Thursday, December 06, 2007

Allan Aldous

Although not strictly an author for Look and Learn, Allan Aldous had one of his novels serialised in its pages. 'Doctor With Wings' in issues 134-140 (8 August to 19 September 1964) was abridged from the novel of the same title published by Brockhampton Press in 1960.

Allan Charles Aldous was born in Leederville, Western Australia, on 13 August 1911, and educated at Aquinas College, Perth. He found early success as a writer in 1935 when, at the age of 24, he won the Perth Repertory Club's one-act play competition with his entry Enter the Author. Soon after, he moved to England where three of his plays were broadcast by the BBC in 1938-39, the best known being Game as Ned Kelly (1939).

During the Second World War he served with the A.I.F. in London and later as a drama specialist with Army Education in New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. He was able to build on his educational experience in the post-war years and was closely associated in the early years of the Council of Adult Education in Victoria, giving lectures and preparing literary notes for discussion groups.

Aldous was a prolific writer of children's fiction, writing five novels featuring the character Garry McGowan for Oxford University Press, beginning with McGowan Climbs a Mountain (1945). Aldous' later work included two books featuring the seagoing adventures of Colin McKee (also for Oxford University Press), Kiewa Adventure (1950), Bushfire (1967), Olympic Kayak (1968), two adult crime novels and a number of non-fiction books. He also produced radio plays for the Australian Broadcasting Commision and educational plays such as 'Western Gateway', for the 1966 Festival of Perth, and 'Cook of the Endeavour'', for the Cook bicentenary celebrations.

Aldous was married to Jean Parnell Cohn and had one son and three daughters. He lived in Kew, Victoria, for many years and died there on 17 March 2000.

(* Doctor With Wings © Estate of Allan Aldous; illustrations from the Look and Learn serialisation © Look and Learn Magazine Ltd.)


  1. This is my Grandfather! We're so proud of him and his achievements. He had such an amazing life, one that many have not realised or appreciated yet. I hope his story lives on for many years. Natalie Aldous

  2. Natalie,

    Yes, his work is still appreciated. If you or your family care to share any more information about Allan, drop me a line (my direct address can be found under the photo top left).

  3. Alasdair Wardle3 Jun 2012, 03:44:00

    I have some very clear memories of Alan and Jean Aldous. They were friends of my parents and we knew them when they lived in Warrandyte. I recall he ran a 'son et lumierre' event on the local fotty oval. His trips up to Darwin on rough, muddy roads were stories we all heard about. He parked hi English Dormobile in our driveway once and I was very impressed as a kid. Wonderful chraracter

  4. I found this via Google. I have just discovered that Allan Aldous is descended from Thomas Mills, my great-great-great grandfather! One of Thomas's sons, Frederick, emigrated to Australia in search of gold in the 1850s. His daughter Annie married Robert Langley Aldous, and I believe they were Allan's grandparents. I would love to hear from his family - if they are at all interested in genealogy and would like to know more about their English ancestors, I can help!

  5. I looked up Allan Aldous when a memory surfaced of borrowing McGowan Climbs a Mountain from my local library in Wembley some time in the 1950s.



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