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Herbert William Lloyd (1883–1957)

by Warren Perry

This article was published:

Herbert William Lloyd (1883-1957), by E. McQuillan

Herbert William Lloyd (1883-1957), by E. McQuillan

Australian War Memorial, 121224

Herbert William Lloyd (1883-1957), public servant, army officer and politician, was born on 18 November 1883 at South Yarra, Melbourne, only child of Irish-born parents William Lloyd, a mounted constable (later sergeant) in the Victoria Police, and his wife Fanny Henrietta, née Mills. Educated at Thomas Palmer's University High School and at Wesley College, Lloyd joined the Commonwealth Treasury as a clerk on 26 June 1902. He was commissioned in the Australian Field Artillery in 1906, appointed militia adjutant, A.F.A., Victoria, in 1908 and promoted captain in the following year. On 31 March 1910 he resigned from the public service; next day he entered the Permanent Military Forces.

While serving with the artillery in Sydney, Lloyd married Meredith Pleasents (d.1952) on 27 May 1914 at the Methodist Church, Redfern. Appointed captain, Australian Imperial Force, on 18 August, he sailed for Egypt in October as adjutant of the 1st Field Artillery Brigade. At Gallipoli in May 1915 he was promoted major and made a battery commander; for his conduct during the campaign (April-December) he won the Distinguished Service Order. Back in Egypt, he was promoted lieutenant colonel and sent to France in March 1916 as commander of the 22nd Howitzer Brigade. Transferred to the 5th F.A.B. in April, he led it with 'ability, initiative and energy', attributes he also displayed when he was acting commander of the 2nd Divisional Artillery in February-March 1917. That year he was appointed C.M.G. and a member of the Serbian Order of the White Eagle.

Having briefly commanded the 6th (Army) Brigade, A.F.A., from November 1917, Lloyd took command of the 12th in February 1918: the unit distinguished itself in the Lys operations (April to July) and in battles along the Somme (from August). Three days before the Armistice Lloyd was promoted temporary brigadier general and given command of the 5th Divisional Artillery. He was appointed C.B. (1919) and mentioned in dispatches four times. After his A.I.F. appointment terminated on 15 July 1919 in Melbourne, he took on training and staff duties at Army Headquarters. In 1920 he served as transport officer for the Prince of Wales's visit to Australia, for which he was appointed C.V.O. Lloyd attended the Staff College, Quetta, India, in 1920-21 before being posted to 1st Division headquarters in Sydney. He resigned from the P.M.F. on 26 August 1925 and was transferred to the Citizen Military Forces.

Lloyd obtained a post with Vacuum Oil Co. Pty Ltd, but severed his connexion with that company on winning the Legislative Assembly seat of Parramatta for the Nationalists in 1929. Next year he became managing director of Australian Soaps Ltd. Defeated in the 1930 general elections, he was deputy-commander of the New Guard before his re-election in 1932 as the United Australia Party member for Mosman, a seat he was to retain until 1941. Following the outbreak of World War II, he held the civil post of director-general of army recruiting in May-July 1940.

In August Lloyd was mobilized in the Australian Military Forces and posted to Army Headquarters as deputy adjutant-general. Promoted temporary major general, he took over the 2nd Division in October. In April-July 1941 he was also director-general of recruiting. His division was garrisoning Western Australia in September 1943 when he transferred to the 1st Division in Sydney. Between May 1945 and January 1946 he administered command of the Second Army. On 1 February 1946 he retired as honorary major general. Again in civilian life, he was a board-member of several companies, including the Adelaide Steamship Co. Ltd.

Urbane and amiable, but firm and determined, Bertie Lloyd was a brilliant conversationalist and a good listener. His resonant voice enhanced his skills as a public speaker and his fund of anecdotes enlivened his after-dinner speeches. In his social relations he had flair and adapted quickly to new circumstances. An oarsman in his youth, he later took up golf and hunting. He was a member of the Naval and Military Club, Melbourne (from 1906), and of the Union and Imperial Service clubs, Sydney. Survived by his daughter and two sons, he died on 10 August 1957 at the Repatriation General Hospital, Concord, and was cremated with Anglican rites and military honours. M. H. Ellis described Lloyd as 'one of the historic figures of the A.I.F. in World War I' and observed that no soldier had 'ever turned to him for help in vain'.

Select Bibliography

  • W. Perry, The Naval and Military Club, Melbourne (Melb, 1981)
  • W. Perry, 'Major-General Herbert William Lloyd (1883-1957): A Gunner Officer of another Era', Sabretache, 34, no 1, Jan-Mar 1993, p 3
  • Sydney Morning Herald, 16 Feb 1929, 14 June 1930
  • Herald (Melbourne), 24 July 1931, 23 May 1940
  • Bulletin, 21 Aug 1957
  • personal knowledge.

Citation details

Warren Perry, 'Lloyd, Herbert William (1883–1957)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, published first in hardcopy 2000, accessed online 26 June 2024.

This article was published in hardcopy in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 15, (Melbourne University Press), 2000

View the front pages for Volume 15

© Copyright Australian Dictionary of Biography, 2006-2024

Herbert William Lloyd (1883-1957), by E. McQuillan

Herbert William Lloyd (1883-1957), by E. McQuillan

Australian War Memorial, 121224

Life Summary [details]


18 November, 1883
South Yarra, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia


10 August, 1957 (aged 73)
Concord, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Cultural Heritage

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