John Overall

Military Person

1913 – 2001


Who was John Overall?

Sir John Wallace Overall CBE, MC & Bar was an Australian World War II veteran and architect. He had humble beginnings and grew up with his sisters in a Masonic home.

Overall served as an officer in the Australian Imperial Force during the Second World War, where he was awarded the Military Cross for "great courage, devotion and initiative" in 1941 for his service during the early Western Desert Campaign in North Africa. Overall was consequently awarded a Bar to the decoration for his "outstanding leadership and disregard for danger" on 1 September 1942 during the First Battle of El Alamein. After serving with the 9th Divisional Engineers, in September 1943 he took over command of Australia's first parachute infantry battalion, the 1st Parachute Battalion and was in command of that unit when they deployed to Singapore at the end of the war.

When he returned to Australia following the war, he worked as an architect and in 1952 was made the Chief Government Architect in the Commonwealth Department of Works. In 1957 he was appointed Commissioner of the newly established National Capital Development Commission.

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Jul 15, 1913

on July 23, 2013


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