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FREEMAN, Allan Benjamin John (1893-1964)

FREEMAN, Allan Benjamin John MM (1893-1964)

Allan Freeman (Running 1908).

Allan Freeman (Running 1908).

Allan Freeman was born on 16 May 1893, the son of Thomas William Freeman and Mary Brown nee McKenzie.

He was enrolled as a day student at Geelong College in 1906. He is listed in Pegasus of October 1910 as leaving from Form VA. His address at entry was Virginia St, Geelong. At College, he became a member of the Athletics Team in 1908 and the 1st Football XVIII of 1910.

During World War I, he enlisted (No 3517) on 31 July 1915 in 22 Battalion (8th Reinforcement Group), embarked on HMAT A64 Demosthenes on 29 December 1915 for Egypt, where he transferred to the 58th Battalion, and ultimately France, where he was awarded the Military Medal.

Details of the award were gazetted on 17 June 1919, the citation read:

'For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty during attack by 58th Battalion on Peronne on 2 September 1918, when his company, in passing through Peronne, suffered casualties from a heavy barrage of H.E. and gas, Pte Freeman assisted several men forward to the position they were to reach, on the canal bank. Here further casualties occurred, and it was necessary to get these men across the canal before the stretcher bearers could carry them away to the R.A.P. A pontoon was obtained, but as it was too short to reach across the canal, Pte Freeman jumped into the water (up to his neck), and though under heavy fire, guided the pontoon to and from the banks until all the wounded had been passed across the canal. This man showed great bravery and consideration for his wounded comrades, and undoubtedly saved a number of lives.'

His older brother, Lieutenant Colonel Neil Mackenzie Freeman DSO also attended Geelong College and he wrote to a Geelong friend on 20 August 1918. This letter was published in the Geelong Advertiser and mentions his brother Alan;
'My brother Alan has been wounded a little distance from where I am stationed at present. I am pleased to say that he has fallen into good hands, as he met his aunt, Mrs R R McKenzie, immediately after landing in England.'

Promoted to Lieutenant before his return to Australia he embarked on 23 June 1919 on HMT Orita.

Allan Benjamin John Freeman died in 1964.

His brother, Neil Mackenzie Freeman (1890-1961), was also educated at Geelong College. His cousins, Gilbert Mackenzie and John Mackenzie, also attended Geelong College.

Sources: Pegasus October 1910 p9; Geelong Collegians at the Great War compiled by James Affleck. p. 191 (citing Pegasus; National Archives of Australia; Australian War Memorial).

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