Joseph Denny: Life and Career



3 Questions

What year was Joseph Denny elected to the South Australian House of Assembly?

What rank did Joseph Denny achieve in the First Australian Imperial Force?

What was the name of the government led by John Verran in which Joseph Denny was Minister for the Northern Territory?


  • Joseph Denny was born on 6 December 1872 in Adelaide, South Australia.
  • He was educated at the University of Adelaide and then studied law.
  • Denny worked as a journalist and then as a lawyer.
  • He was elected to the South Australian House of Assembly in 1900 as an "independent liberal".
  • He was re-elected in 1902, but defeated in 1905.
  • In 1911, he was elected Attorney-General of South Australia.
  • In 1915, he enlisted in the First Australian Imperial Force to serve in World War I.
  • He was commissioned in 1916 and served in the 5th Division Artillery and 1st Divisional Artillery on the Western Front.
  • He was awarded the Military Cross in September 1917 when he was wounded while leading a convoy into forward areas near Ypres.
  • He ended the war as a captain.
  • After the war, he resumed his work as a lawyer.
  • In 1931, he was expelled from the Australian Labor Party and joined the Parliamentary Labor Party.
  • He was Attorney-General in the Labor governments led by John Gunn (1924–26), Lionel Hill (1930–33) and Robert Richards (1933).
  • He was also Minister for the Northern Territory in the government led by John Verran (1910–12).
  • He published two memoirs of his military service.
  • He died in 1946 aged 73.
  • He was accorded a state funeral.


Test your knowledge about the life and career of Joseph Denny, an influential figure in South Australian politics and military service during World War I.

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