Alan Wilson MOREY MC

Poppy

MOREY, Alan Wilson

Service Number: Officer
Enlisted: Not yet discovered
Last Rank: Lieutenant
Last Unit: Royal Flying Corps
Born: North Adelaide, South Australia, 1 March 1893
Home Town: North Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia
Schooling: King’s School, Queens School and St Peter's College, Adelaide, South Australia
Occupation: Medical Student
Died: Killed in Action, France , 24 January 1918, aged 24 years
Cemetery: No known grave - "Known Unto God"
Memorials: Adelaide National War Memorial, Arras Flying Services Memorial, Hackney St Peter's College Fallen Honour Board
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World War 1 Service

24 Jan 1918: Involvement Royal Flying Corps, Lieutenant, SN Officer, Royal Flying Corps, AFC / RFC operations Western Front / Middle East

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Biography

From the book Fallen Saints


Alan Wilson Morey of North Adelaide was born on 1 March 1893. He was initially educated at King’s School, then Tormore House, North Adelaide before later attending Queen’s School where in 1907 he won a scholarship to the Collegiate School of St Peter. He took first place in the higher public examination and throughout his scholastic career won several scholarships.

 He passed the primary, junior, senior and higher public examinations at the Adelaide University with great credit, and in 1911 he won a Government bursary and the Hartley studentship. He entered on the medical course, and he passed the first and second year’s examinations with honors before he was selected as Rhodes scholar for South Australia on December 12, 1913. [i]

He was successful in almost every task he turned his mind to, had a great fondness for sport, and although he was most proficient in rowing and shooting acquitted himself very well in sports such as cricket, boxing, football, tennis and lacrosse.

In late 1914 after receiving a commission in the British Army Alan proudly wrote to the School Magazine.

...I have just received my commission in the 11th Royal Scots, and I’m going down to Aldershot tomorrow. Only yesterday I signed on for the Public Schools and Universities of the Fusiliers. [ii]

The 11th Battalion was formed at Edinburgh in August 1914 and attached to the 27th Brigade, 9th (Scottish) Division in the Border area near Aldershot. In May 1915, the battalion landed in France and on 11 November 1918 with the 27th Brigade, 9th (Scottish) Division was in Belgium near Courtrail. [iii]

When Alan wrote in 1915 although he had only recently arrived in France, he seemed to be coping very well with conditions in the support trenches.

A Morey who is a lieutenant in the 11th Royal Scots, writes on June 4th that he has been in the trenches with his regiment for a month. He has mostly been in the support trenches, and once into the firing trenches for instruction. He says that if the weather is good and there is no shelling the trenches are the most safest and comfortable places imaginable. He has his own dug-out with a bed and pillow. [iv]

For his actions at Loos Lieutenant Alan Morey 11th Battalion, The Royal Scots (Lothian Regiment) was awarded the Military Cross.

Citation for Military Cross

For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty during the action of 25 September 1915. He volunteered to go across the open between the opposing lines to obtain information, and, although wounded in the shoulder, both sent in a written report and went a long way to make a personal report to his Brigadier, before having his wound dressed. [v]

By mid 1916, Lieutenant Alan Morey MC then with the Royal Flying Corps was experiencing his fair share of hazards flying the early model aircraft.

A W Morey, who resigned from the Royal Scots and received a commission in the Flying Corps, recently while practicing fell with his machine from a height of 500 feet. At first his condition was considered very serious, but later reports to hand have been much more reassuring. [vi]

In fact, his injuries were indeed very serious and before he had any chance of walking or flying again Alan had to undergo major surgery. 

A.W. Morey, who was badly injured while flying, is making only slow progress towards recovery. He has had two operations lately on his leg, and they are in hopes that now his limb will mend.  [vii]

In a letter to the School Magazine dated 8 January 1918, Alan’s brother (OS) Flight Sub Lieutenant Geoffrey Wilson Morey RN wrote that Alan, although not completely recovered from his accident was flying again.

Alan, my brother, is now flying again in France, despite the fact that he is unable to walk without sticks. Last week he was shot down by five Huns and was wounded in several places, but made good landing behind our own lines. The wounds were slight and he came out of hospital within three days. He was given two days leave in Paris, and accidentally came across Britain Swift who was also on leave. I must stop now as I have all my gear to pack. I am leaving in the morning with several other pilots for Otranto (No. 6 Wing). [viii]

In a letter dated 5 March 1918 Corporal Wilfred Hughes (OS) V2A Heavy Trench Mortar Battery, wrote that Alan had been killed in a mid air collision during a dogfight.

