Early life[ edit ] Birth and family background[ edit ] Robert Gordon Menzies was born on 20 December at his parents' home in Jeparit, Victoria. Menzies was the first Australian prime minister to have two Australian-born parents: His grandparents on both sides had been drawn to Australia by the Victorian gold rush.
His father James was a storekeeper, the son of Scottish crofters who had immigrated to Australia in the mids in the wake of the Victorian gold rush. His maternal grandfather, John Sampson, was a Cornish miner from Penzance who also came to seek his fortune on the goldfields, in Ballarat.
His middle name, Gordon, was Robert menzies to him in honour and memory of Charles George Gordona British army officer killed in Khartoum in He attended Wesley College in Melbourne and studied law at the University of Melbourne, graduating in When World War I began, Menzies was 19 years old and held a commission in the university's militia unit.
He resigned his commission at the very time others of his age and class clamoured to be allowed to enlist. It was later stated that, since the family had made enough of a sacrifice to the war with the enlistment of two of three eligible brothers, Menzies should stay to finish his studies.
Subsequently he was prominent in undergraduate activities and won academic prizes and declared himself to be a patriotic supporter of the war and conscription. Menzies' first term as Prime Minister commenced inafter the death in Robert menzies of the United Australia Party leader Joseph Lyons and a short-term interim premiership by Sir Earle Page.
His party narrowly won the electionwhich produced a hung parliamentwith the support of independent MPs in the House. A year later, his government was brought down by those same MPs crossing the floor.
He spent eight years in opposition, during which he founded the Liberal Party of Australia. He again became Prime Minister at the electionand he then dominated Australian politics until his retirement in Throughout his life and career, Menzies held strong beliefs in the Monarchy and in traditional ties with Britain.
Inhe was invested as the only Australian Knight of the Order of the Thistle. His candidacy was nearly defeated when a group of ex-servicemen attacked him in the press for not having enlisted, but he survived this crisis.
The following year he shifted to the Legislative Assembly as the member for Nunawading. Before the election, he founded the Young Nationalists as his party's youth wing and served as its first president.
Menzies transferred to federal politics inrepresenting the United Australia Party UAP—the Nationalists had merged with other non-Labor groups to form the UAP during his tenure as a state parliamentarian in the upper-class Melbourne electorate of Kooyong.
In he was appointed a Privy Councillor. In late and early Menzies, then Attorney-General, unsuccessfully prosecuted the Joseph Lyons government's case for the attempted exclusion from Australia of Egon Kischa Czech Jewish communist. While some saw this as an early example of his anti-Communism, others suspected and charged Menzies with holding Nazi sympathies.
In Augustas Attorney-General of Australia in the pro-Appeasement Lyons government, Menzies visited Germany, letting it be known that he was "prepared to give Hitler the benefit of the doubt, and draw my conclusions about Germany myself.
Menzies and Page attacked each other publicly. He later became deputy leader of the UAP. His supporters said he was Lyons's natural successor; his critics accused Menzies of wanting to push Lyons out, a charge he denied.
In his enemies ridiculed him as "Pig Iron Bob", the result of his industrial battle with waterside workers who refused to load scrap iron being sold to Imperial Japan. Inhowever, he resigned from the Cabinet in protest at postponement of the national insurance scheme. A crisis arose almost immediately, however, when Page refused to serve under him.
In an extraordinary personal attack in the House, Page accused Menzies of cowardice for not having enlisted in the War, and of treachery to Lyons.
Menzies then formed a minority government. It is my melancholy duty to inform you officially that in consequence of a persistence by Germany in her invasion of Poland, Great Britain has declared war upon her and that, as a result, Australia is also at war. He did his best to rally the country, but the bitter memories of the disillusionment which followed the World War I made his task difficult, this being compounded by Menzies' lack of a service record.
Even more damning was that as Attorney-General and Deputy Prime Minister, Menzies had made an official visit to Germany inwhen the official policy of the Australian government, supported by the Opposition, echoed its London masters in supporting Neville Chamberlain's policy of Appeasement.
He led the Coalition into the election and lost the large majority he had inherited from Lyons.Robert Menzies completed his PhD studies (New Testament) at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, under the supervision of I.
Howard Marshall in He has authored numerous books on the work of the Spirit. Dr. Menzies is an adjunct professor at More about Robert P.
Menzies. Mr. Menzies is a trial experienced commercial litigator who represents clients in a wide range of industries, including real estate, construction, healthcare and financial services. Robert Menzies is the Owner and Chairman of the Aberdeen Caroilna & Western Railway Company.
He acquired the Aberdeen Carolina & Western in from the Aberdeen & Briarpatch Railway. He has had a lifelong interest in the transportation industry. Robert Gordon Menzies was born to James Menzies and Kate née Sampson in Jeparit, a town in the Wimmera region of northwestern Victoria, on 20 December His father James was a storekeeper, the son of Scottish crofters who had immigrated to Australia Succeeded by: Harold Holt.
The UAP elected Robert Gordon Menzies its new leader (and therefore prime minister); but the decision was hard fought, and it was criticized publicly and vehemently by Page, still leader of the Country Party.
Robert Menzies completed his PhD studies (New Testament) at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, under the supervision of I. Howard Marshall in He has authored numerous books on the work of the Spirit.
Dr. Menzies is an adjunct professor at More about Robert P. Menzies.