Medals Of The Month – September 2019 | Major-General Gustave Mario RamaciottiBy The Cove August 29, 2019
This month, for our 'Medals Of The Month' collaboration with the Australian Army Museum of New South Wales, we are featuring the medals and story of Major-General Gustave Mario Ramaciotti, CMG, VD, MID.
- Companion of the Order of St Michael & St George (CMG) (Neck badge).
- Appointed in 1917 for services to the Citizen Military Forces, Colonial Auxiliary Forces Officers’ Decoration (VD).
- Colonial Auxiliary Forces Long Service and Good Conduct Medal.
- Medal of French Gratitude (Médaille de la Reconnaissance Française)
Known Service History
- 1878: Enlisted in the Queensland Colonial Military Forces
- 1890: Commissioned Second Lieutenant, Ashfield Company, 2nd Infantry Regiment, NSW Military Forces
- 1894: Promoted Lieutenant
- 1894: Promoted Captain
- 1901: Promoted Major
- 1909: Appointed Commanding Officer of the 1st Battalion, 2nd Australian Infantry Regiment
- 1911-1912: Fought in the Italian Army during the Italian-Turkish war
- 1912: Appointed Commanding Officer of the 24th Infantry Battalion
- 1917: Appointed Acting Commandant 2nd Military District (NSW), with the rank of temporary Brigadier-General
- 1917: Appointed Inspector-General of Administration at Army Headquarters, Melbourne in 1917
- 1920: Retired with the honorary rank of Major-General
- 1927: Died in Melbourne.
Gustave Mario Ramaciotti (1861-1927), law clerk, theatrical manager and soldier, was born on 13 March 1861 at Livorno, Italy, son of Angiolo Ramaciotti, coachman, and his wife Cleofe, née Corti. Arriving in Australia in his teens, he immediately showed an interest in military affairs and joined the Rockhampton Volunteers, Queensland Defense Force, as a private in 1878. In 1880 he was naturalized and on 6 July 1882, describing himself as a law clerk, he married Ada Wilson (d.1918) at Waterloo, Sydney, with Congregational forms. They had a son and a daughter.
Though untrained in the law, through natural ability and business flair Ramaciotti became managing clerk of the conveyancing department of Minter, Simpson & Co., prominent Sydney solicitors. 'A prosperous city man, of whom all friends and acquaintances spoke with warm liking', he was 'worth the solid income he earned, and his sound business instincts led him to invest well and profitably'. In 1904 he left the law to buy into the biggest theatrical enterprise in Australia, becoming a partner of his friend J. C. Williamson and (Sir) George Tallis. Ramaciotti soon showed a specially quick insight into theatrical work and the years 1904-11 were busy and prosperous. In 1911 he sold his partnership in J. C. Williamson Ltd and bought the Theater Royal, Sydney, for £15,000, Sutton's Hotel for £10,000 and land at the hotel's rear for £300.
Ramaciotti's health as well as his age precluded overseas service in World War I. His duties were largely confined to New South Wales. He participated in the mobilization of troops in Sydney to crush an expected insurrection of the German community but this 1914 'Christmas Eve uprising' did not eventuate. In November 1915 he became commandant in New South Wales. He held this position until February 1917 when, after a few months on the retired list, he became inspector general of administration at Army Headquarters, Melbourne. He finally retired as honorary major general in March 1920. He had been appointed C.M.G. in 1917.
After retiring from the army Ramaciotti lived in Italy. He visited Australia in 1924 and was returning on another visit in 1927 when he became ill with dental sepsis. He was taken to Melbourne from the Oronsay to Mt St Evin's Hospital. He died there on 6 December and was buried in Brighton cemetery. He was survived by his two children.
- British Australasian, 13, 27 July 1911
- Who Was Who 1916-1928
- Bulletin, 25 Jan 1912
- Australasian (Melbourne), 19 Oct 1912, 10 Dec 1927
- Sydney Morning Herald, 23 Oct 1915, 3 Mar 1916, 26 Jan 1917, 7 Dec 1927
- Punch (Melbourne), 9 Feb 1911, 16 Dec 1916
- Town and Country Journal, 24 Jan 1917
- Card index, 1914-18 personnel (Australian War Memorial).
This biography was published in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 11, (MUP), 1988