A PUSH to promote General Sir John Monash to the rank of Field Marshal 84 years after his death is gaining momentum, with one of the towns he lived in joining the campaign.
Jerilderie Shire Council at its October meeting resolved unanimously to support promoting the man universally regarded as Australia’s finest military leader and one of the best Allied generals of World War I.
Monash planned the successful Allied attack at the Battle of Amiens on August 8, 1918, which hastened the end of the war.
He was a pupil at Jerilderie Public School in the 1870s, and returned years later to successfully defend Jerilderie downstream irrigators against upstream block weirs, council said in a statement this week.
The campaign to have Monash promoted is being led by former deputy Prime Minister, Tim Fischer.
It has the crucial backing for Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Opposition leader Bill Shorten.
Mr Fischer this year published a book titled Maestro John Monash: Australia’s Greatest Citizen General.
He welcomed council’s support.
“It’s building momentum, full marks to Jerlidierie Shire on its initiative,” Mr Fischer said.
He said he believed the authority to promote Monash rested with the Prime Minister after consultation with federal parliament.
Mr Fischer said, ideally, he would like to see the promotion on April 24, 2016 – the eve of the first Anzac Day service conducted in the field by Monash.
Jerilderie mayor, Councilor Ruth McRae, said council was determined to see long-overdue recognition for Monash.
The council’s motion reads:
“Following on the outstanding contribution of Sir John Monash to State and Nation before, during and after World War 1 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.”