Last Australian vet to see active duty in WWI dies

The last Australian veteran to see active service in World War I has died at age 106, government officials in Canberra said Tuesday.

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October 18, 2005 03:04
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The last Australian veteran to see active service in World War I has died at age 106, government officials in Canberra said Tuesday. William Evan Allan enlisted in the Royal Australian Navy as a boy sailor at the outbreak of the war when he was just 14 and served as an able seaman on HMAS Encounter from 1915 until 1918. Allan, from the southern city of Melbourne, also was Australia's sole surviving veteran of both world wars. Born in the southeastern town of Bega in July 1899, Allan sailed in the Pacific and also in the Indian Ocean escorting troop ship convoys. He served in the Royal Australian Navy for 34 years, retiring in 1947 with the rank of lieutenant. The only surviving Australian World War I veteran is now wireless operator John Campbell Ross, 106, who enlisted in 1918 but never saw active service.

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