Military Wiki
Sir Walter Joseph Cawthorn
Born (1896-06-11)11 June 1896
Died 4 December 1970(1970-12-04) (aged 74)
Place of birth Prahran, Victoria
Place of death Melbourne, Victoria
Allegiance  Australia (1915–18)
 United Kingdom (1918–51)
Service/branch Australian Army
British Indian Army
Years of service 1915–1951
Rank Major General

First World War

North-West Frontier
Second World War

Awards Knight Bachelor
Companion of the Order of the Bath
Companion of the Order of the Indian Empire
Commander of the Order of the British Empire

Major General Sir Walter Joseph Cawthorn CB CIE CBE (11 June 1896 – 4 December 1970) was an Australian soldier and diplomat, commonly known as a former head of the Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS).[1][2] Cawthorn was born in the suburb of Prahran in Melbourne.[1] He enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force, following the start of World War I, and served as a regimental sergeant major, in Gallipoli.[1] He was commissioned into the Indian Army in 1918.

Cawthorn took charge of the Middle East Intelligence Centre, at the start of World War II, and later became the director of military intelligence at the General Headquarters, in India.[1] From 1948 to 1951 he was Deputy Chief General Staff, Pakistan Army.

He was knighted in 1958, and appointed as high commissioner of Canada.[1][2] Cawthorn died in Melbourne, at the age of 74.[1]

Early life[]

Walter Joseph Cawthorn was born in the suburb of Prahran, on 11 June 1896, the second child of an English commercial traveller, William Cawthorn, and his wife, Fanny Adelaide, née Williams. He was educated at Melbourne High School, and became a schoolteacher, along with his younger sister, Minnie Elizabeth Cawthorn.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Hohnen, Peter (1993). "Cawthorn, Sir Walter Joseph (1896–1970)". Australian Dictionary of Biography (Volume 13 ed.). Melbourne University Press. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Goodgame, Peter (11 August 2002). "The British, the Middle East and Radical Islam". The Globalists and the Islamists: Fomenting the "Clash of Civilizations" for a New World Order. 
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Australian High Commissioner to Pakistan
Succeeded by
Roden Cutler
Preceded by
Walter Crocker
Australian High Commissioner to Canada
Succeeded by
David Hay
Government offices
Preceded by
A.S. Storey
Director of the Joint Intelligence Bureau
Succeeded by
W. Harold King
Preceded by
Ralph Harry
Director-General of the Australian Secret Intelligence Service
Succeeded by
Bill Robertson

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