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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Last Australian WW1 Veteran dies


Andrew P

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William Allan, the last Australian to serve overseas in WW1 died yesterday aged 106.

Mr Allan passed away last night at Gregory Lodge in Melbourne, Victoria, at

106 years of age. He is survived by his daughter and two grandchildren.

With the passing of Mr Allan, only one Australian with service in World War I, Jack Ross from Victoria, whose service was solely in Australia, is still living.

Shortly before the outbreak of World War I, Mr Allan joined the Royal Australian Navy as a Boy Sailor at just 14 years of age. He was a member of the crew of the Australian light cruiser HMAS Encounter from 1915 to 1918.

During that time, Encounter conducted patrols in the Pacific and Indian Oceans and escorted troopships to Colombo. Encounter also took part in the search for the infamous German raider, Wolf, which had been causing havoc with Allied shipping in the region.

Mr Allan continued his career with the RAN between the two world wars, being promoted and acquiring additional qualifications.

During World War II, Mr Allan served at sea in the Royal Navy armed merchant cruiser, HMS Moreton Bay, as well as at Flinders Naval Depot, as Piermaster at HMAS Ladava at Milne Bay, New Guinea, in 1944, on HMAS Australia and as an instructor at HMAS Cerberus. Mr Allan retired from the Royal Australian Navy in 1947, with the rank of Lieutenant.

Mr Allan had lived as a boy on a family property in Upper Brogo, New South Wales, and returned to the land - this time a small farm near Frankston, Victoria, after leaving the Navy.

In 1999, Mr Allan received the 80th Anniversary Armistice Remembrance Medal, awarded to all living Australian World War I veterans. This was the first commemorative medal in the Australian system of honours and awards. Mr Allan was also awarded the King's Silver Jubilee Medal in 1935, the King's Coronation Medal in 1937 and the Australian Centenary Medal for the 2001 Centenary of Federation.

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Andrew,

do we know the address of the farm near Frankston as I would like to take a photo of it (if it has not been gobbled up by urban encroachment)?

I would also like to do an article for the local family history group of which I am a member.

Peter

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Sorry Peter. Don't know the actual address of the Frankston property. It might be something that would be in his service records or do you have access to the old Post office directories? These can be found normally at the state library or local history libraries and they list the addresses. They come in quite handy and I've used the WA books quite a bit when trying to locate an actual address of a soldier.

Regards

Andrew

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I heard there would be a state funeral and I do know that at work a couple of weeks ago we had notification to plan for a possible state funeral for a WW1 vet with the accompanying dignitaries which would be held at HMAS Cerberus.

Anyone heard the official announcement yet - I'm still on holidays but will ring the office and find out if that's where it's to be held. If so, I'm sure I'll see you there Peter.

Tim L.

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Andrew,

do we know the address of the farm near Frankston as I would like to take a photo of it (if it has not been gobbled up by urban encroachment)?

I would also like to do an article for the local family history group of which I am a member.

Peter

Peter

An article written by Jonathan King in July this year says: "He bought a farm in [sic] Westernport Bay and grew fruit, cattle and chickens......" This might narrow the search down a little.

Incase you don't already know about it, there are a couple of interviews with him, carried out by Ina Bertrand for the Victorians at War Project. You can listen to them or read the transcripts here: http://victoriansatwar.net/archives/allen.html

I hope you make it to his funeral - on behalf of us all.

May his spirit live on - as an era dies.

Lest We Forget.

Frev.

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Rest in peace William. The last of so many.

Martyn

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read his obituary in todays daily telegrath , sounds if he was quite aguy . interesting piece about him being washed over board from the australai off nova scotia saved buy his oilskinbilling out giving him bouyancy he was pulled in and rescued the admirial apologised for not launching a boat becasuse off rough weather

RIP evan 985

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