Dowling, Desmond Francis

Personal Details

First nameDesmond
Middle nameFrancis
Date of birth18/01/1918
Place of birthMoree, NSW
Date of death23/06/2006


Over many years, Professor Desmond Francis Dowling undertook significant research into cattle breeding, animal genetics and general animal husbandry – important nationally and internationally.

Des spent his childhood at Rosebery Downs, near the township of Muttaburra. As a boy, he rode his horse 8 kms to school each day. He continued his education at Mt Carmel College (now Columba Catholic College) and went on to study Veterinary
Science at Sydney University, from which he graduated in 1940.

After serving as a Veterinary Officer in the Army for the Northern Territory force, he completed a Science
Honours degree at Sydney University. He subsequently won a scholarship to Cambridge University where he completed his PhD in less than 2 years, in the process pioneering new methods in animal reproductive technology.

Following his return to Australia, Dr Dowling joined the CSIRO and in 1961 took up a position as Professor of Veterinary Science at the University of Qld.

He was the author of more than 100 publications, including scientific reports, booklets and chapters. He was originally appointed Chair of Animal Husbandry and later worked as Professor of Veterinary Biometeorology. He left the University as Emeritus Professor.

– Past Students’ Newsletter, Columba Catholic College, Charters Towers Qld, Dec 2006

Desmond was the son of Francis Edward Dowling and Alice Carolyne Cross.
He was the husband of Therease Mansfield who he married on the 6 August 1949
Dorothy – 7 April 1916 [Sydney], d 14 July 1996 [Toowoomba]. Married Robert Joseph Allen
Desmond Francis – 18 Aug 1918 [Wee Waa NSW]
John Maxwell Dowling – 26 July 1920 [Wee Waa NSW], Married Billy Kenny [24 Sep 1946]
Anthony Jerome Dowling – 22 April 1923, [Wee Waa NSW]. Married Frances Hatswell [17 Oct 1944
Francis Gerald Dowling – 21 September 1925,[Waverly, NSW], Married Mary Margaret Fox [16 November 1957]
David Arthur Dowling – 6 June 1930 [Muttaburra, QLD], Married Margaret Claire Sheales [12 September 1964 – Yeppon, QLD], died 24 September 2003 [Canberra, ACT]

-Source: Richard Dowling, Change Manager, Alcoa Service Support, 61-8-9254-5211, 0423 889 280

War Records


ServiceAustralian Army
Service numberQX56550
Date of enlistment19/10/1940
Locality of enlistmentEnoggera, Qld
Place of enlistmentBrisbane, Qld
Next of kinFrancis Dowling (Father)
Date of discharge17/04/1946
Posting at dischargeHQ NT Force
Prisoner of war




Brother of Anthony Jerome Dowling, who also served in WWII