William Leslie Bowles
Bronze statue on granite plinth
Kings Domain, corner of Government House Drive and Birdwood Avenue
William Leslie Bowles was born in 1885 in Leichhardt, NSW. He studied sculpture in Brisbane and then in London before joining the Australian War Memorial in 1924. Bowles then undertook many public commissions.
John Monash was born in Melbourne in 1865. He obtained degrees in arts, law and engineering from the University of Melbourne, and worked on construction projects before the outbreak of World War I. Monash commanded the 4th Infantry Brigade at Gallipoli and then the 3rd Division in Armentières, France. In recognition of his military prowess and leadership skills, he was promoted to lieutenant general in 1918, commanding the Australian Army Corps. Following the war, Monash became general manager of the State Electricity Commission, and was instrumental in developing the brown-coal deposits of the Yallourn fields, Gippsland. He also served as the vice-chancellor of the University of Melbourne.
A monument to Monash was proposed in 1932, the year after his death. It was funded by Melbourne City Council and public subscription. While designed by Bowles, the bronze was cast in Italy. But due to the outbreak of World War II it was not completed until 1950.