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General Sir John MonashPrint Page Print this page

15-June-2010
15-June-2010

Photographs supplied by Kent Watson

A statue commemorates soldier and public servant, Sir John Monash (1865-1931), who was born in West Melbourne in 1865.

A gifted student, he embarked on a career in engineering and from 1887 was a part-time militia officer. On the outbreak of war Monash was appointed to command the 4th Infantry Brigade.

After the Gallipoli campaign he was promoted to command the new 3rd Australian Division, which took part in the fighting at Messines and the Passchendaele offensive in 1917. In early 1918 it faced the Germans on the Somme. Monash displayed great military skills, a powerful intellect and inspiring leadership qualities. He impressed his own soldiers and higher command. In June 1918 he was promoted to lieutenant-general and appointed to command the Australian Corps.

He led his Australians through a series of victorious actions until the end of the war. By the 1920s Monash was probably regarded as the greatest living Australian. Despite being an administrator and leader, rather than a fighting soldier, he had become integral to the ANZAC legend.

A monument to Monash was proposed in 1932, the year after his death. It was funded by Melbourne City Council and public subscription. While designed by Bowles, the bronze was cast in Italy. But due to the outbreak of World War Two it was not completed until 1950.

MELBOURNE, Sunday: More than 1000 people watched the Governor-General, Mr McKell unveil a life size equestrian statue of General Sir John Monash near the Shrine of Remembrance today. The official party included the Prime Minister, Mr Menzies. Mr McKell described Sir John Moiiash as Australia's greatest citizen and soldier. He said his brilliant accomplishments both in military and civil spheres were shining example of sacrifice and service to his fellow Australians. Mr McKell said the name of Monash would live in Australian history as long as the spirit of Anzac. His career proved Australian military leaders could rank with the best in the world.
Riverine Herald (Echuca, Vic.), 13 November 1950.

Location

Address:Birdwood Avenue, Kings Domain, Melbourne, 3000
State:VIC
Area:AUS
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -37.826784
Long: 144.972766
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Details

Monument Type:Statue
Monument Theme:People
Sub-Theme:Military
Actual Event STart Date:
Actual Event End Date:
Monument Designer:William Leslie Bowles

Dedication

Actual Monument Dedication Date:Sunday 12th November, 1950
Front Inscription

GENERAL SIR JOHN MONASH GCMG KCB VD
           SOLDIER AND ENGINEER
COMMANDER THE AUSTRALIAN FORCE FRANCE 1918
CHAIRMAN STATE ELECTRICITY COMMISSION 1921 - 31
                         1865 - 1931

 

Back Inscription

This Statue Was Unveiled
On The 12th November 1950
By His Excellency
The Right Honourable
William McKell K.C.
Governor General Of The
Commonwealth of Australia

Source: MA,RSLV,VMR,RHSV
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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