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Soldier Profile: John Monash

On the 27th of June in 1865, a man named John Monash was born in Melbourne, Australia. Little did he know that he would be one of the most influential people in World War One. As a young boy, Monash was ambitious and intelligent. He attended school at Scotch College Boarding School and as he grew up, his dreams of becoming a civil engineer became apparent. In 1888, he worked on the construction of the Princes Bridge in Melbourne and due to his outstanding will to learn and drive to succeed, he was placed in charge of constructing a new railway, despite not having finished his engineering degree at the University of Melbourne. In 1895 Monash finished his studies, four years after marrying Hannah Moss in 1891, and decided to join the Garrison Artillery. He was promoted to Major of the North Melbourne battery in 1897 and served there for 11 years. After making the decision to combine his military and engineering career, Monash was involved in many crucial battles of World War One. These include: The Gallipoli Campaign, The Battle of Amiens, The Battle of Hamel, Battle of Messines, The First Battle of Passchendaele, The Battle of Broodseinde and The Battle of St. Quentin. After commanding the AIF’s 4th Infantry Brigade in Gallipoli from the 26th of April 1915 onwards, he was promoted to brigadier and then took his brigade to France in June of 1916. After proving himself to be a great tactician and leader, he was then promoted to Major General of the 3rd Division. The Divisions first major battle was the battle of Messines which was hailed as a great success. Monash’s next role was commander of the Australian Corps and his first task in this role was to take his troops to the Battle of Hamel. Monash remained in command of the Australian Corps and led them to many victorious battles in the last months of the war. Throughout the war, Monash consistently showed his intelligence and logical thinking, making him a great person to help lead the Australian soldiers to victory. He passed away due to Heart Disease on the 8th of October in 1931 in Melbourne and around 250,000 people attended his funeral.