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Alexander, John David

Old Dunstonian’ s Death in India The death occurred on Active Service in India on July 16, of Major John (Ian) Alexander, I.A.O.C., aged 26, elder son of Mr. and Mrs. Alexander, of 15, Bourneville-road, Catford.

Educated at Cambridge High School and then at St. Dunstan’ s College, Catford, where he matriculated in 1933, he entered Woolwich Arsenal as an engineering apprentice. He continued his studies at Woolwich Polytechnic and eventually obtained a scholarship which enabled him to proceed to King’ s College, University of London, where he graduated, obtaining the B.Sc. Degree in Engineering in 1938.

During his residence he took part in many of the College activities and was particularly keen on rowing, gaining his place in the College Crew.

Always a keen soldier from the days when he was a member of St. Dunstan’ s College O.T.C., he subsequently joined the Royal Engineers, Searchlight Section (Territorial) in which he spent some three years, being appointed Second Lieutenant, which rank he held until he was appointed to the regular Indian Army.

He left for India in September, 1938, and joined his unit at Rawalpindi, being posted to the R.I.A.S.C. (M.T.) which subsequently became the I.A.O.C. By the middle of 1940 he had been promoted Lieutenant then Captain, and went to Egypt from Poona with his unit towards the latter part of the year.

At this time the Corps was expanding rapidly, and he was recalled to India in December, 1940, to form and train a new Ordnance Workshop Company, attaining then the rank of Major. The Corps has now become the Indian E.M.E.

At the time of his death he was awaiting instructions to attend Staff College, a further step in his career which has ended so abruptly. In all his undertakings he displayed unbounded energy and enthusiasm, and was described as a very determined young man who knew what he wanted.

Among other things, he took an interest in aviation and had obtained his pilot’s certificate.

His was a very likeable nature, and his passing is a severe blow to his parents and family, and to his fiancée, Miss Paddy Allen, now serving with a Red Cross detachment attached to the military in this country, a very dear friend of his student days to whom he recently became engaged.

Lewisham Borough News, 4 August, 1943


First name(s)John David
Date of birth11 November 1916
Family details

Son of Ronald & Jessie B Alexander of Seaford, Sussex

Previous educationCambridge High School; St. Dunstan’ s College, Catford; Woolwich Polytechnic
CollegeKing's College London and/or King's College London Hospital
Dates at college1936-1938
Dept / courseFaculty of Engineering


Military unitRAOC, 33 Ordnance Workshop Coy: 
Service number2344407
War / conflictWorld War Two (1939-1945)
Date of death16/07/1943
Age at death26
Rank at deathMajor
Cause of deathDied on active service
Burial placeImphal War Cemetery
Commemoration(s)King’ s College Chapel

Indian nationality


King’ s College London Archives, Commonwealth War Graves Commission; Lewisham Borough News

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