Thomas BlameyTo People
Born in Wagga Wagga in 1884 to a farming family, Thomas Blamey's rise through the Australian military heirachy is yet to be matched by another. Blamey was one Australia's premier military figure in the two world wars, and the only Australian to reach the rank of Field Marshal. He played a key role at Gallipoli from where his interest in technical innovation led to the Australian forces adopting the persicope rifle. He is also revered for his role in the Japanese surrender at the end of World War Two.
A state funeral was held for Blamey in 1951 with an escort of 4000 troops accompanying the gun cartridge with his coffin. It traveled along Melbourne's streets, lined with 300,000 people, from the Shine of Remembrance to Faulkner Crematorium. A statue of Blamey stands in the King's Domain in Melbourne and a square was named after him in the Department of Defence, Canberra in 1984. The baton of Australia's only field marshal is on display at the Australian War Memorial.
Despite his professional achievements, his beligerent, womanising reputation had him widely disliked amongst his peers.