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SLOANE, Cedric Hay (1915-1992)

SLOANE, Cedric Hay (1915-1992)

Cedric Sloane, winter Olympic cross-country skier attended the College as a boarder from 1928 to 1934, and was a member of the Athletics Team in 1934. In 1934, he also rowed in the 2nd VIII played football in the 2nd XVIII and was a corporal of the Cadet Corps. He gained House Colours in football, shooting, swimming and tennis and was notable as the Boys Open Doubles Champion that year.
Cedric Sloane (Cadet 1934)

Cedric Sloane (Cadet 1934)

Born at Armadale, Melbourne, he was the son of John Alexander Sloane and Madeline nee Hay. His entry address was Wyambeh near Mulwala, New South Wales. James Affleck records that 'he was educated as a boarder at the College from 1928 to 1934, then went to Ormond College, The University of Melbourne, before enlisting in the RAAF on 22 May 1941.

He trained, initially in Australia, then in Canada, arriving there on 16 August 1941. His diary records his training through 1941, including a parade on 20 July 1942 celebrating the first anniversary of the RAF Ferry Corps. He was attached to this unit for some time in Canada, doing a flight to Dayton, Ohio in a Ventura, with a cargo of Lancaster parts.

He was finally posted to England as a Wireless Air Gunner, firstly to 7 OTU Limavady, Northern Ireland, where they flew Air-Sea operations to the Giant’s Causeway, Oban and Islay, then to 2 Squadron where he crewed on Wellingtons. Cedric was then posted on ferrying duties to India in a Wellington Mk VIII leaving on 17 May 1943, going by way of Gibraltar, Castel Benito, El Adem (near Tobruk), LG 224 (Cairo West) and Elmaya Camp. On one of his ferrying trips he became ill and was eventually admitted to Allahabad British Military Hospital with suspected malaria, later re-diagnosed with yellow jaundice. He was eventually returned to Cairo arriving there in December 1943. On return to England he flew one operation with 612 Squadron, from Chivenor in North Devon, and was then posted to Coastal Command in late April 1944, on 461 Squadron, flying Sunderlands from Pembroke Dock, South Wales on air-sea rescue, anti-submarine patrol, and low-level bombing. In October 1944, he was detached to Sullom Voe, Shetland Islands for a week, returning to Pembroke on 30 October. He was discharged from the RAAF on 19 December 1945'.

He competed as a cross country skier in the 1950s. With Bruce Haslingden he competed at the 1952 Winter OLYMPIC GAMES in Oslo, finishing 75th in the 18 km event. He also competed in the 50 km event, but did not finish. The winner of the 18 km won in a time of 1:01:34, whereas Bruce Haslingden took 1:29:58 and Cedric Sloane timed 1:32:39. This was only Australia's second Winter Olympic Games appearance since the first participation in 1936. Australia sent nine athletes and competed in alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, figure skating and speed skating. Nancy Hallam and Gweneth Molony were Australia's first women athletes at the Winter Olympics.

Allegedly, according to 'The Ice Dream' by entertainers Roy and HG, during the 1952 Olympics, Cedric Sloane skewered a seagull during a cross-country skiing event, putting a curse on the Australian team that could only be lifted when Australia finally won a gold medal (achieved by Steven Bradbury). Bruce Haslingden and Cedric Sloane were also alleged to be the last Australian Skiing Olympians to travel by ship. Cedric’s brothers, William Hay Sloane (1907-1988), Peter Gibson Sloane (1912-1986) and John Neil Sloane (1916-1989) also attended the College.

Sources: Affleck, James Geelong Collegians at the Second World War (citing World War II Diary of Cedric Sloane).
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