Brigadier Raymond Walter Tovell CBE, DSO and Bar, ED

After BGS Raymond studied accountancy qualifying in 1911,  then  continued his studies in London  in 1912 to 1913,  after which he began work as an auditor  in Melbourne. Ever since his days as a cadet at BGS Raymond Tovell was  interested in soldiering. On 28 April 1915  Raymond enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force. Unbeknown to him, his elder  brother John had  been killed in action at Gallipoli three  days previously. During WWI (1914  to 1918)  Raymond rose  from Private to Brigade Major and won the Distinguished Service Order  (DSO). After the war Raymond stayed in Britain until he finished his professional training  as an accountant, then  returned to Australia  to commence practice. Resuming work as a public accountant, Raymond set  up a partnership, Tovell & Lucas. Military service followed throughout all the years of peace between the wars,  including  leading the 46th Battalion (Brighton  Rifles) in 1932  to 1938.  On the outbreak of WWII Raymond was  promoted to Brigadier.  He is remembered for his cheerfulness and  simple  philosophy combined with great  leadership in action.  He suffered shellshock in France, fought many  battles and  held many appointments and  at the end  of the war, he returned to civil life with the CBE, DSO and  Bar and  two mentions in despatches. Raymond won the Bar to his DSO for his part in the successful withdrawal  to Tobruk,  Libya, in April 1941  and for the manner in which his men  subsequently resisted strong  attacks and  conducted raids  on the enemy. It is recorded throughout the operations Ray displayed ‘ability, resourcefulness, thoroughness and  keenness of the highest order’. After the war he became the Chief Patron of the Rats of Tobruk Association. Raymond was  prominent in all civic affairs serving as a Brighton City Councillor (1924  to 1926),  President (1928 to 1935)  of the local branch of the Returned Sailors’ and  Soldiers’  Imperial League of Australia, a founding member of the Brighton Grammar School Council, a member of the Firbank  Grammar School Council, a director  of the Great Melbourne Orphanage and supporter of Brighton Technical School. In 1945  Raymond entered the Legislative Assembly as the Liberal Party  Member for Brighton,  a role he held for eight years. He was  the Minister of Education between 1948  and  1950  and  again in 1952. Raymond was  a foundation member of the Brighton Grammarians’ Lodge  and  held high office in freemasonry as a member of the Grand  Lodge.

Interested in Scholarships?

We offer a range of scholarships to give as many boys as possible the chance of a BGS education.

Find out more
Strong academic performance continues

More than a third of the Class of 2018 obtained an ATAR of 90 or above!

Read more
BGS Old Boys

See reunion dates, update your details and give to BGS

Visit our Old Boys page