Allan Lyle MCPHERSON MM

Badge Number: 78116
78116

MCPHERSON, Allan Lyle

Service Number: 19634
Enlisted: 4 August 1915
Last Rank: Gunner
Last Unit: 8th Field Artillery Brigade
Born: Gawler, 18 September 1896
Home Town: Croydon, South Australia
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Apprentice Fitter and Turner
Died: Accidental - struck by a car while cycling, Hindmarsh, 24 October 1921, aged 25 years
Cemetery: Not yet discovered
Memorials: Gawler Council Gawler Men Who Answered the Call WW1 Roll of Honor, Hindmarsh WW1 Roll of Honour
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World War 1 Service

4 Aug 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Gunner, SN 19634, 8th Field Artillery Brigade
20 May 1916: Embarked AIF WW1, Gunner, SN 19634, 8th Field Artillery Brigade , --- :embarkation_roll: roll_number: '4' embarkation_place: Sydney embarkation_ship: HMAT Medic embarkation_ship_number: A7 public_note: ''
7 Jun 1917: Involvement AIF WW1, Gunner, SN 19634, 8th Field Artillery Brigade , Messines
30 Jul 1917: Involvement AIF WW1, Gunner, SN 19634, 8th Field Artillery Brigade , Third Ypres
12 Oct 1917: Involvement AIF WW1, Gunner, SN 19634, 8th Field Artillery Brigade , 1st Passchendaele
17 Mar 1919: Discharged AIF WW1, Gunner, SN 19634, 8th Field Artillery Brigade

Awarded the Military Medal

On the 12th October, 1917, near YPRES, Gunner MacPHERSON was on duty at the O.P. as Telephonist. He was on duty for a period of 24 hours, and was continually subjected to very heavy hostile shell fire. Work was carried under the most trying and dangerous circumstances. After lines had been repaired many times, and communications eventually broke down, Gunner MacPHERSON acted as Runner between the O.P. and the Battery carrying messages through intense shell fire. He showed complete disregard for his own personal safety, displaying great resource and initiative throughout the entire Operations.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 95
Date: 27 June 1918

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Biography contributed by Steve Larkins

19634 Gunner Allan Lyle McPherson

Allan was the elder brother of Kenneth Roy McPherson. Their parents were William Christie McPherson and Ida May McPherson of “Oruba”, 34 Tait Terrace, North Croydon, South Australia. The boys were cousins of Frank Ball. Allan had another brother, William Geddes, and two sisters, Ida and Jean. Allan was born on 18 September 1896 at Gawler, South Australia.

Allan was an apprentice fitter and turner employed at the Union Engineering Company, Adelaide, before enlisting in the AIF on 4 August 1915 at Keswick, South Australia. He was 19 years and 10 months of age, 5 ft 8½ in, 131 lbs with a fresh complexion, blue eyes and brown hair. His religious denomination was given variously as Protestant, Congregational and Presbyterian.

Allan had served in the Senior Cadets and Australian Citizens’ Forces 28th Engineers. After enlisting, he trained in the artillery and signals at Mitcham, South Australia, and Maribyrnong, Victoria, before a posting to the 29th Battery of the 8th Field Artillery Brigade. He left Port Melbourne aboard the HMAT Medic (A7) on 20 May 1916 and disembarked at Plymouth, England, on 18 July 1916.

After several months training on Salisbury Plain, the 29th Battery proceeded to France on 30 December 1916. Allan saw active service on both sides of the French-Belgian border at or near Armentières, Bailleul, Ploegsteert Wood, Messines, Warneton, Zonnebeke, Ypres, Steenwerck and Passchendaele during the Third Ypres campaign.

Allan was subsequently awarded the Military Medal on 2 February 1918 for bravery in the field in or about October 1917. The citation was signed by Brigadier General Grimwade, Commanding officer of the 3rd Australian Divisional Artillery (see attached story).

Following five days special leave in Paris from 3 November 1917, Allan was admitted to the 9th Field Ambulance on 4 December 1917. He spent 47 days in hospital at Boulogne and at the 39th General Hospital at Le Havre. On 1 March 1918, Allan transferred to the Australian General Base Depot (AGBD) at Le Havre and then Rouelles on account of ‘deformed toes’ that made it difficult for him to march or walk.

Allan left France on 3 December 1918 and sailed from Southampton aboard the Takada on Christmas Eve 1918, arriving back in Australia on 6 February 1919.

He was discharged on 17 March 1919 after three years and 226 days service, with two years and 263 days abroad.

Although Allan was awarded his Military Medal in February 1918, he was obliged on 24 April 1919 to write to the Base Records Office to enquire as to the Medal’s whereabouts because he had not actually received it. Base Records replied that the Medal had been forwarded to Keswick Barracks and would be presented in due course.

Allan married Olive Meldrum on 1 October 1921 and they set up house at Paget Street, Croydon. Allan died in on 24 October 1922 in Adelaide Hospital after his skull was severely fractured when he was thrown from his cycle after being hit by a car near the then Lady Daly Hotel on Port Road, Hindmarsh. He was about 26 years of age.

 

 

Compiled and submitted by Rob Ball

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