Reflection Stephen Lake 9 August 2023

Every year for over a decade, I with other Club Members, annually participate in 3 events this week:

  • The Shrine of Remembrance Service for the Battle of Amiens on the 8th of August – 0808
  • The Monash Medal presentation which will be made today, and
  • The Monash Commemorative Service on Friday in the Queens Hall and Legislative Assembly Chamber of State Parliament

Yesterday I arrived at a fog shrouded Shrine, for the Battle of Amiens Commemoration.

Inside the Sanctuary, as we waited for the Service to begin, I reflected on Lieutenant General Sir John Monash, the engineer, and citizen soldier who on the day of the Battle of Amiens commanded the Australian Corps.

I was reminded of an article published in the Age on the 9th October 1931, following his death:

“He believed firmly in the maximum of mechanical resources to win a battle, not in the employment of infantry merely to expose itself to a merciless and withering, artillery and machine gun fire, or to impale themselves on hostile bayonets, but to advance steadily and relentlessly to the goal, under protection of the greatest possible array of mechanical forces and auxiliaries—timed artillery barrages, tanks, armored cars and aircraft. He economised human lives to the utmost of his ability. The application of mechanical resources in the battle of Amiens proved a revelation. Apart from the gigantic preparations, and the mode of carrying them out, the orders of Sir John Monash as corps leader, were models of thoroughness, order and precision. Nothing was left to haphazard improvisation; the leader put himself in the position of the man called upon to execute the plan. The result was a smashing victory — Germany’s “black day in the history of the war,” as Ludendorff described the events of 8th August, 1918.”

Today, we live in times of global uncertainty.

Should our Service men and women be called upon in the future, I trust they will have the benefit of leaders like General Sir John Monash.

Thank you Stephen Lake   

Thank you to Stephen Lake for last week's reflection on Wednesday 9 August 23. 

Share this with your friends