Regional Soldiers

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The Herald Sun ran an article earlier this year about Australia’s top 5 soldiers. We did some further research.

Thomas Blamey grew up in Wagga, became Australia’s only ever Field Marshall, and later Chief Commissioner of the Victorian Police.

Captain Albert Jacka VC, was born on a dairy farm near Winchelsea before moving to Wedderburn. He fought at Gallipoli and on the western front, and became a champion for the unemployed. Also Mayor of St Kilda.

Colonel Sir ‘Weary’ Dunlop, the surgeon renowned for his leadership in a Japanese POW camp, was born in Wangaratta and schooled in Benalla.

General Sir John Monash, arguably Australia’s greatest soldier, spent his formative years in Jerilderie. He did fantastic work in repatriating Australian troops, and established the Latrobe Valley coal industry.

General Peter Cosgrove grew up in Sydney’s eastern suburbs and attended Waverley College and then Duntroon. He does a huge amount of social service, and is tipped as our next Governor General.

Notice a trend here? Well, except for Cosgrove, they all grew up in northern Victoria or the Riverina. One might say that half the nation came from the regions in those days, but the clustering effect is quite remarkable. Did the rural lifestyle instil some particular characteristics?

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