Honour Monash - A great Australian


The 1918 Monash Diary


As the centenary year 2018 of the time when Monash proving to be the most advanced thinker of all senior officers on the Western Front worked for a democratic future.

Month by month as the year unfolds the current month will display, you can also click on the other month buttons below to read what happened. Click again on the same button to hide the detail for that month.

The Australian Corps 1918

1 November saw the enemy in full retreat. The tactics were those of delay, destruction of bridges, tearing up railways and blowing craters in every important intersection. Rear guards invariably yielded to the smallest demonstration of force. Nonetheless, this work was very taxing on the allied troops involved with the follow-up and infrastructure reconstruction.

Armistice talks were dragging on, soldiers' lives were being needlessly lost.

The Australian Corps was rested in spite of the pain the reorganisation directed by mindless bureaucrats had inflicted. On 5 November, the Corps was ordered back into the front line. 1 and 4 Divisions headed for the combat zone with the other three divisions to follow. Corps Headquarters commenced its move from Amiens to Le Cateau on 10 November. Monash was in his Rolls-Royce staff car sporting the Australian Red Ensign on the road to Le Cateau on 11 November when at a check point, he was advised of the Armistice.

The Australian Corps did not see action again in World War 1.

At the Glade of the Armistice At the Glade of the Armistice
At the Glade of the Armistice At the Glade of the Armistice
At the Glade of the Armistice At the Glade of the Armistice
At the Glade of the Armistice At the Glade of the Armistice

John Howells 2018

December saw Monash appointed to direct the repatriation of all Australian troops from Europe and the Middle East. The task was approached with gusto. Monash was particularly concerned that the soldiers should be able to contribute to society when they returned home. He oversaw the establishment of schools to impart skills for the future. Many of the young soldiers had seen their education truncated in order to volunteer, others were educators. Monash knew there would be a long delay before the necessary shipping would be available to send the men home; he was determined to see that the time was not wasted.

Christmas was celebrated. Sadly if the will of the combatants in Christmas 1914 had prevailed 60,000 Australian lives would have been saved.

Christmas Truce Monument Messines

John Howells 2018

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