 I suppose you know poor old Alan Morey has been killed in collision with a Bosche plane while firing. It seems such a pity so brilliant a career, as his had been and promised to be, should be ended. Another old Saint, named Bruce, has had a remarkable series of adventures. He was brought down while flying behind the German lines, but succeeded in firing his machine and escaping. He wandered around in Belgium for nearly five months, only just missing being caught and finally escaped through Holland to England. [ix]

Lieutenant Alan Wilson Morey MC, 60th Squadron, Royal Flying Corps, was killed in action on 24 January 1918; he was 25 years of age.



[i] Adelaide Chronicle, 13 November 1915, p. 40
[ii] St Peter’s School Magazine - W K Thomas & Co, Adelaide, December 1914, p. 38
[iii] James, E A, Historical Records Of British Infantry Regiments In The Great War 1914-1918, Rank Xerox Copy Bureau, Birmingham Revised Edition, 1976, p. 3
[iv] St Peter’s School Magazine - W K Thomas & Co, Adelaide,  August 1915, p. 73
[v] London Gazette, Morey, Alan Wilson - Issue 29351 published on the 2 November 1915, p. 7 of 12
[vi] St Peter’s School Magazine - W K Thomas & Co, Adelaide,  August 1916, p. 45
[vii] ibid., May 1917, p. 63
[viii] ibid., –May 1918, p. 70
[ix] ibid, -  August 1918, p. 60

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Biography contributed by Annette Summers

MOREY Alan Wilson, MC Medical Student

1893-1918

Alan Wilson Morey was born on the 1st March 1893 at 215 Hunter St, Newcastle, NSW, son of Henry Augustus Morey (1859-1907), bank manager, and Mary Morey, nee Collier (1867-1926). He was educated at Queen’s College and St Peter’s College. He was an all-round sportsman and gained a Government Bursary to enable him to study medicine at the University of Adelaide from 1912. At the end of his first and second years he achieved the first place in the medical examinations and won a (tied) Elder Scholarship for outstanding performance in 1912. He was awarded a Rhodes scholarship in 1913.   Magdalen accepted him as a Commoner to read Medicine. Morey, his brother and his mother left Adelaide on 14 July 1914, travelled to England and arrived in London on the 20th August 1914. 

Morey paid a brief visit to Oxford before joining the recently formed 11th (Service) Bn, the Royal Scots (Lothian Regt) as a second lieutenant in September 1914. He went to France on the 11th May 1915. He was Mentioned in Despatches in France in 1915.   During the Battle of Loos, on the 25th September 1915, Morey was severely wounded in the shoulder and on 4 November 1915 he was awarded the Military Cross, “for conspicuous gallantry and devotion during the fighting on September 25, 1915 at Loos, in France. He volunteered to cross the open space between the opposing lines to obtain information, and although he was wounded and therefore should have sent a written report, he went for some distance personally to report to the brigadier before his wound was dressed.” He spent a long period convalescing in England, at Chatsworth.  Morey then joined the Royal Flying Corps; he learnt to fly on a Maurice Farnham Biplane at the Military School, Shoreham, and received his wings on the 29th April 1916.  While undergoing subsequent training at Gosport, his machine collapsed in mid-air on 20 June 1916 and he fell 300-500 feet to the ground.  He was severely injured and hospitalized. He was crippled so badly by the accident that he never walked again without the aid of two sticks.  He was transferred to the general list of officers on 29 June 1916 and in August 1917 received compensation of £250 for his injuries. Nevertheless, once his rehabilitation was complete, he continued with his training, and on completion, volunteered to serve in France. He was posted to 60 Squadron RFC, on 5 December 1917.  Morey and eleven other aircraft took off at 12.10 hours on the 24th January 1918 on an offensive patrol over Menin and Roulers, during which seven enemy two-seaters were sighted, engaged, and driven back eastwards. During the combat, at about 1250 hours, when the patrol was at a height of 8-12,000 feet to the south-west of Becelaere, an Albatros Scout dived down out of the sun on Lieutenant Clark’s aircraft from behind and fired about ten rounds.  Clark’s combat report then reads: “He then turned over my back towards the right.  Lieutenant Morey, who was on my right, did a left-hand bank towards the Hun, and immediately collided with him.  I saw Lieutenant Morey’s wing come off and they both crashed”. Morey was due to be promoted from lieutenant to captain on the following day. Alan Wilson Morey was aged 24, and he was the only South Australian Rhodes Scholar to die in WW1.  His death was confirmed on 25th March 1918, when the Germans dropped a message over the British lines. He has no known grave. His name is on the Arras Flying Service Memorial, the AWM aviation section and the Memorial Hall and the Memorial plaque in the entrance to the large quadrangle at St Peter’s College.

Source

Blood, Sweat and Fears: Medical Practitioners and Medical Students of South Australia, who Served in World War 1. 

Verco, Summers, Swain, Jelly. Open Books Howden, Adelaide 2014. 

Uploaded by Annette Summers AO RFD

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