Stanley Alan Lawrence
- Born: 13 Feb 1922, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
- Marriage (1): Thelma Blanche Hutcheson on 23 Jun 1945 in Christ Church, Brunswick, Victoria, Australia
- Died: 31 Dec 1998, Heidelberg, Victoria, Australia at age 76
- Buried: 6 Jan 1999, Fawkner Cemetery, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Cause of his death was Cancer of the Pancreas.
Although christened as Stanley Alan, he was commonly known as Alan.
Alan enlisted in the Australian Military Forces in Brunswick, Victoria on the 10th September 1941. He was 19 1/2 years old, single and an Electric Welder by trade. He had attained a Junior Technical Certificate at School and had been an Electric Welder for 1 year. He listed his religion as Church of Christ and his next of kin as his mother, Laura Lawrence of 2 Aintree St, East Brunswick.
His medical assessment records that he had flat feet and initially he was deemed "Fit for Class II A". This meant that he could only be assigned to areas where his "disability" would not be an issue, usually excluding active duty areas. This probably explains why he finally commenced his Service with the Citizens Military Forces on the 10th March 1942. The CMF was distinct from the Australian Infantry Forces (AIF) and was largely involved in Homeland Security tasks onshore in Australia and in a defined area of the South-West Pacific. His CMF Service Number was V310954
Initially assigned to the 3rd Military District, 4th Ordnance Store Company in Caulfield, he also spent some time in Bendigo with the Australian Army Service Corps Training Depot before being transferred at the end of April 1942 to the 3rd Division HQ at Bonegilla, near Albury Wodonga. Here, he was assigned to the 54th Division Ordnance Workshops.
Soon after this Alan was re-assigned to the 1st Military District based in Enoggera, Queensland and boarded a train to make his way there on the 24th May 1942. In Queensland he served initially in the 130th General Transport Company, then the 129th General Transport Company. He turned 21 whilst he was there. His war diary reads "Turned 21 today. Nothing much happened". Four days later, on the 25th February 1943 he was assigned to the 5th Australian Army Troops, Royal Australian Engineers.
Around this time it became possible for CMF Militia Battalions to join the AIF. Alan officially transferred to the AIF on the 16th April 1943 in Townsville. By this time his mother had remarried and she was again listed as his next of kin but as Laura Ada Murtagh. She was still living at 2 Aintree St, East Brunswick. He was given a new Service Number VX138030.
Within 10 days he was on his way to New Guinea arriving there on the 28th April. On Christmas Eve 1943 he was promoted to Acting Corporal, reverting back the rank of Sapper on the 1st April 1944. On the 27th July 1944 he boarded the Canberra at Milne Bay in New Guinea arriving back in Townsville on the 29th July.
Within a couple of months he was back on his way to New Guinea aboard the Katoomba, disembarking in Lae on the 29th September before boarding another boat to take him to Bougainville where he disembarked on the 5th November 1944. This was a critical time in the Allied Pacific campaign. The Americans had just handed operations on Bougainville over to Australian forces who began their own operations to completely destroy the remaining 40,000 Japanese forces still defending the island. Combat operations continued on Bougainville until the Japanese forces surrendered on the 21st August 1945, just before the end of the War. Alan served there until the 19th May when he boarded a ship at Torokina on the west coast bound for Sydney. He arrived on the 28th May 1945.
Less than a month later he was married to Thelma Hutcheson, his pre-war sweetheart. It was a Church of England ceremony in Christ Church, Brunswick conducted on the 23rd June 1945. His bride was a 21 year old Machinist who lived at 9 Sedgeman St, Brunswick.
With the Pacific War very much in the Allies favour now and the end of the War just a few months away things were probably fairly relaxed for the troops who had been brought home at about this time. Alan found that he had nothing to do and decided to take some unapproved Leave (ie he went AWL)! On the 10th August 1945 he headed back to Melbourne to spend some time with his new wife. 19 days later he handed himself in much to the annoyance of the officers who had to process the paperwork and send him back to his unit in Sydney. After a night in the Guardhouse was sent back to Sydney on the 30th August where he rejoined the 1st Royal Australian Engineers Training Battalion. He was promptly fined 10/- and forfeited 2 days pay for his unauthorised leave in Melbourne.
On the 22nd September Stanley was sent back to Melbourne and he was discharged from the Army on the 3rd October 1945.
After their marriage Alan & Thelma lived at 52 Frederick St Brunswick until the mid 1950's when they moved to a housing commission flat at 7/336 Bell St West Heidelberg, Victoria. Thelma worked as a cleaner in the athletes residences during the 1956 Olympic Games, as the official Olympic Village was only a few blocks away, on the north side of Southern Rd.
Alan worked as a foreman for a refrigeration company called Gordon Brothers, located at 111 Union St, East Brunswick. They made industrial refrigeration units for supermarkets and the like.
Around 1961, Alan & Thelma and their sons Alan and Graham moved to 12 Gona St West Heidelberg. Although another housing commission house, Alan & Thelma immediately set about purchasing the place as their own, their rent payments being used to 'pay off' the house.
Alan left Gordon Bros in the late 1970's and took up a position as factory manager for Muller Industries located in Fawkner. Muller's were also in the industrial refrigeration business. When the famous Torvell & Dean first toured Australia, after their Olympic Games success, it was Muller's under Alan's supervision that won the contract to create and maintain the massive 'ice rink' for them to perform on.
Alan retired in the late 1980's, but still worked part time for Muller's until around mid 1990's.
Noted events in his life were:
• He resided at the time of his father's death on 10 Jul 1974 in 12 Gona St, West Heidelberg, Victoria, Australia.
Stanley married Thelma Blanche Hutcheson, daughter of Percy Frank Hutcheson and Alice May Roderick, on 23 Jun 1945 in Christ Church, Brunswick, Victoria, Australia. (Thelma Blanche Hutcheson was born on 9 Mar 1924 in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, died on 6 Oct 2005 in Austin Hospital, Heidelberg, , Victoria, Australia and was buried on 13 Oct 2005 in Fawkner Cemetery, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.). The cause of her death was Cancer.