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15-June-2010
15-June-2010

Photographs supplied by Kent Watson

The statue commemorates Field-Marshal Sir Thomas Blamey (1884-1951), Commander-in-Chief of the Australian Military Forces and of the Allied Land Forces in the South-West Pacific during World War Two. The statue depicts Thomas Blamey in uniform, standing behind an army vehicle windscreen installed on top of the pedestal. The monument was cast in six pieces, four at a foundry in London and two in Melbourne, in 1959.

In World War One, Blamey was Chief of Staff to Sir John Monash, but his fame is due to his military achievements in the World War Two.

He was Australia`s top soldier for almost all of the war, commanding the Australian Imperial Force in the Middle East, and all of the Australian Army after Japan entered the war. He served Prime Ministers Robert Menzies and John Curtin, was a senior subordinate to the British Field-Marshals Wavell, Wilson and Auchinleck in the Middle East, and worked directly under General Douglas MacArthur in the Southwest Pacific Area.

A memorial to Blamey was announced in 1954, although its site opposite the memorial to Sir John Monash had been reserved since 1952. There was some dispute over just what vehicle Blamey would be mounted on, with both tradition and Blamey’s wife demanding a horse. Ray Ewers mounted Blamey on a military Jeep, opposite the monument to Sir John Monash on horseback and with whom Blamey had served in World War One, and the monument captures the transformation of the technologies of war through this symbol of its mechanisation. 

A memorial to the late Field Marshal Sir Thomas Blamey is to be raised in Melbourne. The memorial, which will take the form of an equestrian statue, executed by Raymond Ewers,will cost about £15,000. The statue will stand on the north side of the driveway in the King's Domain, leading to the gates of Government House, opposite the equestrian statue of Lieutenant-General Sir John Monash. Thus, memorials to Australia's first and second world war leaders will face each other, almost in the shadow of the Shrine of Remembrance. The Blamey memorial project was launched at a luncheon meeting of citizens, including many of the late Field Marshal's war time comrades, at the Town Hall yesterday. The meeting was called by the Lord Mayor (Cr. Selleck),who acted at the instance of Lieutenant-General Sir Edmund Herring and Major - General Sir Clive Steele. An executive committee was formed, with the Lord Mayor as chairman. A public meeting will be called in a few weeks. Donations may be sent to the honorary secretary of the Blamey Memorial Fund, Mr. Frank Burton, Town Hall. About £2000 is already in hand.
Age (Melbourne), 13 November 1954.

Australia's famous soldier, Sir Thomas Blamey, will not go into history on his famous white charger. He will not be clutching reins when his statue is unveiled near the approach to Government House, but the windscreen of a jeep. For in the model of his proposed statue, shown to the R.S.L. congress yesterday, Sir Thomas is standing in the jeep. And the statue will be erected at the approach to Government House, directly opposite that of Sir John Monash riding a dashing charger. Leading sculptor Raymond Ewers has been commissioned to make the statue, to be completed in two years. Newspaper photographers were not allowed to photograph the model yesterday "because alterations had to be made to the jeep."  Cr. Selleck, Lord Mayor and R.S.L. honorary treasurer, told delegates that it had been decided not to include a horse in the statue. He said that already £15,000 had been raised - more than enough to erect the statue. 
Argus (Melbourne), 21 July 1955.

Location

Address:Government House Drive & Birdwood Avenue, Kings Domain, Melbourne, 3000
State:VIC
Area:AUS
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -37.826315
Long: 144.972824
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Details

Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:People
Sub-Theme:Military
Actual Event STart Date:
Actual Event End Date:
Monument Designer:Ray Ewers

Dedication

Actual Monument Dedication Date:Saturday 27th February, 1960
Front Inscription

FIELD MARSHALL SIR THOMAS ALBERT BLAMEY 
G.B.E., K.C.B., C.M.G., D.S.O., E.D., P.S.C.
                   1884 - 1951.
Australian Military Forces 1906 - 1951.
General Officer Commanding Australian Imperial Forces 1939 - 1942.
Commander in Chief Australian Military Forces 1942 - 1945.
Commander Allied Land Forces South West Pacific Area 1942 - 1945

Back Inscription

This Statue
Was Unveiled By
The Right Honourable
R. G. Menzies CH, QC, MP
Prime Minister Of Australia
On The 27th February 1960

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