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Last digger to fight in WWI dies

 
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BerichtGeplaatst: 18 Okt 2005 5:38    Onderwerp: Last digger to fight in WWI dies Reageer met quote

Quote:
Last digger to fight in WWI dies
October 18, 2005 - 10:29AM

The last Australian to see active service in World War I, William Evan Allan, from Victoria, has died at the age of 106.

The death of the former able seaman, who enlisted in the Royal Australian Navy at the age of 14 at the outbreak of war, leaves just one Australian World War I serviceman still alive out of more than 400,000 who enlisted and 330,770 who saw overseas service.

Veterans Affairs Minister De-Anne Kelly said Mr Allan passed away on Monday night at the Gregory Lodge nursing home at Flemington in Melbourne.

He is survived by his daughter Judith Blake and grandchildren Duncan and Philippa.

Mr Allan, also the sole surviving Australian veteran of both world wars, will be honoured with a state funeral, the Victorian government announced.

Mrs Kelly said the passing of Mr Allan left only one Australian with service in World War I.

Wireless operator John Campbell Ross, 106, of Bendigo in Victoria, enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force in February 1918 but the war ended before he saw active service.

"Mr Allan and his fellow servicemen were a vital part of the Australian forces during World War I. Their tireless devotion to duty was a credit to them and Australia," Mrs Kelly said in a statement.

"Our World War I veterans helped to build this nation that we love.

"Mr Allan was just a boy when he went to war, much younger than most. He served more than 30 years in the navy, including service during World War II.

"With his passing, we have lost an entire generation who left Australia to defend our nation, the British Empire and other nations in the cause of freedom and democracy."

Victorian Premier Steve Bracks said a state funeral would be held for Mr Allan.

"There's not many people now who have survived from that period and not many people who have served in both world wars," he said.

"He's seen three centuries and it's an extraordinary period, extraordinary service and something which will be honoured here in Victoria."

Australia's last surviving veteran of fighting on the Western Front, Peter Casserly, 107, died in Perth in June.

Mr Allan was born in Bega in NSW in July 1899 and enlisted in the Royal Australian Navy as a boy sailor at the outbreak of World War I, serving as a member of the crew of HMAS Encounter from 1915 until 1918.

He sailed in the Pacific and also in the Indian Ocean, escorting troop ship convoys to Colombo.

HMAS Encounter also took part in the search for the German raider, Wolf, which was causing havoc among allied shipping. He remained in the navy for 34 years, serving again during World War II.

He retired in 1947, having attained the rank of lieutenant.

In his later years Mr Allan retained vivid recollections of his years at sea.

In a meeting with then navy chief Vice Admiral David Shackleton in 2001, he remarked how proud and happy he was each time he saw news reports of the modern day navy carrying out its operations.

He recalled his time at sea as a sailor, and recounted an incident where he was washed overboard from the forecastle of HMAS Australia in 1928, spending a nervous three minutes in the water before being rescued.

RSL Victorian state president Major General David McLachlan said he doubted the nation would ever again see soldiers of the calibre of the WW1 diggers.

© 2005 AAP


http://www.smh.com.au/news/National/Last-Digger-to-fight-in-WWI-dies/2005/10/18/1129401230413.html
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Hauptmann



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BerichtGeplaatst: 18 Okt 2005 7:08    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Nu ook op nu.nl in de kantlijn.

Quote:
Veteraan
De laatste Australiër die nog in de Eerste Wereldoorlog heeft meegevochten, is overleden. William Evan Allen is 106 jaar geworden. Allan werd in 1899 geboren. Op 14-jarige leeftijd meldde hij zich als vrijwilliger voor de marine. Hij voer van 1915 tot 1918 op de HMAS Encounter, in de Indische en de Stille Oceaan.
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BerichtGeplaatst: 18 Okt 2005 7:11    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Wij waren eerder Cool
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BerichtGeplaatst: 18 Okt 2005 7:15    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Maar ff iets anders, Digger?
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Hauptmann



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BerichtGeplaatst: 18 Okt 2005 7:17    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Misschien heet iedere veteraan daar Digger. Vraagje voor Merlijn zou ik zeggen.
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Merlijn



