Harry Finn

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Harry Finn
Harry Finn.jpg
Major General Harry Finn c.1906
Born (1852-12-06)6 December 1852
Died 24 June 1924(1924-06-24) (aged 71)
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch British Army
Years of service 1871–1907
Rank Major General
Commands held General Officer Commanding Australian Military Forces (1904–05)
Commandant New South Wales Military District (1902–05)
Commandant Queensland Defence Force (1899–02)

Second Anglo-Afghan War
Mahdist War

Awards Companion of the Order of the Bath
Distinguished Conduct Medal
Mentioned in Despatches (2)

Major General Henry "Harry" Finn, CB, DCM (6 December 1852 – 24 June 1924) was a senior officer in the British Army who served as General Officer Commanding Australian Military Forces from 1904 to 1905.

Military career[edit]

Finn joined the British Army as a private in the 9th Queen's Royal Lancers in 1871.[1] He served in the Second Anglo-Afghan War of 1878 for which he was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal and mentioned in despatches.[1] He was commissioned into the 21st Lancers in 1881 becoming Inspector of Musketry for that Regiment in 1882 and Adjutant of the Regiment in 1884.[1]

In 1887 he was transferred to India and in 1898 he went to Sudan, fought in the Battle of Omdurman and was mentioned in despatches.[1]

He was placed on half-pay from his regiment, and was promoted to the substantive rank of lieutenant-colonel on 2 March 1900.[2] Taking up an appointment in Australia as Commandant of the Queensland Defence Force, he was granted the local rank of colonel whilst so emplyed from 2 March 1900.[2] He became Commandant of the New South Wales military area in 1902.[1] In 1904 he became General Officer Commanding Australian Military Forces and in 1905 he was made Inspector-General of the Australian Military Forces.[1] He was a keen horseman and rode to and from his residence at Dawes Point Battery every day.[3]

An inkwell made from the hoof of the horse Finn used in 1898 can still be seen at Victoria Barracks in Sydney.[4]


In 1886, he married Catherine Scott and they went on to have two daughters and one son.[1]


Military offices
Preceded by
Major General Sir Edward Hutton
General Officer Commanding Australian Military Forces
Succeeded by
Major General William Bridges
as Chief of the General Staff in 1909