John Northcott


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(24 March 1890–4 August 1966). Educated at the University of Melbourne, Northcott was commissioned in the 9th Light Horse in August 1908. He transferred to the Administrative and Instructional Staff in November 1912, and volunteered for the AIF on the outbreak of war. Appointed adjutant of the 12th Battalion, he landed at Gallipoli and was severely wounded during the campaign. He held a staff position back in Australia after returning to duty, as GSO3 on the headquarters of the 5th Military District. After the war he suffered the customary reduction in rank, being appointed to junior staff jobs once again with the 5th Military District and the 13th Mixed Brigade. As a regular, however, his career improved with his selection to attend the Staff College, Camberley, between 1924 and 1925. He returned to Army Headquarters in the latter year, but was again posted to Britain in January 1933 as an exchange officer, serving with the 44th (Home Counties) Division for two years before attending the Imperial Defence College (IDC) on the 1935 course. His overseas attachments did not end there. Graduating from the IDC, he attended the Senior Officers' School at Sheerness before serving a five-month attachment to the Committee of Imperial Defence, the premier strategic policy formulation body in the empire. After a further period in the United States and Canada, he returned to Australia in June 1937 as the principal operational staff officer on the 4th Division's headquarters.


From The Oxford Companion to Australian Military History in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Military History.

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