Thomas Daly (general)

Sir Thomas Joseph Daly
Born (1913-03-19)19 March 1913
Ballarat, Victoria
Died 5 January 2004(2004-01-05) (aged 90)
Sydney, New South Wales
Allegiance Australia
Service/branch Australian Army
Years of service 1930–1971
Rank Lieutenant General
Commands held Chief of the General Staff (1966–71)
Eastern Command (1963–66)
Northern Command (1957–61)
28th Commonwealth Infantry Brigade (1952–53)
2/10th Battalion (1944–45)

Second World War

Korean War
Vietnam War
Awards Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire
Companion of the Order of the Bath
Distinguished Service Order
Mentioned in Despatches (2)
Legion of Merit (United States)

Lieutenant General Sir Thomas Joseph Daly KBE, CB, DSO (19 March 1913 – 5 January 2004) was an Australian soldier, whose career culminated with his appointment as Chief of the General Staff (1966–1971).[1]

Early life

Born in Ballarat on 19 March 1913, Daly originally planned to become a doctor; however, having failed to gain entry into the university course of his choice, he joined the Royal Military College, Duntroon in 1930.[2]

Service history

Daly graduated as top cadet and in 1934 was commissioned into the 4th Light Horse Regiment.[2] He went on to serve with the British Army on India's North-West Frontier in 1938.[2]

Second World War

Daly was appointed Adjutant of the 2/10th Battalion after enlisting in the Second Australian Imperial Force in 1939.[2] He served in North Africa as Brigade Major of the 18th Brigade, fighting at Tobruk and in the Western Desert.[2]

Daly attended staff school in Haifa.[2] He was then appointed Senior Staff Officer to the Militia's 5th Division which saw service in New Guinea.[2] By 1945, Daly was in command of the 2/10th Battalion, leading them in the invasion of Balikpapan in Borneo; he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order,[3] and an Officer of the Order of the British Empire.[4]

Senior command

After the war, Daly's military service continued with staff appointments and a period as an instructor at the Staff College, Camberley. He married Heather Fitzgerald in 1946 and in 1948 went to England to attend the Joint Services Staff College (UK). A posting to Duntroon followed and in June 1952 Daly took command of the 28th Commonwealth Infantry Brigade – a formation comprising two British and two Australian battalions – then fighting in Korea. Daly was the first Australian to hold this command, and was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire,[5] and awarded the Legion of Merit from the United States of America for his command of the unit during the Korean War.[6]

Daly was promoted to major general in 1959, and appointed a Companion of the Order of the Bath in the Queen's Birthday Honours of 1965.[7] Promoted to lieutenant general in 1966, he was appointed Chief of the General Staff and knighted as a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire the following year.[8]


  1. Farquharson, John (9 January 2004). "Daly, Sir Thomas Joseph (Tom) (1913–2004)". Australian National University. Retrieved 20 October 2013.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Lieutenant General Thomas Joseph Daly, KBE, CB, DSO Australian War Memorial
  3. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 37302. p. 5006. 11 October 1945. Retrieved 23 October 2008.
  4. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 37184. p. 3715. 19 July 1945. Retrieved 23 October 2008.
  5. The London Gazette: no. 39862. p. 2909. 26 May 1953. Retrieved 23 October 2008.
  6. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 39999. p. 5768. 30 October 1953. Retrieved 23 October 2008.
  7. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 43668. p. 5507. 12 June 1965. Retrieved 23 October 2008.
  8. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 44327. p. 6306. 10 June 1967. Retrieved 23 October 2008.
Military offices
Preceded by
Lieutenant General Sir John Wilton
Chief of the General Staff
Succeeded by
Lieutenant General Sir Mervyn Brogan
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