Speech and Message:
Sir John Monash friend of the ‘West’, saluted by all including Edmund Drake-Brockman
From Tim Fischer AC, delivered by Commander Ted Graham
Sir John Monash RSL Sub Branch launch function Daniella, Perth. Tuesday 31 January 2017
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.