Capt Stewart Milson and Sir Leighton Seymour Bracegirdle

^ Back to start

Southern (left) pylon

Capt Stewart Milson. 4th Bn. Australian Inf. Killed in action at Gallipoli 6th/8th Aug, 1915. Age 28. From Milson's Point, New South Wales. Native of Queensland.

Courtesy of the State Library of NSW.

Northern (right) pylon

Sir Leighton Seymour Bracegirdle (1881-1970), rear admiral and secretary to governors-general, from Balmain, NSW.

Enlisted in the Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force in August 1914, served as a staff officer in the seizure and occupation of German New Guinea and in November was made acting lieutenant-commander.

Bracegirdle was then appointed commander of the 1st Royal Australian Naval Bridging Train.Its first operational task in the Dardanelles, carried out under continual shrapnel fire, was the erection of piers and pontoons for the Suvla Bay landing of 7-9 August. The unit served at Suvla until the evacuation and had charge of pier-building and maintenance, the landing of troops, stores and ammunition and the provision of the beach water-supply. On 28 September Bracegirdle was wounded while salving a wrecked store-lighter but he remained on duty. From early December the bridging train was preparing for the evacuation; Bracegirdle, who was hospitalized with malaria and jaundice on 19 December, was twice mentioned in dispatches for distinguished service at Suvla.

He resumed command on 31 January 1916 and for the next three months the train served with I Anzac Corps, Bracegirdle was awarded the Distinguished Service Order in June and was mentioned in dispatches in September. In mid-December, during the advance into Palestine, his unit landed stores on the open coast of the Sinai Desert off El Arish. Early in 1917 the Naval Bridging Train was disbanded; he relinquished his command on 5 March. In April he was promoted commander and returned to Australia as officer-in-charge of troops on the Willochra. He was district naval officer at Adelaide in 1918-21 and at Sydney in 1921-23.

He had also been a president of the Commonwealth Coal Board in 1919-20. He was made director of naval reserves in 1923 and next year was promoted captain. In 1931 Bracegirdle became military and official secretary to the governor-general. He retired from the navy in 1945 in the rank of rear admiral, and from his post as official secretary in 1947; in January he was appointed K.C.V.O.

Courtesy of Sea Power Centre of Australia.

Share this page: