John Gellibrand

Major-General John Gellibrand (18721945), the highest-ranking Tasmanian officer during the First World War. Born at Ouse and educated in Britain, Gellibrand fought with the British army in the South African War. He joined the AIF in 1914, and at Gallipoli successfully supervised supplies of ammunition and reinforcements. Gellibrand was one of the AIF's best brigade commanders on the Western Front. Habitually dressed in an ordinary digger's uniform, he shared frontline dangers with his men, but his divisional appointment in 1918 angered some senior AIF officers who thought he was English, not Australian. He clashed with Monash, but was highly regarded by the official war historian, Charles Bean.

Gellibrand was not as successful post-war in public service roles or parliament (MHR for Denison 192528), but an enduring contribution was founding Legacy.

Further reading: P Sadler, The Paladin, Melbourne, 2000.

Peter Henning