built a concert hall in East Melbourne. The Hall was renamed in 1993 from the Dallas Brooks Hall to the Dallas Brooks Centre and is still a major events venue in Melbourne.

The Melbourne suburb of Dallas was named after Sir Dallas, as well as Dallas Brooks Drive in Kings Domain. The official residence of the Governor of Victoria, Government House, is located on the corner of Birdwood Avenue and Dallas Brooks Drive.

He was the grandfather of journalist and television presenter Jennifer Byrne.

Honours and awards[edit]

Ord.St.Michele-Giorgio.png Order of the Bath UK ribbon.png

Royal Victorian Order UK ribbon.png Dso-ribbon.png Order of St John (UK) ribbon.png 1914 Star BAR.svg

British War Medal BAR.svg Victory Medal ribbon bar.svg General Service Medal 1918 BAR.svg 39-45 Star BAR.svg

War Medal 39-45 BAR.svg GeorgeVSilverJubileum-ribbon.png GeorgeVICoronationRibbon.png UK Queen EII Coronation Medal ribbon.svg

Ord.St.Michele-Giorgio.png Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George (GCMG) 1963
Order of the Bath UK ribbon.png Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (KCB) 1948
Royal Victorian Order UK ribbon.png Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (KCVO) 1954
Dso-ribbon.png Companion of the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) 1918
Order of St John (UK) ribbon.png Knight of the Order of St John (KStJ) 1949
1914 Star BAR.svg 1914–15 Star
British War Medal BAR.svg British War Medal
Victory Medal ribbon bar.svg Victory Medal
General Service Medal 1918 BAR.svg General Service Medal
39-45 Star BAR.svg 1939–45 Star
War Medal 39-45 BAR.svg War Medal 1939–1945
GeorgeVSilverJubileum-ribbon.png King George V Silver Jubilee Medal 1935
GeorgeVICoronationRibbon.png King George VI Coronation Medal 1937
UK Queen EII Coronation Medal ribbon.svg Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal 1953
Military offices
Preceded by
Sir Thomas Hunton
Commandant General Royal Marines
1946 – 1949
Succeeded by
Sir Leslie Hollis
Government offices
Preceded by
Sir Winston Dugan
Governor of Victoria
Succeeded by
Sir Rohan Delacombe


  1. ^ a b c d e Sir Dallas Brooks at Australian Dictionary of Biography
  2. ^ Cricinfo
  3. ^ a b Battling by team Cricket Archive
  4. ^ Bowling by team Cricket Archive
  5. ^ Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives
  6. ^ Kent Henderson, The Masonic Grand Masters of Australia, Ian Drakeford Publishing, Bayswater, 1988, pp.194–195
  7. ^ Vice Regal Grand Masters - Who and Why?

External links[edit]