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BerichtGeplaatst: 18 Okt 2005 8:13    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Zo werden de Australiers genoemt.
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BerichtGeplaatst: 18 Okt 2005 8:50    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Dit is nou vreemd?
Quote:
3.1.1. Laatste Australische veteraan overleden
Het aantal nog levende veteranen uit de Eerste Wereldoorlog neemt nu drastisch af en we moeten verwachten dat er het komende jaar nog maar een handjevol veteranen uit die periode in leven zijn.In Australië zijn er thans geen overlevende veteranen meer over.De oudste Australische veteraan uit de Eerste Wereldoorlog, Peter Casserley, is in juni j.l overleden. Hij werd 107 jaar en hij was de laatste Australische veteraan uit de Eerste wereldoorlog. Casserley was 19 jaar toen hij in dienst ging in 1917. Hij was sappeur toen hij aan het westelijk front meestreed tegen de Duitsers. Hij kwam voorts nog in actie bij Ieper, Armentieres, en Amiens. Casserley heeft een officiële militaire begrafenis gekregen.
(bron: De Gooi en Eemlander van 27 juni 2005)

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BerichtGeplaatst: 18 Okt 2005 8:54    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Yvonne schreef:
Dit is nou vreemd?
Quote:
3.1.1. Laatste Australische veteraan overleden
Het aantal nog levende veteranen uit de Eerste Wereldoorlog neemt nu drastisch af en we moeten verwachten dat er het komende jaar nog maar een handjevol veteranen uit die periode in leven zijn.In Australië zijn er thans geen overlevende veteranen meer over.De oudste Australische veteraan uit de Eerste Wereldoorlog, Peter Casserley, is in juni j.l overleden. Hij werd 107 jaar en hij was de laatste Australische veteraan uit de Eerste wereldoorlog. Casserley was 19 jaar toen hij in dienst ging in 1917. Hij was sappeur toen hij aan het westelijk front meestreed tegen de Duitsers. Hij kwam voorts nog in actie bij Ieper, Armentieres, en Amiens. Casserley heeft een officiële militaire begrafenis gekregen.
(bron: De Gooi en Eemlander van 27 juni 2005)


Die hadden en hebben dus geen gelijk.
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Woonplaats: The Land of Plenty

BerichtGeplaatst: 18 Okt 2005 10:41    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Ik dacht dat er na Peter Casserly nog 2 waren Confused
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Hauptmann



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BerichtGeplaatst: 18 Okt 2005 14:12    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Rifleman T. Cantlon schreef:
Ik dacht dat er na Peter Casserly nog 2 waren Confused


Ja, en na vandaag dus nog één.
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Woonplaats: The Land of Plenty

BerichtGeplaatst: 18 Okt 2005 15:13    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Hauptmann schreef:
Rifleman T. Cantlon schreef:
Ik dacht dat er na Peter Casserly nog 2 waren Confused


Ja, en na vandaag dus nog één.


Ja, John Campbell Ross, ik las het Smile
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BerichtGeplaatst: 22 Okt 2005 7:43    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Quote:
WW1 fighter's Bega links
Friday, 21 October 2005

AUSTRALIA'S last World War 1 fighter, William Evan Allan, who died in Melbourne on Monday aged 106, had links to the Bega Valley.

Mr Allan, who joined the Royal Australian Navy as a 14-year-old in 1914, was born in Bega in July, 1899.

During WW1 he saw action in the Pacific and Indian oceans.

He also served during World War II and retired with the rank of Lieutenant in 1947.

In 2002 Mr Allan recorded an interview for an oral history project with the State Library of Victoria in which he outlined his early days in Bega and Brogo.

"I was born in Bega on the far south coast of NSW and at the age of about six I went with my family out to Upper Brogo - 25 miles away from Bega where grandpa, my grandfather, owned a second property and my father was to manage it for him," he said.

"I might mention that my mother, prior to marriage, was a governess to the Wood family at Yarranung, near Bega, and she saw them all through their educational life, teaching them piano, how to sing and everything.

"Luckily, when we moved out to Upper Brogo - in 1906 I think it was or 05 - there was no school there at all so I was fortunate in having a mother that was highly educated and she taught me, the pothooks etc, you know, until later on they got a little school there.

"There was 13 students and Buin Buin was the district, Upper Brogo, and the first teacher we had there was named Anderson.

"He wasn't there very long and then after that the teacher's name was Jack Greenland and he was a dedicated teacher and very good."

Mr Allan described how he was living at Riverview Station, Upper Brogo, in 1908 when the American "Great White Fleet" visited Sydney.

