MS 4911
Papers of George Urquhart 'Scotty' Allan (1900- )

Scope and Content Note

  • Papers
  • 1905-1993
  • 56 cm. (4 boxes)
  • Available for reference

Correspondence, personal documents, notebook, diary, newspaper cuttings, invitations and other papers relating to Allan's career including his work as a pilot for the Royal Air Force and Australian National Airways and as an employee of Qantas. Also includes papers relating to Catalina flying boats and their use by the RAAF in World War II and writings by various authors on aviation in Australia.

Biographical Note

George Urquhart Allan was born on 2 February 1900 in Bellshill, Scotland. In 1917 he joined the Royal Flying Corps and served on the Western Front. Allan continued his service with the RAF after the war and served in the Middle East. In 1929 he was recruited by Charles Ulm as a pilot with Australian National Airways where he flew on the first airmail flights from Sydney to Brisbane with Charles Kingsford-Smith and from Sydney to Melbourne with Pat Hall. After ANA was disbanded in 1931, Allan continued to fly, and in 1933 flew with Ulm and P.G. Taylor on the record-breaking flight from England to Australia in Faith in Australia.

In 1934 Allan joined Qantas to fly DH86 aircraft on the Brisbane to Singapore route. In 1938 he went to England to study flying-boat techniques and returned to Sydney in the flying boat Coolangatta. In 1941 Allan was a member of the Qantas crew which brought flying boats from San Diego to Sydney for the RAAF. During 1941 Allan was seconded to the RAAF as Wing-Commander and was C.O. of various stations including Rathmines on Lake Macquarie, where he trained Catalina crews, and No. 1 Flying Boat Repair Depot at Lake Boga.

After the war, Allan rejoined Qantas as London Manager, then as Controller of Technical Developments, where he was chief adviser on aircraft types. Allan retired from Qantas in 1961 as Deputy Chief Executive and Deputy General Manager. After his retirement he held positions on many boards including Fiji Airways, Air Pacific, Polynesian Airlines and Malayan Airways.

Allan married Ailsa Lee Brown in 1935 and Barbara Millbourne in 1944. He was made a Commander of the British Empire for his services to aviation in 1957.

Series Descriptions


1   Correspondence, 1922-83.  Relates to employment with RAF, Australian  
    National Airways and Qantas and his association with Air Pacific,       
    Malayan Airways, Fiji Airways and Polynesian Airlines.  Correspondents  
    include Charles Ulm, Dick Smith and Sir Hudson Fysh.  Also includes an  
    agreement between Ulm and Allan relating to the 1933 world flight.      

2   Correspondence and papers, 1927-91.  Correspondents include Athol     
    Townley, Harold Holt, Harry Kirkhouse and E.A. Crome.  Includes a       
    typescript on Jim Mollison by Ern Aldis; cuttings; typescript by Perc   
    Haslam; typescript of speech by Allan; manuscript biographical          
    narrative and photocopies of photographs.                               

3   Correspondence, 1931-86.  Includes a letter by Ron Yates and          
    postcards by E.A. Crome.                                                

4   Letters, 1964 and correspondence, 1961-74.  Correspondents include    
    John McEwen and Sir William Hudson.  Also includes an itinerary, 1964;  
    speech by Sir Hudson Fysh, 1963; and copies of correspondence between   
    Qantas and the Minister for Transport, C.K. Jones, 1974.                

5   Correspondence, 1961-87.  Mainly contains letters, telegrams and a    
    card received by Allan on his retirement from Qantas, 1961.  Also       
    includes press release, 1987 and notes.                                 

6   Correspondence, 1979-87.  Correspondents include Cameron Hazelhurst,  
    E.A. Crome, Dick Smith and Shelia Lacey (J.A. Lyons' daughter).  Also   
    includes a typescript on Catalinas.                                     

7-9 Personal documents, 1905-1967.  Includes school certificates,       
    1905-15; RAF certificates of service and discharge, 1918-29 and         
    Training Transfer Card; marriage certificate, 1935; memorandum on Allan's
    retirement, 1961; passports and other papers. (See also folio items).                                                                 

10  Notebook, 1938.                                                      

11  Diary, 1973. Includes correspondence by Bert Button, 1974; J. Prothero
    Thomas, 1973; Adrian Verran, 1973; and Shelia Cohen, 1973.     

12  Transcripts of three interviews of Allan by Eric Watson, Peter       
    Macgregor, Gordon Wansbrough-White and a fourth recorded in 1971.       

13  Qantas papers 1935, 1970-85.  Includes a news release; a typescript  
    entitled "The Qantas story"; a letter, 1935; a dossier of Qantas        
    historical documents (1970 facsimiles); and printed material.           

14  Papers relating to flying boats, c.1938-92.  Includes photocopies    
    of newspaper cuttings; a photograph; material on Catalina aircrews;     
   "Our famed Catalina squadrons" by J.C. Waters; "Anzac Address" by       
    Padre Rundle at Lake Boga, 1944 and printed material.                   

15  Papers on aerophilately, 1981-89.  Newsletters, media releases and   
    other printed material.                                                 

16  Aviation Historical Society of Australia papers, 1978-83.  Includes  
    a summary of address given to NSW Branch, 1978; printed material and    
    certificate, 1980.                                                      

17-19 Writings on aviation in Australia, 1964-85.  David A. Hall        
   "Wagon trains in the sky : the beginnings of civil aviation in          
    Australia" (script of television documentary), 1985;  Meredith Hooper   
    The Kangaroo route, 1985; "Charles Thomas Phillipe Ulm : his work for   
    Australian aviation" (possibly written by Allan's former secretary);    
    Charles Morris Catt The history of aviation in the Hastings Valley      
    from 1910 to 1990;  Charles Morris Catt "She is bonney"; E.A. Crome     
   "Chronology of aviation in Australia" (Address to Newtown Rotary Club,  
    2 Jan. 1964); and "Memo notes made during the flight in The Southern    
    Cloud from Sydney to Melbourne, July 1930".                             

20  Invitations, 1972 and 1982.                                          

21  Research materials on pioneer aviators including Kingsford-Smith, Ulm
    and Allan. Includes correspondence by Ian Mackersey, 1992; extracts
    from My flying life by Kingsford-Smith; typescripts by Ernest Aldis;
    extracts from Charles Ulm's unpublished memoirs, 1934; extracts from
    unpublished biography of Rex Boyden and photocopies from The sky   
    beyond and The old bus.                                                 

22  Miscellaneous papers, 1925-88.  Includes Dept. of Defence air route  
    sheet, Cootamundra - Melbourne 1925; a list of aircraft, presumably     
    flown by Allan, 1917-61; a list of competitors in the MacRobertson      
    International Air Races and a copy of the program and menu for the      
    dinner held for Kingsford-Smith and Ulm, at the Hotel Australia, 1929.  

23-28 Newspaper cuttings, 1920-93.  Subjects include Charles Ulm; Allan's
    early flying career including the 1933 England-Australia flight with
    Ulm and Taylor; Lake Boga Flying Boat Repair Depot; Allan's career 
    with, and retirement from, Qantas; Fiji Airways; and aviation in 
    Australia.  (See also folio items).                         

29  Publications, 1952-93                                                

Folio items                                                             

1   Certificate making Allan Associate Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical   
    Society, 1946.                                                          

2   Newspaper cutting relating to Catalinas at Lake Boga, 1944            

Box List

Box         Folders                                                           
1              1-8                                                                 
2              9-15                                                                
3             16-22                                                               
4             23-29                                                               
Folio box   Folios                                                      

1              1-2                                                                 
Guide compiled December 1994. Last revised July 1996