Shell Shock — A soldier’s legacy from World War One

My uncle, Tom Farrell, was first diagnosed with shell shock in September 1916. A trooper in the Australian Light Horse, he had taken part in the bloody Battle of Romani in the Sinai desert in the previous month and had been in the hell-hole trenches of Gallipoli for much of the previous year. Little did Tom know that he would have to endure the nightmare of recurring debilitating episodes for the rest of his life.

Shell Shock Tom Farrell 6th Australian Light Horse Regiment
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Sir John Monash and the Shrine of Remembrance

Sir John Monash had one more campaign to fight in 1927 before planning to retire gracefully. For over a decade there had been a groundswell of public support for a memorial to be built in Melbourne to commemorate the 19,100 Victorians who lost their lives and for the 89,000 who served in the First World War. But the form it should take and where it should be located had not reached a consensus. Monash was determined to break the impasse, just like he had broken through the stalemate on the Western Front. Having Melbourne’s Shrine of Remembrance built would be another defining event in his life and a project most dear to his heart.

Sir John Monash and the Shrine of RemembranceSir John Monash and the Shrine of Remembrance [1, 2]
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John Monash and the Battle of Hamel – A case study

When General Sir John Monash was appointed corps commander of Australian forces on 31 May 1918, he was determined to change the way the First World War was conducted on the Western Front. Within weeks he would execute a winning strategy in the Battle of Hamel showing how the war could be won and changing the way future wars would be conducted. This is the story of how he did it.

John Monash Hamel Battle
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My Journey to Can-Do Wisdom

On Friday June 10, 1994 I woke up around 3am with a sudden thought, “We should be teaching students about wisdom, not just about computers.” This point in my life would be the start of a long journey to explore the concept of wisdom.

Adrian Farrell – Researcher, Blogger, WriterAdrian Farrell — Researcher, Blogger, Writer
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Frank Serpico – The New York Police Department Whistleblower

When Frank Serpico saw what was inside the envelope he had just been given, he knew immediately he was facing the crisis of his life. Here he was, a police officer just six months into his plainclothes assignment, being handed $300 from another policeman—a payment from an illegal gambler for police protection.

Frank Serpico speaking at Fordham University 2010Frank Serpico speaking at Fordham University in 2010

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John Harrison – the problem-solving genius whose clocks saved lives

John Harrison, a carpenter and self-taught clockmaker, spent six decades of his life problem solving as he progressed towards his ultimate triumph—the first accurate marine chronometer. Many said it was an impossible task to produce a portable clock that could withstand a ship’s extremes of violent movement and temperature changes. And yet he did it and delivered a solution to a need that had been identified hundreds of years earlier.

John Harrison ClockmakerJohn Harrison (1693–1776)Continue reading