Greetings and my apologies but due various factors, I am banned from long flights for this next month. I salute especially key Convenor Keith Shilkin, Professor Kim Krisner and Ted Graham for stepping up today.
Let me begin with a great quote given on Anzac Day 1924 when, following embarrassment that no recognition had been extended to Monash in five years after WW1, eventually AIF members and others gathered to salute John Monash at a huge dinner convened by Albert Jacka VC. Government Senate Whip, WA Senator Edmund Drake-Brockman who commanded the old Monash 4th Brigade on the Western Front spoke to loud cheers when he said and I quote:
‘The wonderful work of this wonderful man has not been fully appreciated in Australia. I can tell you where is has been appreciated and that is by the people of Great Britain and by the general staff of the War Office. No one pays any attention to the ridiculous statement that Australia won the war but I think that we can say that it was through Sir John Monash and his men, the war finished much sooner than we thought possible.
That operation that commenced on the 8th August 1918 was the sole conception of Sir John Monash. Sir John’s ideas were carried forward to the Commander in Chief via General Rawlinson and the consent to the scheme was given in this way: Very little harm can be done, let them have a go at it ! The Australians had a go at it and before they finished, the Germans had completely cracked back through the Hindenburg Line.’
John Monash spent a year in Perth, July 1898 to July 1899, giving expert legal advice re the Mullawa Cue railway line, visiting Kalgoorlie and enjoying Perth society, at the Weld Club and with the Forrest family. Then in December 1914 he commandeered the Second AIF Convoy as it departed from Albany. Finally he unveiled the King’s Park statue in December 1919 when then PM, W M Hughes, allowed him to return to Australia.
May I leave you with the Jerilderie Proposition that says it all and which we launch here in Perth today, for early consideration by the PM, Australian Government and Australian Parliament, remembering John Monash grew up in Jerilderie NSW and met Ned Kelly there:
Following on the outstanding contribution of Sir John Monash to State and Nation before, during and after World War One and reflecting the fact that Sir John Monash received no Australian Awards or Honours post 11 November 1918, the Prime Minister approve by Government Gazette publication, the posthumous promotion of one step in rank of General Sir John Monash to the rank of Australian Field Marshal, with effect 11 November 1930, one year after Sir John Monash was eventually promoted to the rank of General.
Please visit www.salutingmonash.org.au and joint the petition.
Many thanks, Tim Fischer.
Australian Field Marshal Rank Facts - Tim Fischer AC
1 January 2017
When a window of opportunity comes along to correct a wrong that goes to the core fabric of the nation, then citizens should step up and seek to ensure action is taken to rectify the wrong. This window exists from now until 11 November 2018, the centenary of Armistice or Remembrance Day. The Jerilderie Proposition relating to Sir John Monash sets out clearly the objective of the Saluting Monash Council for your consideration and is detailed below, it seeks to right a wrong. However firstly, some matters of fact should be laid out with regard to the rank of Australian Field Marshal : 1) The rank of Australian Field Marshal is not suspended or abolished, it exists today and there is one current living holder of the rank, the Consort of the Queen of Australia, Prince Philip is an Australian Field Marshal created by then PM Robert Menzies on 1 April 1954.
2) All three Australian Field Marshals, 1925 Birdwood, 1950 Blamey and 1954 Prince Philip were created in peace time and for symbolic reasons, at the time of their appointments none were in command of an AIF or ADF force of the size normally relating to Field Marshal command.
3) Minister Dan Tehan has recently laid out some observations on Field Marshal rank as follows below. The Minister admits the ‘implicit’ requirement to be ‘living’ but it is not an ‘outright’ requirement. He also further emphasizes one step in rank as a desirable aspect. Promoting Sir John Monash posthumously to Field Marshal would represent one step in rank and like Blamey, when he was promoted in 1950, some years had elapsed since he was on active command duty. EXTRACT OF LETTER FROM MINISTER DAN TEHAN: “The careful after the fact confirmation of General Blamey’s legal status as an officer on the Active List reinforces the importance of this requirement. Implicit in the requirement for the recipient to be a serving officer is the requirement that the person be alive.” ENDS 4) In the 21st century it is clearly a matter within the capability of the ADF, Minister for Defence and the Australian Prime Minister of the day to make senior promotions and appointments, it is not a matter that Whitehall or the Palace can prevent or obstruct. It is essentially an Australian matter for determination, one way or another and with indirect precedent. Note Minister Josh Frydenberg has said that a precedent is not essential to have re the promotion of Sir John Monash, he also states clearly and correctly it would complete but not alter history when implemented.
