Eulogies for deceased apprentices and staff may be submitted for posting on the Web site. Submissions should be cleared by the next of kin before being sent to email@example.com.
All submissions will be subject to approval by the Committee.
WO1 Donald Clarence Dalton
LTCOL Frederick William Millar (Retd)
Murray Wayne Ellery
Robert (Shack) House
It is with much sadness that we advise of the passing of our AAAA Inc Inaugural Trustee, WO1 Donald Clarence Dalton, RA Inf (R), at the Peninsula Private Hospital, Frankston on 30 August 2006.
Don was recently invited to accept the appointment of Trustee of the Association following his many years of contact with Army Apprentices both at Balcombe and later through general service in the ARA. I am informed that he did so with grateful humility and moistening of the eyes, but unfortunately his time remaining with us wasn’t long.
I, along with many other Apprentices, attended his “march out parade” at St Peters Anglican church, Mornington. Charles Calcraft (14 VM) and myself were honoured to be Pallbearers, along with two of his 1 RAR mates. It was a well attended service with many people travelling from all states of the nation. Without doubt his many years of distinguished service revolved mainly around two units, 1 RAR and AAS and both units were represented in strength.
Don had three tours with 1 RAR commencing with Korea and finishing with Malaysia, three tours of active service, Korea, AATTV and 1 RAR Vietnam as the RSM.
His service at AAS was as a WO2 Instr, 1957 to 1962, and as WO1 RSM from 1970 to 1973.
He had a difficult battle in his final years with his illness causing much pain and suffering but he took it in his stride and met the challenge head on, always concerned for his family first, that was the nature of the man and the soldier.
Don is survived by his wonderful and loving family, wife Helen and children Michael and Tracey, and seven grandchildren. We extend our sincere condolences to them at this sad time.
We mourn the loss of a mate and a fine soldier
He will rest in peace
His duty done
Frank Maloney (13th)
It is with great sadness that we advise that Jack Westernhagen, 3rd Intake Vehicle Mechanic, passed away on 18th December 2013. Jack was the founder of the first formation of the Army Apprentices Association on 8 June 1970 and was founding Vice President of the current version of the Association in 2006.
For his service to Apprentices, Jack was elevated to Life Membership of the AAAA in 2011. He was also a long-time member of the RAEME Association, Victoria, becoming a Life Member of that Association in 2003.
Our sincere condolences to Jack’s wife Mary and their family. Jack was the proud father of 6 children, grandfather of 15 grandchildren and great-grandfather of 5 great-grandchildren.
A Funeral Mass was held in St Mary Magdalene’s Church, Baradine Street, Chadstone, on Monday 23rd December 2013, followed by a Private Cremation.
The family has advised that donations to the Heart Foundation in Jack’s memory would be appreciated.
Jeff Heron (21st)
Prior to WWII, except for light repairs to military vehicles and some signals equipment, repairs were carried out by Ordnance Corps Wksps. In 1939, Army decided to expand these wksps and to adopt the British Army “Boy Tradesmen” scheme. Tasmania was selected for a trial. Assessment of applicants comprised practical engineering and general knowledge tests. Fred Millar was selected and enlisted as an “Army Apprentice”, to Anglesea Barracks wksp, Hobart, on 10th Jul 1939, aged 16.
From 1939-45, having transferred to the AIF and then the PMF, Fred had postings to 10 MT Wksp; 9 Watercraft Wksp, Milne Bay and Tas Comd Wksp. In 1950, he attended courses in UK, was posted to 7 Armd Div, Germany and then partook in atomic tests on Monte Bello Islands.
In 1953 Fred was commissioned as a LT and posted in succession to RTC Ingleburn, Pl Comd 18 National Svc Bn, 2IC Tas Comd Wksp, OC Area Wksp, Seymour, 101 Inf Wksp, BEME 28 Bde British Gurkha Div, followed in 1960-62 as OC Eng Wing RTC, OC A Coy/Veh Wing AAS, DADEME Central Comd, and OC Central Comd Wksp. He invented the Millar Bridge for vehicles to cross obstacles using steel wire ropes – adopted by the Australian and British Armies and the Geological Svy Dept in Guadalcanal to replace bridges destroyed in WWII.
In 1969, he retired as a LTCOL and remained in the CMF for two years. In civilian life, Fred was a stock broker, a merchant banker, the MD of two companies, Svc mngr for Mazda Aust in Vic/Tas, owner/manager of a take-away food business, a management consultant, and patented water purification technologies.
Fred was indeed a unique character and a strong and loyal supporter of the Association. He was Trustee for five years. Sadly, Fred passed away on 26th Feb 2014 and his funeral service was held in Frankston on 3rd Mar 2014.
Hailing from Merredin in the Western Australian wheat belt, Murray was the eldest son of Ernie and Joan Ellery who were very hard-working farmers.
Born on the 18th March 1954, Murray enlisted as a 25th Intake Army Apprentice Fitter and Turner on the 21st January 1970. Nicknamed “Farmer”, Murray was a very smart lad and a good sportsman. He excelled at Australian Rules Football and the 100 metre hurdles.
Murray had a never give up attitude, believed to have been inherited from his parents and enhanced by his military training.
Murray left the Army on the 21st January 1979 and returned to WA, where he built a business and became the proprietor of Major Drill, a company he established in about 1988, focusing on drilling for nickel and gold in the Kalgoorlie/Boulder area.
By 1996, and confronted with the soft crust of dried up lake beds, Murray had conceived the use of a hovercraft, in which the drilling rig would be mounted. This would eliminate the need for huge loads of dirt to be transferred from nearby open cut mines, the traditional method of enabling drilling rigs to access the lakes. With support from Western Mining Corporation, Canterbury Light Hovercraft New Zealand, KL Drilling Services and other local companies, a KL150 rig was successfully mounted onto a 12m x 10m hovercraft platform, propelled and manoeuvred by four large wheels.
Sadly, Murray passed away on the 6th January 2003, after fighting cancer for several years. He never complained to anyone and just kept on punching.
Story by No 313895, Geoff Challenger, 25th Intake Apprentice Fitter and Turner