Like many of his age, Tom Holland delayed his career to serve in WWII. On 7 May 1943 while piloting a Hudson aircraft near Gibraltar, Holland spotted, attacked, and sank German U Boat 447 on its maiden voyage.
Following university studies, Holland joined the fledgling Australian diplomatic service, commencing a career which would take him to 15 countries. He served as Head of the Australian mission in the divided Berlin, Deputy High Commissioner to India, and Charge’d’Affaires in Spain shortly after the restoration of the monarchy.
Throughout his life Holland has maintained a strong commitment to others, particularly in the underdeveloped countries in which he worked, and a clinic in India bearing his name honours his work. For many years Tom Holland convened the Prince Alfred Old Collegians dinner in London.