Gunner Alan William Glover

Service number VX57043
Birth Date 1911-04-25
Birth Place Australia: Victoria
Death Date 1942-06-06
Death Place Singapore
Final Rank Gunner
Service Australian Army
Unit 2/4th Anti-Tank Regiment
Conflict/Operation Second World War, 1939-1945
Gazettes Published in Commonwealth Gazette in 2012-03-23

Violet ('Vi') Lloyd and Alan William Glover met in Beaufort, Victoria in the mid 1930s before work brought both of them to Melbourne in 1938 with Alan contracting as a truck driver. Vi later found work in late 1940 with the Maribyrnong Munitions factory. Despite working in what was regarded as a “reserved industry”, the thirty year old Alan nonetheless enlisted on 2 June 1941 and the couple decided to marry immediately. After a simple ceremony at St Johns Presbyterian Church, Mt Alexander Road, Essendon on 7 June 1941, they enjoyed a ten day honeymoon before Alan left for basic training at Puckapunyal, where he was posted to the 4th Anti-Tank Regiment. They met one last time on 30 July 1941, as his ship embarked for Malaya and service with the 8th Division. Joining his new unit on 27 September, VX57043 Gunner Glover was assigned to 13 Battery which spent the next few months training in the Malayan jungle. Fellow anti-tanker Ken Dumbrell recalled that pre-invasion Malaya ‘was a lot of fun, with hardly a thought about war’; Vi received several letters a week from Alan. The Japanese invasion of Malaya on 6 December saw Alan’s Regiment rushed to cover the retreating infantry on the east coast. In no time, the Battery was moved north to provide anti-tank support for the 2/26th Battalion, and moved up the Muar Road to Yong Peng to hold the bridge while the infantry withdrew. It is unclear whether Alan Glover was captured at Muar, or later in the retreat back to Singapore; ultimately all members of the 4th Anti-Tank Regiment were captured and imprisoned in Changi Gaol. In March 1942, Vi’s letters to Alan started being returned. The fate of Alan and his fellow 13 Battery mates are recorded by Brigadier Arthur Varley in his diary. Varley was made in charge of the 3,000 strong “A” Force, which was removed from Changi in May 1942 to repair airfields in southern Burma, at Tavoy. They sailed from Singapore on 15 May. Ken Dumbrell recalls ‘We went to work levelling the airstrip at Tavoy. … Three days later Sergeant Major Mat Quittendon of 13th Battery told me that he and a group of seven other anti-tankers were going to shoot through and “What about being in it?” I told Mat I wouldn’t go and reminded him that Burma was teeming with hostile natives who would be well rewarded by the Japs for handing over information about any of us they saw trying to escape. However Mat and the boys saw it differently. …For them, it was now or never.” The next day, 2 June, Brigadier Varley noted “8 men reported missing from No 2 Bn.” and listed their names, including Glover’s; “Special muster parade ordered by Japanese.” Four days later he was “informed by Lt Shiina that escapees had been captured… I was forced to stand by and watch these men shot by a guard of 16 – 2 guards to each man and 2 shots were fired by each. Death was instantaneous in all cases. Just before death the spirit of the 8 Australians was wonderful. They all spoke cheerio and good luck messages to one another and never showed any sign of fear. A truly courageous end. Execution took place about 1840 hrs.” Reports of the execution of the eight men didn’t filter back to Australia until December 1944, when the news was passed onto Violet by survivors of the sinking of a Japanese transport. Alan Glover is buried at the Thanbyuzayat War Cemetary in Burma.



Date of birth 25 April 1911
Date of death 06 June 1942