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Victor Sellheim

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Years of service  1896–1927
Rank  Major general
Service/branch  Australian Army

Name  Victor Sellheim
Allegiance  Australia
Victor Sellheim
Buried at  Kingston Cemetery, Kingston, Norfolk Island
Died  January 25, 1928, Norfolk Island
Awards  Order of the Bath, Order of St Michael and St George

Place of burial  Kingston, Norfolk Island

Major General Victor Sellheim (4 May 1866 – 25 January 1928) was an Australian military officer during the Second Boer War and World War I. Sellheim fought in the Second Boer War with Chauvel's Mounted Infantry and fought in the Battle of Modder River. For his actions during the war, Sellheim became a Companion of the Order of the Bath. After serving in a variety of staff positions, he became Quartermaster general of the Australian Military Forces in 1912 and two years later was Adjutant general. Between 1914 and 1916 he oversaw the Australian Imperial Force base at Cairo. He became the Adjutant general again. After the end of World War I, Sellheim became Quartermaster general in 1920 but resigned in 1927 to become Administrator of Norfolk Island, where he died on heart failure in 1928.

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Early life

Sellheim was born on 4 May 1866 in Balmain, the eldest son of Philip Frederic Sellheim and his wife Laura Morriset. He was educated at the Brisbane Grammar School and was a surveyor afterwards. Sellheim married Susan Howell-Griffith on 7 December 1890. He enlisted in the Kennedy Regiment, where he received a second lieutenant's commission in 1892 and was promoted to captain the next year. As the regimental adjutant, he obtained a permanent commission in the Queensland Defence Force in 1896.

After attending courses in the United Kingdom, Sellheim served in the Second Boer War as an officer attached to British units and the chief of staff of Harry Chauvel's Mounted Infantry, taking part in the Battle of Belmont and the Battle of Modder River. He later joined the Queensland Mounted Infantry during the advance on Pretoria. For his services during the war, Sellheim was appointed a Companion of the Order of the Bath and also Mentioned in Dispatches.

After the Boer War, Sellheim was shifted through various staff appointments and was promoted to lieutenant colonel in December 1909 and appointed the Quartermaster General to the Australian Military Forces in 1912. Promoted to colonel in 1913, he became the Adjutant-General in August 1914.

World War I

Sellheim served as the head of the administrative staff in the 1st Division of the Australian Imperial Force. He did not have a good relationship with his superior, Major General William Bridges and as a result Bridges did not deal directly with Sellheim on administrative matters. Sellheim organized a base for the AIF in Cairo and was promoted to brigadier general in 1916. AIF Administrative Headquarters was moved to England in May. Sellheim was replaced by Robert Anderson in August and was sent back to Australia to become the Adjutant General again. He was again mentioned in dispatches and also appointed a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George.

Later life

Promoted to major general in January 1920, Sellheim became the Quartermaster General as well as the Adjutant General as a result of decreasing defence expenditures due to the end of World War I. He resigned his positions in January 1927 to become the administrator of Norfolk Island, but died of heart failure on 25 January 1928, and was buried in the cemetery Kingston, Norfolk Island. Sellheim's maternal grandfather, James Morisset, had served as commandant of Norfolk from 1829 to 1834.

References

Victor Sellheim Wikipedia


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