Fallen students recognised


Lost student soldiers of WWI honoured with posthumous degrees by Monash University

Monash University has honoured the lives of four fallen students who fought in World War I by conferring posthumous degrees upon them in a ceremony at the Parkville campus in Victoria on Tuesday.

More than 200 alumni and students of the Melbourne College of Pharmacy (later the Victorian College of Pharmacy) served in the First World War.

The college is now known as Monash University’s Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Nineteen of these alumni and students died on service, including four students whose education and training was cut short:

  • Alan Crawford Couve – killed at age 21
  • Eric Simson Bisset – killed at age 28
  • Wallace Gordon Jewkes – killed at age 22
  • Malcolm Jones – killed at age 20
Eric Simson Bisset

They were remembered for their bravery and sacrifice, their legacy celebrated, along with all those who fought by their side.

This includes Thomas Frank Cahir, who will receive a Certificate of Appreciation and Recognition.

In May 1928, after the battles of re-assimilation became too much, he became yet another casualty of the war.

Family representatives of the five soldiers accepted the awards on their behalf witnessed by Monash students, The Honourable Ted Baillieu Chair of the Victorian Anzac Centenary Committee, the family of Sir John Monash, members of the Australian Defence Force, Major General Professor Jeffrey Rosenfeld AC OBE, senior members of Monash University including the Chancellor, and many guests and delegates.

Alan Crawford Couve

“Today we commemorate the loss and recognise the sacrifice of the students and alumni of the faculty who fought in WWI,” said Professor William Charman, Dean of the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at Monash monashUniversity, at the event.

“As an institution responsible for educating the next generation of pharmacists, it is important that our students and the broader community have an appreciation of the lineage into which they are stepping and of the men and women who shaped the profession.

“Today’s event was a wonderful way to honour that connection with the past.”

Several of the fallen soldiers served under the command of the University’s namesake, Sir John Monash, who visited the College in 1927 to open the academic year and award prizes.

The event represented a coming together of many important sectors of Victorian civil society including: Monash University, and the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences; the Australian Defence Force; the Victorian Anzac Centenary Committee; the RSL; Spirit of Australia Foundation; General Sir John Monash Foundation; the pharmacy profession (including the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia); the 5,000 Poppies Project; the Melbourne music community (in the shape of a performance by The Orbweavers); the Sir Zelman Cowan School of Music; and the family of Sir John Monash.

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