Jack Allan was commissioned in the rank of Sub-Lieutenant on 24 March 1934 and undertook three tours of sea training as an officer in RN warships. In 1935 he embarked in the cruiser HMS Dunedin, followed in 1936 by sea time in the sloop HMS Wellington and finally in 1937 in the cruiser HMS Achilles.
Captain John Neat Allan CBE VRD & Clasp, RNZNVR
On 26 December 1911 Jack Allan was born in Dunedin. He received his primary education at the Kaikoria Primary School. He went to Otago Boys’ High School from 1925 to 1929. On leaving school Jack joined the Commercial Union Assurance Co. Ltd. and worked in this insurance company for the next eight years. During these years Jack Allan undertook studies in accountancy on a part-time basis at the University of Otago. As well as professional studies in insurance. He eventually qualified as an Associate Registered Accountant and also as an Associate of the Insurance Institute of New Zealand. Concurrently he joined the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve [NZ Division] entering as an ordinary seaman in April 1930.
Jack Allan was commissioned in the rank of Sub-Lieutenant on 24 March 1934 and undertook three tours of sea training as an officer in RN warships. In 1935 he embarked in the cruiser HMS Dunedin, a cruiser, followed in 1936 by sea time in the sloop HMS Wellington and finally in 1937 in the cruiser HMS Achilles. Sub-Lieutenant Allan was promoted Lieutenant RNVR ([NZ] on 23 March 1937.
Also in 1937 Lieutenant Allan left the employment of the Commercial Union Assurance and joined the firm of R. S. Steward Ltd as accountant and company secretary. He remained with this firm until he was mobilised with the outbreak of war on 11 September 1939.On mobilisation Lieutenant Allan was appointed to the RNVR [NZ] headquarters in Dunedin as Assistant Naval Intelligence Officer Dunedin and for training duties. He remained in this role until 12 March 1940. He was then posted to the armed merchant cruiser HMS Monowai and was immediately sent on a three month gunnery course at HMAS Cerberus in Melbourne. He was posted back to Monowai in June 1940 and he remained serving in her 11 November 1941. During his time on Monowai he passed his Watchkeepers Certificate and in October of the same year he had become a ‘Qualified Officer’. He was then posted to the converted minesweeper HMNZS Rata as the Executive Officer. At this time the RNVR [NZ Division} became the Royal New Zealand Navy Volunteer Reserve [RNZNVR].
On 30 March 1942 Lieutenant Allan was given his own command when he was appointed as commanding officer of HMNZS Manuka, the first of the composite minesweepers to be built in New Zealand as LL (Magnetic Mine) Minesweepers. He retained this command until November 1943 when he was transferred on an overseas posting to Britain. Arriving in Liverpool in the transport HMT Stirling Castle, Lieutenant Allan was ordered to London and then to various postings around Britain for training courses until June 1944. He then was appointed to HMS Dunbar, a Bangor-class minesweeper. The minesweeping flotilla this vessel belonged to was attached to the North Sea and Channel Invasion Forces for Operation NEPTUNE.
He was then ordered to India for service with the Royal Indian Navy. He arrived in Bombay on 16 August 1944 and joined HMIS Feroze. He later transferred to HMIS Hooghly and the small vessels pool and promoted lieutenant Commander RNZNVR on 23 March 1945. He remained in this appointment until he was invalided to New Zealand in ailing health in November 1945. He was discharged from active service PUNS (Physically Unfit for Naval Service) on 19 November 1945. Prior to his discharge he was awarded the Volunteer Reserve Decoration (VRD) on 7 October 1945.
In spite of his medical grading on discharge. Lieutenant Commander Allan was recalled to the Active List on 11 September 1952. At this time he had taken a civil position and settled in Christchurch. On 12 January 1953 he was promoted to the rank of Commander and appointed to the command of HMNZS Pegasus, the shore establishment of the Canterbury Division of the RNZNVR formed in the post-war period. He was awarded the Queen’s Coronation Medal in 1953. On 7 December 1953 he was appointed Honorary Aide-de-Camp to the then Governor-General Lieutenant General Sir Willoughby Moke Norrie, and was also appointed Honorary Aide-de-Camp to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II during her visit to New Zealand in 1954.
Promotion to Captain RNZVR came in 1956 and he was also awarded a clasp to his Volunteer Reserve Decoration. Captain John Neat Allan was honoured by being appointed a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (Military Division) in the Birthday Honours 1959. The citation for this award to Captain Allan in the last paragraph read:
The high place which the Royal New Zealand Naval Volunteer Division occupies in the Christchurch community is in great part the result of Captain Allan’s personality and leadership of his officers and men.
He finally retired from Naval Service on 30 June 1961. Jack Allan was an efficient officer, popular with both officers and ratings alike. He died on 16 October 1968 in Christchurch.
Decorations and Medals Awarded:
Commander of the Order of the British Empire
NZ 1939-45 Star
WW2 Pacific Star
WW2 Burma Clasp
WW2 France & Germany Star
NZ Defence Medal
NZ War Medal
New Zealand War Service Medal Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal
Volunteer Reserve Decoration and Clasp
 By this time it was probably a shore establishment. The ship name was from a 19th century wooden paddle frigate.