"Of course I got hold of the magazines and I was very interested in reading up there, the history of the American navy and I must have got the idea of wanting to join the navy eventually,' he said.

"My father was very much against it. He said 'I am not signing your papers'.

"I was only a boy - about nine years old at the time.

"Anyhow it was a great influence on me, the visit of the Great White Fleet from America, and eventually when I turned about 14 I had to go and do a small exam in Bega, reading and writing and that went off all right and the next thing I went to Sydney with the object in view of joining the navy.

"I went to Bermagui and the Illawarra South Coast Steam Navigation used to run up and down the NSW coast at the time and I was introduced to the captain of the Merimbula, Captain O'Connor, by my uncle by marriage, Mr Bell.

"I had an aunt in Mosman in Sydney - they took care of me," he said.

He was signed on with the training ship Tingira when he was 14 years and nine months old.

Mr Allan had strong links to the Bega district through connections with the Gowing, Pell and Ritchie families.

He is survived by a daughter and two grandchildren.

http://bega.yourguide.com.au/detail.asp?class=news&subclass=local&category=general%20news&story_id=433146&y=2005&m=10
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BerichtGeplaatst: 22 Okt 2005 17:25    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Het gaat nog even verder. Ik kan de lezer meededelen dat het overlijden van deze man in Australië heel wat teweeg gebracht heeft.
Quote:

The forgotten fears that sent a young man off to sea
By Geoffrey Blainey
October 23, 2005
Page Tools

Australia's last WWI veteran knew only too well the perils of our geography.

THE nation's pride — and those officials who organise symbolic funerals — would have been satisfied if the last of our World War I warriors had once served at Gallipoli or on the Western Front. Instead the final veteran of active service, Evan Allan, who died last week at the age of 106, was a sailor.

Nobody called him Digger. He did not see the inside of a frontline trench or hear the noise of a German howitzer.

But it is appropriate that he should be the last of the last. To those who were alive and alert in 1914, when the so-called Great War began, the navy was the symbol of Australia's hopes and fears. The war was widely expected to be decided by battles at sea. Some of the naval battles, it was predicted, would be fought on Australian seas.

The seas, however, have been largely forgotten. Armies, and the European battlefields, are now recalled as all-important. Perhaps that is why some historians argue that Australia had no business fighting in the war of 1914-18, and, least of all, to be fighting in Europe and Asia Minor.

Australia was hoodwinked, so they say, and should have remained neutral!

Chief Petty Officer Allan would have disagreed. He knew what we have forgotten. He knew his geography.

Australia's livelihood was endangered on the eve of the war. Germany had almost matched Britain in building the latest warships. Germany's navy held the potential to arrive out of the blue, isolate Melbourne and Sydney, and cut the nation's trade routes.

While Britain still owned the world's largest navy, it was incapable of defending all its colonies.

Indeed, Britain's policy in 1914 was to concentrate its naval forces in the northern hemisphere. Australia, therefore, relied primarily on its own new navy to defend its trade and convoy routes, with help from Japan's expanding navy.

In the western and central Pacific, Germany possessed a strategic chain of wireless stations and naval bases. Rabaul in the present Papua New Guinea was a German harbour; the island of Bougainville was German; Guam, the Marshall Islands, Palau, Nauru and Western Samoa were German. The normal sea lane from Sydney to Japan and North China passed through a large zone of what could be called German seas.

The Germans also held a naval force in their Chinese colony of Tsingtao (Qingdao). Indeed, from that port in August 1914 the armed cruiser Emden set out on one of the most remarkable raiding voyages in history. From that same port, Admiral von Spee and his East Asia squadron sailed south for destinations unknown and for weeks its whereabouts was unknown and a source of intense worry in Australia. Eventually it appeared off the coast of Chile, where it sank two British cruisers.

On the opening day of World War I most Australians understood that they were fighting not only for the Empire but for their own future. The insecurity of Thursday Island, which commanded the entrance to Torres Strait, was an early fear.

The opening battle fought by Australians was at Rabaul, where the mast of the German wireless station, almost completed and more powerful than any in this continent, was toppled by shots fired from a fleet consisting of most of Australia's navy. The first Australian battle deaths were not at Gallipoli but at Rabaul in September 1914.

