William Allardice


Born: 4 November, 1919, in Glasgow

Died: 4 June, 2003, in Dundee, aged 83

WILLIAM Allardice, known popularly as Dallas, left Glasgow at the age of five when his parents moved to Huntly - his father became a highly respected bank manager there. He was taught at Gordon School, Huntly, but was later sent to Aberdeen Grammar School as a boarder to complete his education.

Although short in stature, he was extremely muscular and excelled in all sports, being a star performer in rugby, football, cricket, tennis and swimming, and was captain of each. At school, he was modest, kind and affable, qualities which he retained throughout his life. During the holidays, he played centre-forward for Huntly Football Club and was a prolific goal scorer.

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At the start of the Second World War, Allardice joined the London Scottish 1st Battalion and was posted south for training. He was then sent to Norway where most of the soldiers had arrived unwell after being sick on a very rough sea. There they were greeted by British soldiers who were fighting the Germans camped about five miles away.

Allardice and his comrades eventually returned to Britain where they trained for submarine life and simulated assault landings on islands before being sent to Malta for commando training. Palestine and Egypt followed, where he was part of the Long Range Desert Group’s fighting expeditions into Libya.

At Tobruk, the Germans killed all but three of the group’s soldiers, one of whom was Allardice. They were taken to Italy as prisoners of war, but he escaped from the camp and, with another Scottish PoW, lived with the Pentecosts in the mountains north of Rome until their liberation and return to Britain.

After he was demobbed, Allardice graduated in physical education in Aberdeen. He played rugby for Aberdeen Grammar School Former Pupils’ and gained eight international caps for Scotland between 1947 and 1949. He was renowned for his flying passes, dribbles and drop kicks as scrum-half. He maintained his affiliation to AGSFP Rugby Club all his life.

He worked as a PE teacher at Aberdeen Grammar School and Dundee High School, where he rose to become an assistant rector before his retirement in 1984.

Allardice loved holidaying in Menton. It was there he met Pat, whom he married. They had two sons, Rory and Graham, and two daughters, Lorna and Catrina.

His hobbies in retirement included oil painting and drystane dyking, all completed with his typical finesse. He kept in contact throughout his life with his Pentecostal rescuers in Italy and his friends in Menton.

Allardice’s wartime memoirs were collated in his book, Friendship in a Time of War , which will be published soon.