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Major Eric Samuel Everett

Compiled by: Harvey Everett

Original: July 1994 Updated: 09 April 2024

SPECIAL FEATURE

Eric Samuel Everett was born on May 5, 1895, at North Adelaide, South Australia, the youngest child of Edward Gamble Everett and Ann Maria Elizabeth Everett (nee Sheriff). In 1897, when two years of age, he moved with his parents and older siblings, Henrietta, and George, to Albany, Western Australia.

 

He attended school in Albany, and in 1906 was presented with a medallion for punctual attendance at school every day during the year. From an early age he was a keen swimmer, and frequented the Albany Swimming Baths, which were situated alongside the Town Jetty.

 

He was awarded a Bronze Medallion from the Royal Life Saving Society and in 1913 he won a medallion for the ‘’Swim through Albany’’ event.

 

His parents encouraged his keen interest in music. In 1908, at the age of 13 he won the A. N. A. Open Violin Solo competition and was presented with a gold jewel. He played ‘’Stephanie Gavotte’’ and the judge wrote: ‘’Very good performance... points 77’’.

 

Nine years later he was pictured dressed in Pierrot costume in a Concert Party during a lull in the battlefield of the Somme in 1917. He was a foundation member of the South Perth Philharmonic Society, which met under the baton of Eric Bray in the Mends Street Hall in the late 1940s.

After service in the Junior and Senior Cadets, he enlisted in the Citizens Military Forces (88th W.A. Infantry) and was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant in April 1913. He attended Schools of Instruction at Guildford (1913), Osborne (1913) and Duntroon (1915).

On September 1st 1915, he volunteered for the Australian Imperial Force and was accepted, joining the 11th Re-enforcements, 28th Battalion with the rank of 2nd Lieutenant.

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He embarked on the troopship ‘’Shropshire’’ on March 31, 1916. After a brief period in Egypt, he landed in France on May 5, 1916. At first he was attached to the 7th Australian Machine Gun Company, but was transferred to the 6th Australian Machine Gun Company. He was promoted to Lieutenant in the field on August 25, 1916. After attending a training school in England, he returned to France as a foundation member of the new 22nd Australian Machine Gun Company, on March 26, 1917.

 

He was awarded the Military Cross, the citation for which reads as follows “Lieutenant Eric Samuel Everett, 22nd Australian Machine Gun Company. The work of this officer both and out of the line has always reached a high standard of excellence. He did splendid work in several actions on the Somme, and particularly during a prolonged tour of duty in the line immediately in front of Bullecourt between the 19th and 20th April, 1917. His skilful handling of his section in a hot corner together with his cheerful courage and devotion to duty was throughout invaluable.’’

 

He compiled a pictorial record of some of his experiences during the Great War. His mother was presented with ’Mother’s’ Badge No 17648 by the Department of Defence, she being the nearest female relative of a soldier serving overseas. After attending the Victory Parade in London, he returned to Australia in the troopship ‘’China’’, disembarking at Fremantle June 1, 1919. His ‘’Returned from Active Service Badge’’ was No 147295.

 

After landing, he returned to Albany where he worked in his father’s grocery shop before going to Perth where he found employment with the Winterbottom Motor Company. By night he studied Accountancy through the Hemingway Robertson Institute and eventually joined the staff of Sydney Atkinson Motors, where he rose to the position of Assistant Manager during the late 1930’s.

 

On October 24, 1924, he married Eveline May Aspinall at Wesley Church, Perth, and Reverend Grove officiating. The couple had two sons, Harvey Russell Everett born November 1, 1927, and Trevor George Everett born October 24, 1931.

 

During the period 1933 -1934 the Everett family moved to Albany, living in Grey Street, while Eric closed down Everett Limited – after his father’s death – before returning to Perth to resume work for Sydney Atkinson’s.

 

In 1935, he represented the Western Australian Service Station Association at a national motor vehicle conference in Melbourne, and was elected Vice-president of the inaugural Retail Motor Dealer’s Federation of Australia.

 

In the late 1930’s and early 1940’s, he was Patron of the CHEVS Baseball Club, one of the earliest clubs in Western Australia Baseball League. In those days, he often attended baseball matches, which were played on the Esplanade at the foot of William Street. The CHEVS later became the Perth Baseball Club after the World War.

 

During 1939 – 1940, he was the Manager of FROSCO Limited, a subsidiary in Murray Street of Sydney Atkinson Motors, dealing with electrical goods, particularly Frigidaire.

 

In 1939, after living at 78 Guildford Road, Maylands for some nine years, the family moved to South Perth to settle into their new home designed by Ossie Chisholm at 156 Suburban Road (later re-named Mill Point Road in 1947).

 

With the outbreak of World War II, he re-enlisted as a temporary Captain on August 26, 1940 and volunteered for overseas service.  However he was attached to the Swan Barracks where he served as the Assistant Director of Supplies and Transport, being promoted to Major on January 19, 1942. He was offered promotion to Lieutenant Colonel if he would accept appointment as a Camp Commandant, but he declined.

 

After the War, he returned to Sydney Atkinson Motors to find the firm restructured and not to his liking, so he resigned and sought to establish himself in his own business. To this end, he spent some months as an insurance agent with the Colonial Mutual Life, while at the same time he poured through magazines seeking overseas and interstate manufacturers to represent as their agents in Western Australia.

 

Opportunity to go it alone arose in 1947 with the death of his father in law, Ernest Edgar Aspinall, whose agency business he took over in the basement of Wellington Buildings, William Street Perth. He called his business Everett Agency Service and made a comfortable living representing such firms as Repo Car Polish, Scribal Pens, Hoelle electrical parts, Kornblums soft furnishings, to name a few. Under different ownership, this business still operates under the name Everett International Pty Ltd located in Leederville. Eric supplemented his income by an occasional venture into Real Estate.

 

He maintained an active interest in the R. S. L. having been President of the Press Sub-Branch for a period, and the Secretary of the ex-Machine Gunners’ Association for many years. He rarely missed a Dawn Service, and usually led the ex-Machine Gunners’ Association Unit during the Anzac Day Parades. The unit flag was yellow crossed machine guns on a black background.

 

Eric died at his home on August 15, 1954, after a sudden heart attack, and was buried in the Methodist Section 1C of Karrakatta Cemetery. He was a man of kindly disposition, blessed with a keen sense of humour and infinite patience, always ready to assist those in need or in unfortunate circumstances. He was prominent in philanthropic activities.

 

He attended church regularly. His business commitments allowed him the occasional game of golf at the Dunreath Golf Club, and the occasional swim. Gardening was a favourite pastime.

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Major Everett's family donated his medals and military items to the Albany Historical Society which is a honoured privilege to hold these items in trust for the people of Albany. A display dedicated to Major Eric Everett's life and Military service is able to be viewed at the Albany Convict Gaol.

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Helen Everett, Major Eric Everett’s granddaughter wearing his medals Centennial of ANZAC March in Albany 2014. 

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