Curiously, if the German warships had remained a danger in Australian seas, and if Thursday Island had been temporarily captured, or the ports of Townsville or Albany had been heavily shelled, then the sailing away to Egypt of the first AIF might have been delayed. The first months of the war were laced with ifs and buts, now mostly forgotten.

Naval warfare, devastating in the North Atlantic and the North Sea, continued intermittently in Australian waters. In July 1917 the cargo ship Cumberland, bound for Melbourne, was one of four vessels crippled by a fresh German minefield laid off Gabo Island, near the NSW-Victorian border.

Sailor Allan, not quite 18, saw some of the wreckage. He was in the crew of the Australian light cruiser Encounter, sent to search for the German raider that had laid the mines.

The fighting at Gallipoli in 1915, and in France thereafter, became the crux of this nation's war effort. The land battles and their massive casualties caught the imagination of later generations.

The vast military cemeteries have come to epitomise the war, incidentally giving rise to the hypothesis that the whole war should have been of no concern to Australia.

The hypothesis is daft. It would have amused Evan Allan. His generation of Australians saw the importance of the sea lanes.

Geoffrey Blainey's latest book, Short History of the Twentieth Century, is published by Penguin/Viking.


http://www.theage.com.au/news/opinion/the-forgotten-fears-that-sent-a-young-man-off-to-sea/2005/10/22/1129775997095.html
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BerichtGeplaatst: 23 Okt 2005 12:44    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Quote:
State funeral for WWI veteran
October 24, 2005



Two thousand naval personnel will line the road to salute the the final journey of Australia's last active veteran of both world wars, William Evan Allan, at his state funeral this week.

Mr Allan, a former sailor who died at the age of 106 in a Melbourne nursing home on Monday night, was the last surviving veteran to see active service in both world wars.

The funeral will be held on Tuesday at 1pm (AEST) at Naval training base HMAS Cerberus at Crib Point on Western Port Bay on Victoria's Mornington Peninsula.

A state government spokesman said a 45-minute ceremony would be held in the large chapel at the base, followed by official proceedings.

"After the ceremony, the coffin is carried out of the chapel and just before it's placed onto a gun carriage, there is a 21-gun rifle salute," he said.

Premier Steve Bracks and governor of Victoria, John Landy, would join other officials in a slow march behind the carriage through the naval base, the spokesman said.

"The entire route will be lined by sailors - each one standing approximately five feet (1.52 metres) apart," the spokesman said.

"Once the carriage gets down to the wharf then it will be loaded into a hearse and driven slowly up to the base."

"The naval band will be playing all the way throughout."

Mr Allan enlisted in the Royal Australian Navy at the age of 14 shortly before the outbreak of World War One.

He is survived by his daughter Judith Blake and grandchildren Duncan and Philippa.


http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/state-funeral-for-wwi-veteran/2005/10/23/1130005994858.html
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BerichtGeplaatst: 25 Okt 2005 7:49    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Quote:
Last post sounds for WWI veteran
October 25, 2005 - 4:29PM

The Last Post has sounded for the last Australian to fight in World War I.

A three-volley rifle salute rang out as the body of William Evan Crawford Allan was marched slowly from the chapel at the Victorian naval base where he ended his 33-year military career.

Family, friends and dignitaries honoured Mr Allan, who died in a Melbourne nursing home last week aged 106, at a state funeral at HMAS Cerberus at Crib Point on Victoria's Mornington Peninsula.

More than 1,000 naval personal accompanied the gun carriage carrying his body in a solemn 30 minute procession to a hearse waiting at Seamanship Training School Wharf.

Mr Allan was the last of 330,770 Australians who saw active service overseas during WW1, and was also the last Australian to serve in both world wars.

Commodore Jim Dickson, who delivered the eulogy, said Mr Allan - known as Darby to his friends - survived many brushes with death during his long life.

He enlisted in the navy at the age of 14, six months after it had received its first ship and shortly before war broke out, and served until 1947.
He survived an outbreak of Spanish Influenza that took the lives of many comrades, was washed overboard in rough seas but rescued - and lived through active service in two world wars.

"He told me he loved the navy from the outset, and it's clear from his impressive service record the navy loved him," Commodore Dickson said.

Mr Allan became a dedicated "old fashioned family man" and farmer after retiring and lived a quiet life.

After the service, Premier Steve Bracks said the state funeral, the largest held in Victoria for "many, many" years, was a fitting tribute for a remarkable life.

