Opinion Ross Eastgate – …Transition from Military to National Affairs ..

30 Oct 2014

His campaigning days ended, Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington transitioned seamlessly from military to national affairs through the British House of Lords.

Wellesley had briefly sat in the House of Commons in 1806-1807 after a distinguished early military career, resigning his seat to resume soldiering, the period from then until the Battle of Waterloo in 1815 being his most remarkable.

Having resumed his seat in the Lords in 1818, Wellesley was appointed Master-General of the Ordnance, then a cabinet level role for a soldier-politician with responsibilities for equipping and maintaining the army.

In 1828 he became prime minister, twice serving in that role while also variously serving as army commander-in-chief until his death in 1852.

Soldiers do not always translate successfully to politics, though Australia’s robust democracy has seen many military veterans make their mark.