5) In 1976 George Washington was promoted one step in rank from General to General of the Armies / Field Marshal equivalent. Great Britain continues to appoint Field Marshals, the most recent is Lord or Baron C R L Guthrie who was promoted to Field Marshal (Honorary) after he retired as head of the British Defence Force in June 2012, the same month Prince Charles was appointed Field Marshal. Staying with the limitation of one step in rank only, there are only some dozen Australian Generals ever appointed, three alive today, who notionally are eligible of one step in rank promotion to Field Marshal . In reality only one maximum two are within the remit for consideration of promotion to Field Marshal.
Jerilderie Proposition: Following on the outstanding contribution of Sir John Monash to State and Nation before, during and after World War One and reflecting the fact that Sir John Monash received no Australian Awards or Honours post 11 November 1918, the Prime Minister approve by Government Gazette publication, the posthumous promotion of one step in rank of General Sir John Monash to the rank of Australian Field Marshal, with effect 11 November 1930, one year after Sir John Monash was eventually promoted to the rank of General.
From Monday 14 November there will be a new Australian Spectator issue (dated 12 November 2016) in Newsagents, which has my article on Page V: "Mt Vernon Notes" with a useful plug for the example of George Washington and so why John Monash should be promoted, this for information.
March in of the Standards
The Hon Tim Fischer AC
Recollections of the Monash Family
Mr Michael Bennett, great grandson
Monash: The Outsider Who Won A War-An Update
Professor Roland Perry OAM F Monash
The Case For Field Marshal Sir John Monash
The Hon Tim Fischer AC
Using Technology To Get The Message Out
Dr Judy Landau
Deputy Chair, SMC
The Video Presentation
Right: LTCOL John Moore OAM RFD ED (Ret'd) CEO, SMC
The Queen has appointed the Duke of Edinburgh to top rank in each of the three Australian Armed Services. The Commonwealth Gazette announced yesterday that the Duke would now hold these ranks: Admiral of the Fleet, Field Marshal of the Australian Military Force and Marshal of the RAAF. Extract ends.
So whilst the Queen announced it, the vehicle of appointment was NB the Government Gazette of Australia. This helps prove our Prime Minister can do such appointments via the Government Gazette.
Footage courtesy TEN Eyewitness News At Five 7/11/2016
WHAT: The National Launch of the Saluting Monash Council
Objective: To have Sir John Monash GCMG KCB VD posthumously awarded the rank of Field Marshal by the Centenary of the end of WWI on 11 November 2018.
WHEN: Sunday 6th of November 2016, 10.00am – 12.00 noon
WHERE: In the Auditorium of the Shrine of Remembrance, Melbourne
WHO: Speakers at the Launch will include:
Prof Roland Perry OAM F Monash, Patron SMC
The Hon Tim Fischer AC, Chair SMC
Mr Michael Bennett, great grandson of Sir John Monash
Dr Judy Landau, Deputy Chair SMC
The Launch of the SMC will be conducted by Mr Don Kinsey AM.
FOR TV - WHAT WILL HAPPEN:
The morning will commence with the march in of the Ceremonial Standards (flags) of the forces commanded my General Monash including the 4th Brigade and the 3rd Division plus the 2nd Division and other standards carried by members wearing the uniform of WW1 soldiers supported by Pipes and drums.
Tri service flags will be in position on the stage.
Speeches will then commence
An interesting part of the day will be the presentation of specially minted descendant and supporter medallions to descendants of soldiers who fought under General Monash. One will be to a descendant of a soldier who was awarded the Military Medal (MM) for his bravery during the war. His MM was approved by General Monash. His citation is available for the media.
After the formalities morning tea will be served. This is an ideal time for interviews with the speakers.
Media Enquiries CEO Lieutenant Colonel John Moore OAM RFD ED Ret’d Tel: 1300 11 2018