Dallas Brooks

General Sir Reginald Alexander Dallas Brooks, GCMG, KCB, KCVO, DSO, KStJ (22 August 1896 – 22 March 1966) was a British military commander who went on to become the 19th and longest-serving governor of Victoria, Australia.

Dallas Brooks
Sir Dallas Brooks
Administrator of the Commonwealth of Australia
In office
3 February 1961  3 August 1961
MonarchElizabeth II
Preceded byThe Viscount Dunrossil
(as Governor-General)
Succeeded byThe Viscount De L'Isle
(as Governor-General)
19th Governor of Victoria
In office
18 October 1949  7 May 1963
MonarchsGeorge VI (1949–52)
Elizabeth II (1952–63)
Preceded bySir Winston Dugan
Succeeded bySir Rohan Delacombe
Personal details
Born(1896-08-22)22 August 1896
Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England
Died22 March 1966(1966-03-22) (aged 69)
Frankston, Victoria, Australia
SpouseMuriel Violet Turner Laing
Military service
AllegianceUnited Kingdom
Branch/serviceRoyal Marines
Years of service1914–1949
CommandsCommandant General Royal Marines (1946–49)
Political Warfare Executive (1943–46)
Battles/warsFirst World War
Second World War
AwardsKnight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George
Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath
Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order
Distinguished Service Order
Knight of the Order of St John
Mentioned in Despatches (2)
Croix de guerre (France)
Reginald Brooks
Cricket information
BowlingRight-arm medium
Domestic team information
Career statistics
Competition FC
Matches 29
Runs scored 1,070
Batting average 20.57
100s/50s 2/3
Top score 143
Balls bowled 1,942
Wickets 38
Bowling average 28.73
5 wickets in innings 1
10 wickets in match
Best bowling 8/90
Catches/stumpings 15/–
Source: Cricinfo, 1 February 2010

Early life

Brooks was born on 22 August 1896 at Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, son of Dallas George Brooks and Violet Ruth, née Shepherd. He was an only child.

Brooks was educated at Dover College and joined the Royal Marines in 1914. During the First World War he was severely wounded during the Gallipoli landings in 1915. He took part in the Zeebrugge Raid in 1918, for which he was awarded a Distinguished Service Order.[1]

Cricketing career

Upon returning from war, Brooks made his first-class debut for the Royal Navy against Cambridge University in 1919 as a right-handed batsman who bowled right-arm medium.[2] The same season he made his debut for Hampshire against Surrey in the County Championship. Brooks represented Hampshire eight times in the 1919, making his maiden first-class century against Gloucestershire with a score of 107.

Brooks represented Hampshire in nine first-class matches between 1919 and 1921, with his final first-class appearance for the county coming against Middlesex. He scored 244 runs for Hampshire at a batting average of 16.26, with one century and one half century and a high score of 107.[3]

In 1920 Brooks made his second first-class century, this time for the Royal Navy against the Army, which gave him his highest first-class score of 143. He played as an all-rounder for the Royal Navy, a role he did not fill at Hampshire.

In all, Brooks represented the Royal Navy in sixteen first-class matches, with his final appearance for them coming against the Royal Air Force in 1929. In his sixteen matches for the Royal Navy, Brooks scored 690 runs at a batting average of 23.00, with one century and two half centuries and a highest score of 143.[3] With the ball he took 38 wickets at a bowling average of 27.63, with one five wicket haul which gave him his career best figures of 8/90.[4]

Additionally, Brooks represented the Combined Services with four first-class matches.

Military career

Brooks graduated from the Royal Navy Staff College in 1934, and from 1943 served as Director-General (Military) of the Political Warfare Executive.[1] In 1946 he was appointed Commandant General Royal Marines in the rank of lieutenant general.[1] He was promoted to general in 1948, knighted that year, and retired in May 1949.[1]

Governor of Victoria

Brooks was appointed Governor of Victoria by Premier Thomas Hollway and served from 1949 to 1963.[5] During his term as governor, he acted as Administrator of the Commonwealth three times.[1] He served in this capacity for almost seven months after the governor-general, Viscount Dunrossil, suddenly died in office in 1961 after serving only one year. Sir Dallas was in effect Acting governor-general until the appointment of the Viscount De L'Isle.

Brooks served the state for over 13 years, becoming Victoria's longest-serving governor. After his term ended in 1963, he chose to remain in Australia in retirement. He built a house in Frankston and died there three years later.


Brooks was Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of Victoria (Masonic Lodge or Freemasons) from 1951 to 1963.[6] He was Victoria's longest serving Grand Master, and he is the only governor of any Australian state initiated to the craft while serving as governor. Brooks had expressed a desire to become a freemason while in England but he had also stated that he preferred to become initiated in Australia. He met with the Grand Master of Victoria and notified him. He was initiated in the Clarke Lodge No. 98 on 6 February 1950 and was passed and raised within two months. He became Worshipful Master of the Lodge only five months after his initiation and he was elected Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Victoria the following year.[7]


Dallas Brooks Hall, East Melbourne

In 1969 the United Grand Lodge of Victoria built a concert hall in East Melbourne. The Hall was renamed in 1993 from the Dallas Brooks Hall to the Dallas Brooks Centre and was a major events venue in Melbourne until 2016 when it was demolished to build an apartment complex.

The Melbourne suburb of Dallas was named after Sir Dallas, as well as Dallas Brooks Drive in Kings Domain. The official residence of the governor of Victoria, Government House, is located on the corner of Birdwood Avenue and Dallas Brooks Drive.

Brooks was the grandfather of journalist and television presenter Jennifer Byrne.

Members of the organisation of Scouts Australia, Sir Dallas Brooks Rover Crew, also adopted the name of the General.


  1. Sir Dallas Brooks at Australian Dictionary of Biography
  2. Cricinfo
  3. Battling by team Cricket Archive
  4. Bowling by team Cricket Archive
  5. Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives
  6. Kent Henderson, The Masonic Grand Masters of Australia, Ian Drakeford Publishing, Bayswater, 1988, pp.194–195
  7. Vice Regal Grand Masters – Who and Why? Archived 9 April 2013 at the Wayback Machine
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