Shedden, Frederick


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(8 August 1893–8 July 1971). Born in Kyneton, Victoria, Shedden began a long career in the Department of Defence in 1910 as a junior clerk. He studied as an accountant and in March 1917 was appointed as a lieutenant in the Army Pay Corps of the AIF, serving in London and France until the end of 1917. He returned to Defence and completed an economics degree at the University of Melbourne, and then undertook further study at the University of London. In 1928 he attended the Imperial Defence College (IDC), where Lieutenant-Colonel E. K. Squires and Lieutenant-Colonel J. D. Lavarack were among his fellow students. He remained in London for several years, attached to the War Office in order to study financial administration, and to the High Commissioner, S. M. Bruce. While in the United Kingdom, Shedden developed close and enduring contacts with a number of powerful figures in the defence establishment, notably the Commandant of the IDC, Admiral Sir Herbert Richmond, and the Secretary of the Committee of Imperial Defence (CID), Sir Maurice Hankey. Both were committed to the ideals of imperial defence and, through a two-year attachment to the Cabinet Office and to the CID, Shedden developed a similar approach, both to the formulation and the execution of defence policy. In later years, when he had reached the pinnacle of his power and influence in the Department of Defence, he was sometimes, and not always flatteringly, called Australia's ‘pocket Hankey’ in the light of his undisguised emulation of his great mentor.


From The Oxford Companion to Australian Military History in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Military History.

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