4 DECEMBER 1920 – 1 JUNE 2023
Alan Buxton was born in Parramatta on the 4th December 1920. His parents were John and Mildred Buxton (nee Webb). Alan was immensely proud to say that his great-great-grandfather, Richard Webb, after being sentenced to death in England when he was 16, was transported as a convict to NSW.
Alan’s father served in World War I, and Alan followed in his footsteps by serving in World War II. Alan joined the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) in June 1940, and served in the Middle East in the Syrian campaign. He transferred to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) in November 1942. After several highly impressive campaigns, Alan rose to the rank of Flying Officer in the RAAF.
He served in England on Bomber Command 617 Squadron (the famous “Dambusters”) and at the end of the European war, transferred to the Tiger Air Forces 467 Squadron, formed to go to Okinawa to assist with the attack on Japan. Fortunately this did not eventuate, and they returned to Australia. Alan was discharged on the 20th February 1946.
Alan says “The best thing about the service was when I was posted on the famous 617 Squadron which is recognised as the most elite squadron. This consisted of flying in Lancasters and travelling to the Dutch Coast and Bergen in Norway to drop the Tallboy (12000ls) and the Grand Slam (22000lbs) bombs on special targets such as E-boat pens, railway yards, bridges, viaducts, canals, oil fields, and V2 rocket sites”.
A memory forever etched in Alan’s mind was on a night in September 1944, when his final training on a four-engine Stirling Bomber took place. As Alan explained “We had to bail out because we lost all engines due to fire. Fortunately, we made the coast at Point Clear. It was a very traumatic experience, looking through the open hatch at the pitch blackness and not knowing what was below.”
Alan met his future wife, Marie, at a tennis club in 1938, but did not take her out until the 27th July 1939, when he took her to the pictures at the Palatial Cinema at Burwood seeing, “If I Were King” starring Ronald Colman, and “Secret Service of the Air”.
After returning home from the Middle East in early May 1942, Alan proposed to Marie on the 27th May 1942, and they married on the 16th January 1943. Alan left for training in Canada on the 4th July 1943. On the 3rd November, he received news that he had become a father to his firstborn son John. Peter was born in February 1948, Marilyn was born in August 1949, and their youngest, Janice was born in August 1952. Sadly, Peter passed away in 2011, succumbing to kidney cancer. Peter had served in Vietnam, and had been exposed to chemicals whilst there.
Alan and Marie’s first home was at North Narrabeen, and their second home was in Eastwood, where they lived for 34 years before coming to Rowland village on the 31st October 1989. Alan and Marie had a wonderful life enjoying many trips over their lifetime, including a seven-month, worldwide trip in April 1981, 4 months after retiring. They were always active, playing tennis and golf well into their ‘80s, while Alan played competitive cricket at Eastwood in his younger years.
For the last 33 years, Alan has called Rowland Village home, and for the last four years he has used the RSL LifeCare Home Care service to help him continue to live his best life. The RSL LifeCare Home Care service has been a valued part of Alan’s later life. It provided Alan with care and companionship and was instrumental in supporting Alan’s ongoing independence. Alan described Home Care as a “wonderful service” and his Home Care ladies as “lovely people.” They assisted Alan with cleaning his house, shopping and hanging his clothes on the line.
While domestic support is vital, the Home Care service meant much more to Alan. Losing his wife, Marie, in August 2017 left Alan without a much-loved and full-time companion. The regular check-ins from the Home Care team fostered a deep sense of care and friendship. Each morning and afternoon, the Home Care team called on Alan to assist with his medication and make sure he was safe and well. Their visits and calls were highlights for Alan, with him stating that “I do greatly enjoy having a little chat with them as they come in and check on me”.
For Alan, living a great life meant contributing to the community. Alan volunteered for many great causes over the years. Since moving to Rowland Village, he gave his time generously helping to make it a wonderful place to live. He took on the role of Treasurer of the Residents Committee, and was active in the Gardening Club, Finance Committee, and Prayer Fellowship Group. Alan also managed the Remembrance Book and was a cherished member and treasurer for many years of the local RSL sub-branch. The energy and effort that Alan put into Rowland Village helped to make it a vibrant and supportive community for all.
Alan and Marie proudly have 10 grandchildren, 24 great-grandchildren and 6 great-great-grandchildren.
An amazing Australian of whom we can all be very proud.