Hugh Campbell Gemmell Macindoe
Prosecutor, Judge & Soldier
Years: 150 Lives
Born at Dalmuir, Dumbartonshire,
Scotland on 23 April 1883 and educated privately in Melbourne after the
family migrated in 1889. At the age of thirteen he entered the solicitors
office of Frank Grey-Smith as a clerk and went on to join the Transvaal
Civil Service in South Africa (1902-07) rising to become a private prosector
in Pretoria. In 1907 he went to London to study jurisprudence and in 1910
was called to the English Bar before returning to Australia where he was
likewise admitted to the Victorian (1910) and New South Wales Bars (1911)
and read in the chambers of (Sir) William McArthur (Camperdown
Cemetery) later judge of the Supreme Court (1920-34). So much has been
written of the egalitarian nature of the Australian Imperial Force that all
classes covering a diverse range of occupations enlisted for overseas
service during the Great War. As a solicitor, Macindoe is one such example
of this egalitarian nature when he enlisted as a private in January 1915.
He served for a period at Gallipoli with the 23rd Battalion but was
invalided and returned to Australia the following January. Medically unit,
his war service was terminated on 24 March 1916 with the rank of
lieutenant. In 1917, during the second conscription referendum when it was
established that grievances from returned soldiers were conspiring against
voluntary enlistment, Macindoe was entrusted to investigate each complaint.
(Sir) Ernest Scott (1867-1939), writing in Volume XI of the Official History
said: “Macindoe…applied himself to this task, and was given permission to
examine departmental files bearing on any case. He dealt very promptly with
every one. No possible cause of grievance was neglected”. After the war,
Macindoe continued his career in Law and in 1919 became Senior Crown
Prosecutor in Victoria (1919-26) before his appointment to the
County Court Bench (1926-46) succeeding George Dethridge (1863-1938); in
1936 he chaired the royal commission into the wounding of Superintendent
John Brophy that led to the resignation in disgrace of the Chief
Commissioner of Police Sir Thomas Blamey (1884-1951) on 9 July. Residing at
Kingsburgh - 14 Maple Grove Toorak, Macindoe died on 3 July 1947
survived by his wife Nancie née Grey-Smith (1887-1983) whom he married on 27
September 1916 and was cremated at Springvale Necropolis.
Monumental Headstone (enlarge
The Argus 4 July 1947.
The Age 4 July 1947.
The Herald 3 July 1947.
The Sun 4 July 1947.
The Australasian 31 July 1926.
Scott, E., “The Official History of Australia
in the War of 1914-1918”, Vol IX (1989).
AWM “Biographical Cards for the Official
History 1914-18”, AWM140.
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