Alan Parish was born on 24 August 1942, at Wynyard, Tasmania. He enlisted in the Royal Australian Navy, at Hobart, for nine years on 28 August 1963. His occupation at the time was listed as motor mechanic, equipping him well for a career as a naval air mechanic in the RAN Fleet Air Arm.

After completing his initial recruit training at HMAS Cerberus (FND), Alan was drafted to HMAS Albatross (RANAS Nowra) where he was selected for training as a Naval Air Mechanic in the Ordnance branch. Alan adapted well, serving with various squadrons at Nowra, including several postings on the carrier HMAS Melbourne. A short posting to HMAS Huon at Hobart is also part of his record.

Alan was promoted Acting Leading Air Mechanic Weapons in 1968 and confirmed LAM(W) on 26 February 1969. Because RAN Service Records were transferred to EDP in 1970 there is no readily available information about his time with the RAN beyond that date, but he still had several years to serve before his final discharge.

What is known is that when Alan took his discharge (DEE), he was only out of the navy for a very short time when he suffered a massive heart attack. The effect of the attack was so serious that medical opinion at the time was that he was unlikely to recover, and the expectation was that he might die any time soon.

 With such a grim prognosis and a future full of difficulties, out sheer of desperation Alan’s wife Roslyn called the Navy to ask what could be done for someone who was so recently discharged. The response was remarkable as was the result. The answer was that ‘being one of ours’ he was immediately admitted to the Naval Hospital at Balmoral where, over a lengthy period, he was nursed back to health. When he was finally discharged, he was able to resume a relatively quiet, healthy, active life again.

Both Roslyn and Alan were extremely grateful for the care and attention he received during this period, allowing him the chance to live a normal life again. Although mindful that he was on borrowed time, they were thankful for a remarkable recovery.

Alan Parish was proud of his service in the RAN. He is remembered as a quiet, unassuming person who was respectful of others, and well regarded by those who knew him. Alan’s funeral was held at Sylvania Anglican Church, Holt Street, Sylvania Heights, Sydney, 31 August 2018.