Biography

Birth date: 08 July 1894
Birth place: Australia: Victoria, Melbourne
Death date: 27 April 1915 to 30 April 1915
Death place: At sea (HMHS Seang Choon)
Final rank: Lieutenant
Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918
Unit: 7th Australian Infantry Battalion

Alan Dudley Henderson was born at Hawthorn, Victoria, on 8 July 1894. After attending Trinity Grammar School at Kew in Victoria, Henderson qualified as an accountant. Before the outbreak of the First World War he spent seven years with the senior cadets and two years with the Citizens' Forces. The 20-year-old enlisted with the Australian Imperial Force on 24 August 1914 and departed Melbourne with the 7th Infantry Battalion aboard HMAT Hororata on 19 October 1914.

In Egypt, Henderson was made a platoon commander in the newly formed A Company of the 14th Battalion. In early April 1915 the battalion was moved to Alexandria and then to the staging area on Lemnos Island in preparation for the landing on Gallipoli. Henderson wrote of the importance of the coming landing in a letter home: "It is going to be Australia's chance, and she makes a tradition out of this that she must always look back on."

The 7th Battalion took part in the landing on 25 April as the second wave of troops to storm ashore. It was on this day that Henderson sustained a serious gunshot wound to the chest whilst Australian forces were desperately trying to establish a foothold on the peninsula. He was evacuated to a hospital ship waiting offshore but, despite treatment, succumbed to his wounds sometime between 27 and 30 April 1915. Alan Henderson was buried at sea and is commemorated on the Lone Pine Memorial at Gallipoli in Turkey.

In a letter to Henderson's father, which was published in The Argus on 24 June 1915, Lieutenant Colonel Harold Edward "Pompey" Elliott wrote of Henderson's "coolness and intrepidity" on the day of the landing and how he intervened to prevent the revenge-killing of a wounded Turkish prisoner by his men. His brother Rupert was killed in action on Gallipoli on 8 May 1915. Another brother, Kenneth Henderson, also served during the First World War and returned to Australia in 1918.

Rolls and Awards

Roll of Honour

  • Rank: Lieutenant
  • Date of Death: 27 April 1915 to 30 April 1915
  • Unit: 7th Australian Infantry Battalion

First World War Embarkation Roll

  • Rank: 2nd Lieutenant
  • Date of embarkation: 19 October 1914
  • Place of embarkation: Melbourne

Photograph

H06686

PORTRAIT OF LIEUTENANT ALAN D. HENDERSON, "A" COMPANY, 7TH BATTALION (AIF), KILLED IN ACTION, 1915-04-25.

H06686

Private Record

Henderson, Alan Dudley (Lieutenant)

Collection relating to service of Lieutenant Alan Dudley Henderson, 7 Battalion AIF, Gallipoli. Collection consists of a short extract from a letter written on board ship, on the eve of the Gallipoli landing. Maker: Henderson, Alan Dudley

1DRL/0339 (With records)

McCrae, Geoffrey Gordon (Major, b.1890 - d.1916)

Collection relating to the service of Major Geoffrey Gordon McCrae, 7 Battalion and 60 Battalion, AIF, 1914-1916, Egypt, Gallipoli, Cyprus, France. Collection consists of a diary kept by Major McCrae from October 1914 to December 1915; letters written by McCrae to his family between September 1914... Maker: McCrae, Geoffrey Gordon

1DRL/0427 (With records)

Digitised Collection

Letters relating to Alan Dudley Henderson, 1915-1927

Letters relating to the First World War service of Lieutenant Alan Dudley Henderson, 7th Infantry Battalion. This extract is taken from a letter written by Henderson on the eve of the landing at Gallipoli, and describes the importance that this day would have for Australia and its tradition. He and...

RCDIG0000999

Timeline

Date of birth 1894-07-08
Date of embarkation 1914-10-19
Date of death 1915-04-27 - 1915-04-30