Sir Robert Menzies

Posted in 1917

  • Robert Menzies: beginning a career in lawServes twelve months' articles of clerkship with a solicitor in a small conveyancing practice.

"Menzies himself did not enlist [for war service], a fact of which he was cruelly reminded throughout his life... an internal family conference decided that with two brothers in the AIF, Menzies' duty was to stay at home to look after and partly support his parents. His only sister, having eloped with a soldier of whom her parents disapproved, could not be relied on for ordinary familial duties. At the same time, Menzies' enthusiastic public and private support for conscription had to encompass the virtual certainty that if conscription was brought in, he himself would have been one of the first drafted."
Allan Martin in Australian Prime Ministers, 2000 p 176.

Australian Events

Posted in 1917

  • Prime Minister W M Hughes visiting World War I troopsFebruary: Billy Hughes leads his newly formed Nationalist Party to election victory and is returned as Prime Minister (see Australian Prime Ministers). This is despite his expulsion from the Labor Party in November 1916 over the issue of conscription when pro-conscriptionist Hughes decided to abandon the anti-conscriptionists in the Labor Party and try to govern with opposition support. The new Ministry is a coalition of National, Labor and Liberal.
  • "Win the War Day" Procession, Melbourne, 24 May 1917A second referendum to endorse a new scheme of compulsory military service for single men aged 20 to 44 is defeated by a larger majority than the first held in October 1916.
  • Daylight saving is introduced to save fuel resources.
  • Holden Brothers begin manufacturing car bodies.

World Events

Posted in 1917

  • Nikolai II, the last Tsar of Russia 1894-1917February Revolution in Russia: Tsar Nicholas abdicates, lacking the determination or support to contest the issues. In July of 1918 he and his family are murdered by the Bolsheviks.
  • USA declares war on Germany.
  • October Revolution in Russia: The Bolsheviks overthrow the provisional government - Lenin becomes Chief Commissar and Trotsky Commissar for Foreign Affairs.
  • Balfour Declaration: Britain will support a Jewish State in Palestine.



Lenin: Russian revolutionary and creator of the Soviet state