Sir John Monash’s wartime papers released

June 27, 2014 by J-Wire Staff
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Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott was present at the release of Jewish WWI General Sir John Monash’s papers.

Prime Minister Abbott said: “The Centenary of Anzac will mark a Century of Service, encompassing all wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations in which Australians have been involved.

I am pleased to attend today’s release of General Sir John Monash’s wartime papers as part of the Australian War Memorial ‘Anzac Connections’ project original.  These papers, maps and letters offer a deeply personal perspective of the war and are now available to the public online.

Sir John Monash

Sir John Monash

The First World War was the crucible that forged our nation and General Sir John Monash was one of the war’s truly outstanding commanders. Through his role in 1918, Monash and the Australian Army helped to change the course of history. This original online collection of his planning papers is not only of crucial importance to Australians but to anyone interested in research into the military history of the First World War.

During my recent visit to Villers-Bretonneux, I announced the Sir John Monash Interpretive Centre will open on the site that Monash and his fellow soldiers chose to dedicate to their comrades’ service and sacrifice. This centre will become a lasting tribute to General Monash and those who served with him. The centre should open on Anzac Day 2018 and will be a fitting conclusion to Australia’s commemoration of the war that shaped us.

The interpretive centre, as well as projects such as the Anzac Centenary Community Grants and this Anzac Connections project all serve as reminders that tens of thousands of men and women continue to serve our nation today, upholding a tradition that started a century ago.  These men and women, and their families, devote their lives to the protection of ours and we owe them, as we owe their forebears, our respect for the work they do in our country’s name.”

In the meantime, well-known Jewish author, Mark Dapin has signed a contract with the Sydney Jewish Museum, to write a book regarding Jews in Australia’s Military History.

Mark Dapin [left] and Norman Seligman sign the contract

Mark Dapin [left] and Norman Seligman sign the contract

This key Centenary of Anzac Jewish Program project has commenced with the assistance of donations from the Jewish community and funding from a Federal Government ‘Saluting Their Service’ Grant.

The book will follow the extraordinary story of Jews who served in colonial and subsequently Australian Defence Forces in all conflicts in which Australia has participated: from the Sudan, Boer War, WWI, WWII, Korea , Malaya, Vietnam, Peacekeeping, Gulf War and Afghanistan: from Privates to Generals and Wing Commanders, from Stewards to Chaplains and Doctors. The SJM plans to publish the book in November 2015.

It is estimated that over 7,000 Jewish men and women have served in the Australian Army, Navy and Air Force, with some 400 making the supreme sacrifice, for the peace and freedom we too easily take for granted.

If members of the community have any information they believe could be worthy of inclusion in the book, or would like more information regarding the CoAJP, please see:

Relatives of past servicemen and women are also being sought: in particular for the likes of John Asher, one of the 21 young sailors killed on board HMAS Kuttabul, sunk by a torpedo fired by a Japanese midget submarine in the attack on Sydney Harbour on the night of 31st May, 1942.

Son of Robert Asher and Ella (nee Cohen), he was born in Adelaide in 1922, where he had an uncle, Sam Myers. He also had an uncleMichael Cohen in Coogee, NSW.


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