Alexander Hansen

According to the Australian Government Department of Veterans' Affairs, he was born on the 25 June 1914 at Northcote, Victoria, and enlisted 26 June 1940, and was discharged on 26 October 1945.


Main Street Tel Aviv. 13 Mar 1941 Main Street Tel Aviv. 13 Mar 1941.

Cairo September 1941 Cairo September 1941.

Alexander Theodore Hansen – VX31582

Alex or Alec was born at Northcote on 25th June 1914 and he lived at East Preston, with then-wife, Vina, at the time of his enlistment at age 26 at Royal Park on 26th June 1940.

He was first transferred to the 4th AIF Depot in Geelong on 3rd July 1940 & then to the 2nd 4th Field Training Regiment on 18th September 1940 & finally CRD Puckapunyal on 11th November 1940 where he was marched into the 2nd 8th Australian Field Regiment. Five days later, on 16th November 1940, he embarked in Melbourne aboard HMT “Strathmore” bound for the Middle East & arriving there on 17th December 1940.

Alec was detached to the 3rd Anti-Tank Regiment on 14th June 1941 & returned to the 2nd 8th on 22nd August of that year. He was appointed Lance Bombardier on 25th October 1941. He was graded Group 3 Driver Mechanic on January 1st 1942.

On 16th June 1942 he was evacuated to the 2nd 3rd Australian CCS with Sandfly Fever, returning to the Unit on the 19th.

Due to the bad truck accident on 8th April 1942, a young Lebanese lad was killed. Alec was charged with the offence: “Neglect to prejudice of good order & military discipline”. He was to be Court Martialled but eventually was severely reprimanded & under stoppages of pay until made good the sum of One Pound Ten Shillings.

On 27th August 1942, Alec was relinquished Group 3 Driver Mechanic & the next day promoted to Acting Bombardier, that rank being later confirmed on 14th December, after El Alamein.

He attended # 12 Gas School from 15th December to 31st December 1942 & the following month, on 31st January 1944, he boarded “L 4” – Nieuw Amsterdam, along with the Regiment & bound for home! They finally arrived in Melbourne on 25th February 1943.

Alec joined the rest of the Regiment in Far North Queensland, on the Atherton Tableland, where they received training in jungle warfare & marine landing craft before being sent to British North Borneo to fight the Japanese.

He was transferred out on 22nd August 1945, before the Surrender, for onwards movement for discharge & finally left from Labuan Island on 20th September of that year, aboard the Liberty Ship SS “A.B. Hammond” bound firstly for Morotai Island.

(SS “A.B. Hammond” was named after an Oregon lumberjack, later an entrepreneur. She was launched on 21st January 1944, one of a number built quickly by USA & dubbed “Liberty Ships”. She was sold privately in 1947 & eventually scrapped in 1963.)

Alec left Morotai Island on 8th October 1945 aboard “Westralia” bound for the mainland & home, arriving in Brisbane on 16th October. He was finally discharged from the Army at Royal Park, in Melbourne, on 26th October 1945.

Return to ”civvy life” was difficult at first, especially as wife, Vina, had left - leaving their daughter, Anita, in the care of her grandparents & Aunty Irma. Alec & Vina were divorced in 1946.

Some time later, Alec met a widow, Amelia (Millie) Browne at the dances at the Prahran Town Hall & they were married at Trinity College Chapel in 1949. Millie had two daughters from her first marriage, Gwen & Sylvia Browne, so together with Anita, the family moved to the house that Alec built for them in Elizabeth Street, East Coburg. Your’s truly – Helene Lesley Hansen, arrived later in 1951.

Alec worked for the Melbourne Board of Works for some time, later sub-contracting as a Carpenter & Builder for various construction projects. He later worked on house building & extensions & repair work in the community & for family.

In 1976, Alec commenced work on two projects. A new home at Woodend for himself & Millie to finally retire to & a house for me at Mt. Macedon. Sadly, mine was destroyed in the Ash Wednesday Bushfires in 1983. There was to be no more building.

(This account of Alec Hansen was provided by the Secretary Helene Riedl in June 2013.)

DIARY of Alexander Theodore hansen

This diary covers the period November 1940 through October 1945.

You can download this document, available in Microsoft Word format by clicking this link The War Diary of Alexander Theodore Hansen.