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John Antill

Australian Army officer

Died when: 71 years 34 days (853 months)
Star Sign: Aquarius

 

John Antill

Major General John Macquarie Antill, (26 January 1866 – 1 March 1937) was a senior Australian Army officer in the New South Wales Mounted Rifles serving in the Second Boer War, and an Australian Army general in the First World War.

Antill is best known for not stopping the futile charges on the Turkish lines at The Nek in the Gallipoli Campaign in August 1915, during which four waves of attackers barely got "over the top" before being cut down by Turkish fire.

The ANZAC forces suffered a 60% casualty rate, most having been cut down en masse just feet from their own trenches.

He later command the 3rd Light Horse Brigade in the final months of the Gallipoli Campaign, and then during the early part of the Sinai and Palestine campaign.

In August 1916, he was offered command of the 2nd Infantry Brigade and commanded the brigade briefly on the Western Front, until his health deteriorated and he was evacuated to England in November 1916.

In early 1917, Antill took over command of the embryonic 16th Infantry Brigade, but this formation was disbanded before it was fully formed and Antill ultimately did not see action again.

He returned to Australia in late 1917.He retired from the military in 1924 with the rank of honorary major general.In retirement, he co-wrote a play about William Redfern, called The Emancipist.

He died in 1937 from cancer.


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