General John Monash

Ranks Held Brigadier General, Colonel, General, Lieutenant Colonel, Lieutenant General, Major General, Temporary Brigadier General, Temporary Lieutenant General
Birth Date 27 June 1865
Birth Place Australia: Victoria, Melbourne
Death Date 08 October 1931
Death Place Australia: Victoria, Melbourne
Final Rank General
Service Australian Imperial Force
Units
Place Melbourne
Conflict/Operation First World War, 1914-1918
Gazettes Biographical information The Oxford companion to Australian military history in 1995
Published in London Gazette in 1918-01-01
Published in London Gazette in 1919-04-01
Published in London Gazette in 1919-04-01
Published in London Gazette in 1919-07-12
Published in London Gazette in 1916-07-13
Published in London Gazette in 1919-01-29
Published in London Gazette in 1919-08-21
Published in London Gazette in 1919-01-01
Published in London Gazette in 1919-07-11
Published in London Gazette in 1916-01-28
Published in London Gazette in 1918-05-28
Published in London Gazette in 1917-12-28
Published in London Gazette in 1915-10-15
Published in London Gazette in 1919-07-21
Published in London Gazette in 1915-08-05
Published in Commonwealth Gazette in 1919-12-11
Published in Commonwealth Gazette in 1919-10-17
Published in Commonwealth Gazette in 1919-10-17
Published in Commonwealth Gazette in 1919-07-23
Published in Commonwealth Gazette in 1919-07-23
Published in Commonwealth Gazette in 1916-02-24
Published in Commonwealth Gazette in 1918-10-24
Published in Commonwealth Gazette in 1915-10-28
Published in Commonwealth Gazette in 1919-10-30
Published in Commonwealth Gazette in 1916-11-30
Published in Commonwealth Gazette in 1916-04-06
Published in Commonwealth Gazette in 1918-04-18
Published in Commonwealth Gazette in 1918-04-18
Published in Commonwealth Gazette in 1919-05-23
Published in Commonwealth Gazette in 1919-05-23
Description

John Monash is considered one of the war’s outstanding commanders. Monash was born in Melbourne on 27 June 1865. He was dux of Scotch College and studied arts and engineering at Melbourne University, where he was also involved in debating and student politics. Outside of university he dabbled in acting. In 1884 he joined the university company of the 4th Battalion, Victorian Rifles.

Monash was a driven young man, ambitious and intelligent. He worked on the construction of the Princes Bridge in Melbourne and in 1888 was placed in charge of constructing a new railway even though he had yet to complete his degree. Monash married Hannah Moss in April 1891, finished his studies in 1895 and, having long since decided to combine engineering with a military career, was promoted to captain in the Garrison Artillery that year. In 1897 Monash was promoted to major in the North Melbourne Battery and served there for 11 years.

Meanwhile, he and a friend had established a private engineering practice in 1894. The business grew steadily but a series of setbacks left him with large debts in 1902. Starting again, Monash recovered and his business prospered. He also gained promotion to lieutenant colonel in the Australian Intelligence Corps in 1908 in 1913 took command of the 13th Infantry Brigade.

After the outbreak of war, Monash was given command of the AIF's 4th Infantry Brigade, landing at Gallipoli on 26 April 1915. In July he was promoted to brigadier. Despite having encountered some criticism for his performance on Gallipoli, Monash took his brigade to France in June 1916. He became a major general in July and took command of the 3rd Division. The division's first major battle, Messines, was hailed as a great success. Further success followed and in May 1918, Monash was promoted to lieutenant general and given command of the Australian Corps. His first battle in this role, Hamel, of which he wrote: "the operation is a striking example of the success which invariably results from careful preparation and coordinated action: and will serve as a model and the standard of the fighting efficiency of the Australian corps". Monash remained in command through the victorious battles in the last months of the war. He was an innovative leader who earned high praise from many leading political and military figures.

After spending eight months in London overseeing the repatriation of the AIF, Monash was welcomed home in Melbourne by an enthusiastic public on Boxing Day 1919. He returned to business and in 1920 became manager of Victoria's State Electricity Commission. An advocate for returned soldiers, Monash also held a range of high-level positions. His opinions were widely sought and he became a leading figure in Melbourne's Jewish community.

Monash died of heart disease in Melbourne on 8 October 1931 and was given a state funeral attended by some 250,000 mourners.

