Double Victory: Minorities and Women During World War II
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Bridgeford, Sir William (1894–1971)

Australian army general who commanded the 3rd Infantry Division in the Bougainville Campaign. Born on 28 July 1894, at Ballarat, Australia, William Bridgeford studied at the Royal Military College, Duntroon. Service in France during World War I earned him a Military Cross. An excellent administrator with an easygoing, genial personality, he served in assorted staff and training positions in the small Australian army between the wars and also took further courses at the Staff College, Quetta, and the Imperial Defence College, London. By the late 1930s, Bridgeford seemed destined for success, but during World War II, he attained advancement and high command more slowly than expected, probably because of personal enmities he aroused during the Greek Campaign.

When World War II began, Bridgeford was military liaison officer in the Australian High Commission in London. In June 1940, he took command of the 25th Australian Infantry Brigade then being formed in Britain. From November 1941 through 1942, he was deputy adjutant and quartermaster general at the headquarters of I Corps in the Middle East. He made valiant efforts to supply operational units during the Greek Campaign, for which he won the Commander Order of the British Empire (CBE).

In 1942, Bridgeford returned to Australia, assuming command of the 3rd Armoured Division in April. From August 1943 to April 1944, his forces participated in the campaign leading to the successful occupation of Madang, New Guinea. Bridgeford then took command of the 3rd Infantry Division, which he led during the 1944–1945 Bougainville Campaign, receiving four mentions for bravery in dispatches.

After the war, Bridgeford became quartermaster general of the Australian Military Forces. From November 1951 to February 1953, he was commander in chief of Commonwealth forces in Korea. Bridgeford retired from the army in 1953. He was the chief executive officer of the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games and remained strongly interested in sports activities until his death in Brisbane on 21 September 1971.

Priscilla Roberts


Further Reading
Dexter, David. The New Guinea Offensives. Canberra: Australian War Memorial, 1961.; Keogh, E. G. The South West Pacific, 1941–45. Melbourne, Australia: Grayflower Productions, 1965.; Long, Gavin. To Benghazi. Canberra: Australian War Memorial, 1952.; Long, Gavin. Greece, Crete and Syria. Canberra: Australian War Memorial, 1953.; Long, Gavin. The Final Campaigns. Canberra: Australian War Memorial, 1963.
 

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