From 1916 until the end of the First World War, the Brodie helmet was issued to Australian soldiers serving on the Western Front. It offered greater protection to the wearer's head and shoulders from shrapnel bursting above trench lines than previous designs.
Sir John Monash is widely considered one of the First World War's outstanding commanders. On the Western Front his innovative tactics, combined with extensive and meticulous preparation, met with great success. In June 1918 Monash was given command of the Australian Corps. He planned and commanded the corps first battle at Hamel on 4 July. Monash's own description was succinct: 'all over in ninety-three minutes...the perfection of teamwork.' Further successes followed, notably at Villers-Bretonneux and Amiens. On 12 August, in a unique gesture, King George V invested Monash in the field with the Knight Commander of the Bath award.