Rolls

  • Honours and Awards:

    Unit
    4th Australian Infantry Brigade
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Temporary Brigadier General
    London Gazette
    05 August 1915 on page 7668 at position 3
    Commonwealth Gazette
    28 October 1915 on page 2736 at position 5
  • Honours and Awards (Recommendation):

    Unit
    4th Australian Infantry Brigade
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Colonel
  • Honours and Awards (Recommendation):

    Unit
    Corps Headquarters
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Lieutenant General
  • Honours and Awards:

    Unit
    Staff
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Temporary Brigadier General
    London Gazette
    13 July 1916 on page 6943 at position 5
    Commonwealth Gazette
    30 November 1916 on page 3233 at position 20
  • Honours and Awards:

    Unit
    Staff
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Major General
    London Gazette
    28 December 1917 on page 13564 at position 26
    Commonwealth Gazette
    18 April 1918 on page 842 at position 17
  • Honours and Awards:

    Unit
    Australian Corps
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Lieutenant General
    London Gazette
    01 April 1919 on page 4200 at position 1
    Commonwealth Gazette
    23 July 1919 on page 1168 at position 9
  • Honours and Awards:

    Unit
    Staff
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Major General
    London Gazette
    01 January 1918 on page 1 at position 1
    Commonwealth Gazette
    18 April 1918 on page 845 at position 134
  • Honours and Awards (Recommendation):

    Unit
    Australian Corps
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Major General
  • First World War Embarkation Roll:

    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Colonel
  • Honours and Awards:

    Unit
    Australian Corps
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Lieutenant General
    London Gazette
    21 July 1919 on page 9221 at position 1
    Commonwealth Gazette
    17 October 1919 on page 1532 at position 20

Timeline

Date of birth 27 June 1865
Date and unit at enlistment (ORs) 1884 Enlisted as a private in the Melbourne University company the 4th Battalion, Victorian Rifles.
Date and unit at appointment (Officers) 1885 Commissioned as an officer in the Garrison Artillery.
Date graduated 1893 Graduated from the University of Melbourne with a Master of Engineering.
Date graduated 1895 Graduated from the University of Melbourne with a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws.
Date promoted 1895 Promoted to captain in the Garrison Artillery.
Date promoted 1897 Promoted to major in the North Melbourne Battery.
Date promoted 1908-03 Selected to command the Victorian Section of the newly formed Australian Intelligence Corps with the rank of lieutenant colonel.
Other 1912 Elected President of the Victorian Institute of Engineers.
Date promoted 21 June 1913 Promoted to colonel and given command of the 13th Infantry Brigade.
Other 17 August 1914 Appointed Deputy Chief Censor.
Date of enlistment 13 September 1914
Other 15 September 1914 Appointed to command the 4th Infantry Brigade.
Date of embarkation 22 December 1914 Sailed for Egypt on board the convoy flagship Ulysses.
Date of recommendation honour or award 1915
Other 26 April 1915 Particpated in the landing at Anzac Cove.
Date of recommendation honour or award 14 May 1915
Date promoted 1915-07 Promoted to brigadier general, backdated to 15 September 1914.
Date of honour or award 15 October 1915 Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB).
Other 19 December 1915 Evacuated from Gallipoli with the 4th Brigade.
Other 1916-02 Appointed Commander of the 3rd Division. Monash remained with the 4th Brigade for several more months while the 3rd Division travelled from Australia to its new training areas in the United Kingdom.
Date promoted 13 July 1916 Promoted to major general.
Date of recommendation honour or award 04 October 1917
Date of honour or award 1918-01 Created a Knight Commander of St Michael and St George (KCMG).
Date of honour or award 01 January 1918 Gazetted Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (KCB).
Date promoted 31 May 1918 Promoted to lieutenant general and assumed command of the Australian Corps.
Other 21 November 1918 Left the Australian Corps to become Director General of Repatriation.
Date of honour or award 01 January 1919 Created a Knight Grand Cross of St Michael and St George (GCMG).
Date of honour or award 29 January 1919 French Legion of Honour - 2nd Class Grand Officer.
Date of honour or award 01 April 1919 Belgian Croix de Guerre.
Date of honour or award 01 April 1919 Belgium Order of La Couronne - Grand Officer
Date of honour or award 12 July 1919 US Distinguished Service Medal.
Date of honour or award 21 August 1919 French Croix de Guerre.
Date returned to Australia 15 November 1919
Other 1920 Became the manager of Victoria's State Electricity Commission.
Other 1920 Left the Army soon after being appointed to a committee to examine the future structure of the Army.
Date promoted 1929 Promoted to full general in recognition of his wartime services.
Date of death 08 October 1931