"This is not only, of course, about the significance of William Allan and his service over many years... but it is also the fact that this is the passing of the last WWI veteran in Australia who served overseas, and that could not be more significant," he said.

"This was the formation of a nation, when the nation was engaged internationally in a battle for its own freedom, that's really the significance of the event here today."

Australia's sole remaining WWI serviceman is wireless operator John Campbell Ross, 106, of Bendigo in Victoria.

He enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force in February 1918, but the war ended before he began active service.

http://www.theage.com.au/news/National/Last-post-sounds-for-WWI-veteran/2005/10/25/1130006111319.html
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BerichtGeplaatst: 25 Okt 2005 7:50    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Quote:
Navy honours last WWI fighter

One of Australia's last links to World War I has been farewelled with a state funeral at a Victorian naval base.

William Evan Allan died last week at the age of 106.

At his funeral, he was described as an extraordinary Australian.

Mr Allan, known as 'Darby' to his naval friends, became a sailor at 14 and fought overseas in both World Wars, retiring as a lieutenant in 1947.

He saw active service in the Pacific and Indian Oceans in World War I.

Mr Allan was swept overboard and rescued from heavy seas in the North Atlantic in 1928, recovering to continue his naval service through World War II.

He was the last survivor of more than 300,000 Australians who served in overseas combat during the Great War.

Retired commodore Jim Dixon told the packed service at HMAS Cerberus naval base that Mr Allan was the kind of veteran other servicemen admired and respected.

"He told me that he loved the Navy from the outset. It's clear from his impressive service record that the Navy loved him," he said.

Mr Allan was given a three-volley rifle salute as his casket draped in the Australian naval flag and adorned with his officer's cap and sword was loaded onto a gun carriage.

Victorian Premier Steve Bracks, other dignitaries and more than 1,200 Navy personnel then followed the carriage in a slow procession through the base.

Mr Allan will be cremated in a private ceremony.

His death leaves 106-year-old Bendigo veteran Jack Ross as the last Australian survivor of more than 300,000 who signed up to fight in the Great War.


http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200510/s1490311.htm
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BerichtGeplaatst: 25 Okt 2005 17:48    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Eerste foto van de ceremonie.


http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/the-final-salute-to-the-last-man-standing/2005/10/25/1130239521820.html

Quote:
The final salute to the last man standing

Lest we forget Evan Allan because he was the last of those who could remember.

Australia's final surviving veteran of World War I was laid to rest yesterday in one of Victoria's biggest state funerals in a decade.

Mr Allan who lived to 106, served 34 years in the navy surviving both world wars.

Those at his funeral service at HMAS Cerberus naval base yesterday learnt that his first brush with death came not through a human enemy but a flu pandemic that killed tens of millions.

In August 1918, when he was sailing to Britain to join the cruiser HMAS Sydney, 24 people on his ship died of Spanish influenza. Although he caught the infection, he did not suffer its full effects.

Mr Allan was born at Bega in 1899 and joined the navy as a 14-year-old in 1914, just months before the war began. He trained initially as a boy sailor, seeing active service in the Malay archipelago, the south-west Pacific and the Indian Ocean.

After leaving the navy as a lieutenant in 1947, he took up farming and led a quiet life. He was not active in any ex-service organisations and did not march on Anzac Day.

So, as retired Commodore Jim Dickson said in his eulogy, it is unclear how Mr Allan would have felt about a state funeral led by the Victorian Premier, Steve Bracks, and the deputy head of the navy, Rear Admiral Max Hancock, along with other political dignitaries, naval brass and about 1200 others.

After the service, three volleys of rifle shots marked the transfer of his coffin to a naval gun carriage. Then, led by a navy band playing a dirge with muffled drums, the procession marched about a kilometre to the seamanship school wharf on Hanns Inlet. There his coffin was transferred to a hearse for a private cremation.

Mr Allan's daughter Judy Blake accompanied Mr Bracks and Admiral Hancock. Admiral Hancock said Mr Allan's death was important for the navy. "We are farewelling a great shipmate. But it is also important for the people of Victoria and Australia because of the freedoms that he fought for."

In 1944, Mr Allan was transferred to the cruiser HMAS Australia to replace an officer injured by a Kamikaze attack. He was flown to meet his ship but was delayed and it sailed without him. Another Kamikaze attack killed the officer who took his place.
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