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Frederick Allan Dove (1867–1913)

by Margot Z. Simington

This article was published:

Frederick Allan Dove (1867-1913), soldier and teacher, was born on 21 December 1867 in Sydney, son of Daniel Dove, contractor, and Annie Bell. He became a pupil-teacher at Newtown Public School in 1883 and after graduating from Fort Street Training School in 1888 taught for the next eleven years at several Sydney primary schools, including Fort Street, Crown Street and Camperdown. His soldiering began in 1897 when he was commissioned second lieutenant in the 5th Infantry Regiment (Volunteers); he was promoted lieutenant in 1898 and captain in 1899.

After the South African War broke out Dove joined the New South Wales Infantry, the only infantry contingent recruited in the colony, as a lieutenant. His company joined the 1st Australian Regiment at Cape Town in December 1899 and for two months served with the Kimberley Relief Force. In February 1900 the company was converted to 'E' Squadron, New South Wales Mounted Rifles, and, commanded by Captain J. G. Legge, accompanied Major General R. A. P. Clement's column via Colesberg to Norval's Pont, Orange River, and to Bloemfontein. Legge reported that on 22 February 'Lieutenant Dove did an excellent piece of scouting … with his division, and drove off the Boer patrols, thus rendering the advance of the guns possible'. Four days later Dove was slightly wounded at Maeder's Farm. Under Captain W. Holmes his unit then joined General (Sir) Ian Hamilton's column for operations at Pretoria and Diamond Hill.

In April, during the advance on Houtnek, Dove's successful reconnaissance of enemy positions and his command of a detachment which held an advanced post for a whole day earned Hamilton's praise. When Holmes was wounded at Diamond Hill on 12 June Dove was promoted captain and led 'E' Squadron in operations against De Wet and De La Rey in the Transvaal and northern Orange River Colony. For meritorious service in South Africa he was mentioned in dispatches and awarded the Distinguished Service Order. Lieutenant-Colonel De Lisle commented: 'On numerous occasions he has volunteered for dangerous undertakings at night. He is a wonderful scout, and on no single occasion has he failed to accomplish his objective, nor has he lost a man accompanying him'.

Dove returned with his unit to Sydney in January 1901. He resumed teaching at Barmedman, New South Wales, but enlisted again next year as captain and adjutant of the 3rd Battalion, Australian Commonwealth Horse. The battalion embarked on 2 April. Peace was only two months off, however, so by August, after brief service as a staff officer of the Australian Brigade at Newcastle, Natal, Dove was back in Sydney. After serving as a brevet major in the New South Wales Scottish Rifles he was made a captain on the reserve of officers in 1904. That year, on 27 December, at the Presbyterian church, Hill End, he married Adelaide Bryant; the marriage was dissolved on 21 April 1910 with Dove as petitioner and on 11 May he married Margaret Morrison Myles at the Presbyterian manse, Waverley.

In May 1906 Dove had joined the Permanent Forces as a captain on the Administrative and Instructional Staff; he became director of equipment at Army Headquarters, Melbourne, in August 1911 and in October was promoted major. Next January he was appointed president of the examination board for first appointment and transfer of Administrative and Instructional Staff, but illness prevented him from performing his duties after April 1912. Much respected, he died in Sydney Hospital on 9 December 1913 of paraplegia from hydatids of the spine. He was buried with Anglican rites in Waverley cemetery and was survived by his wife, a seven-year-old son from his first marriage and a two-year-old daughter.

Select Bibliography

  • Australian Defence Department, Official Records of the Australian Military Contingents to the War in South Africa, P. L. Murray ed (Melb, 1911)
  • R. L. Wallace, The Australians at the Boer War (Canb, 1976)
  • London Gazette, 16, 19 Apr 1901
  • Town and Country Journal, 10, 17 Dec 1913
  • register of careers (history section, Education Dept, Sydney).

Additional Resources

  • funeral, Sydney Morning Herald, 11 December 1913, p 10

Related Entries in NCB Sites

Citation details

Margot Z. Simington, 'Dove, Frederick Allan (1867–1913)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, published first in hardcopy 1981, accessed online 22 May 2024.

This article was published in hardcopy in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 8, (Melbourne University Press), 1981

View the front pages for Volume 8

© Copyright Australian Dictionary of Biography, 2006-2024

Life Summary [details]


21 December, 1867
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


9 December, 1913 (aged 45)
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Religious Influence

Includes the religion in which subjects were raised, have chosen themselves, attendance at religious schools and/or religious funeral rites; Atheism and Agnosticism have been included.

Military Service