Rear Admiral David Guy Holthouse

RADM David Guy Holthouse

David Guy Holthouse was born at Port Hedland, WA on 16 January 1936 and educated at Guildford Grammar School, WA. He joined the Royal Australian Navy as a 14-year-old Cadet Midshipman in 1950. His initial training was at the RAN College (HMAS Cerberus). He did well at sport, particularly boxing, and graduated with the prize for English in 1953. On completion of his training in Australia he proceeded to England to study naval engineering at the Royal Naval Engineering Colleges at Manadon and Keyham (HMS Thunderer) during the period 1955-60.

While in the UK, Holthouse was awarded the prize for the best all round officer for his engineering studies and was also awarded the Queens Sword as the most outstanding member of the entire cadet class in 1954. He also studied Nuclear Reactor Engineering at the UK Atomic Energy Authority's establishment at Harwell. Holthouse was promoted to Sub Lieutenant in January 1956 and then to Lieutenant in July 1958. In June 1962 he married Isobel Mary McLachlan.

David Holthouse saw sea service in HM ships Triumph, Glory, Rattlesnake and Eagle and also in the submarine Anchorite. He served in HMA ships Melbourne (three times), Anzac, Queenborough, Sydney, Hobart and Supply. He was the Marine Engineer Officer in Anzac (1961) and Queenborough (1962-63). In 1963-65 he served in the UK at the Yarrow-Admiralty Research Department in Scotland. In 1965-67 he served as a Marine Engineer in the aircraft carrier Melbourne.

He was promoted to Lieutenant Commander in July 1966 and was the Engineer Officer in the destroyer HMAS Hobart during 1967-69. He saw active service in Vietnam, in 1968, during which time Hobart was badly damaged by friendly fire when accidentally attacked by US Air Force fighters. For his dedication to duty overseeing the repairs to Hobart he was awarded a Naval Board Commendation. He was promoted to Commander in June 1968.

In 1969 he co-authored a study of naval technical training, which led to a radical restructure of sailor categories and training (SAILSTRUC). He then undertook staff training at the Royal Naval Staff College at Greenwich in 1970. Upon return to Australia he was posted as the Assistant Director Fleet Maintenance (1971-73). He also served briefly on secondment to the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet and also as Equerry to the King of Nepal before taking up the position as the Engineer Officer of the tanker HMAS Supply during 1973-75.

Commander Holthouse was then the Fleet Marine Engineer Officer during 1975-76. He was promoted to Captain in June 1976 and became the Chief Staff Officer - Technical to the Fleet Commander (1976-78). He commanded HMAS Nirimba, the Navy’s technical training establishment, between 1978 and 1980. Captain Holthouse was then the Director of Naval Officers’ Postings (1980-81). In May 1981 he was promoted to the rank of Commodore and became the Director General Fleet Maintenance (1982-1984).

Commodore Holthouse was the Naval Attaché at the Australian Embassy in Washington DC (and the Naval Advisor at the Australian High Commission in Ottawa) in 1985-87. He was promoted to Rear Admiral on 1 June 1986. His Flag appointments included Chief of Naval Engineering (1987), Assistant Chief of Naval Staff - Logistics, and Chief Naval Engineer (1988-89), Chief of Naval Personnel (1989-91) and Naval Support Commander (1991-93). He was appointed as an Officer in the Order of Australia in 1991 ‘For service as the Chief of Naval Personnel and as Naval Support Commander’. Rear Admiral Holthouse retired from full time naval service in 1993.

David Holthouse worked as a consultant to the Defence Industry in 1993-95 before joining the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) in 1996, as Manager, External Liaison. He was responsible for negotiating memoranda of understanding with twelve Asian stock exchanges and he represented the ASX in the East Asian and Oceania Stock Exchange Federation where he was Chairman of the Working Committee during 2000-2002. He established ASX Consultants in 1998-99 and led consultancies in the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and India.

He also represented the ASX in the Australia-Korea Forum and in the Philippines Australia Dialogue. He was chairman of Maritime Australia Limited and a Board Member of the Aerospace, Maritime & Defence Foundation of Australia and a Councillor of the Australian Institution of Internal Affairs (NSW). He was also a director of The Warren Centre for Advanced Engineering, a Councillor of the Young Endeavour Youth Scheme and a member of the Research Institute Asia Pacific at Sydney University.

Rear Admiral Holthouse was a Director of Sydney Legacy 2000-2004 and its President 2002-2003. He was made an Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Engineers Australia - the Institute’s highest award, in 2004. He was President of the Naval Officer Club from 1995 until 2009. For a number of years David and his wife Isobel managed their own sheep and cattle property near Braidwood in southern New South Wales.

Rear Admiral David Holthouse passed away at Braidwood on 31 May 2013.