DEATH OF COLONEL
Colonel W. A. D. Anderson, C.M.G., commandant of the Victorian forces, died at his residence, South Yarra, at 6 o'clock last evening. He had been affected for about two years with epithe-
lioma of the face, which during the last few months induced exhaustion of the system, and finally complete prostration. The serious nature of the disease was not discovered until it had progressed considerably, and it was not until the deceased officer returned from his recent visit to Sydney that his condition was regarded with alarm. In that city he had applied himself with much assiduity, as member of the Defence Commission, to investigation of the questions remitted that body. The energy he displayed
completing that inquiry was rewarded with unqualified commendation, but his health was irremediably shattered by the exertion. The malady from which he suf- fered prevented him from taking such nourish- ing food as was necessary to support him under the severe mental strain, and when he reached Melbourne his appearance caused much uneasiness and some consternation to his friends. Mr. E. M. James, who was imme- diately consulted, thought that it was hardly possible that he could survive more than five or six weeks, but under his treatment the colonel regained bodily strength and mental vigour. His improvement was regarded as affording a fitting opportunity for perform- ing an operation upon which alone could all hope be entertained of prolonging his life. Mr. James in consultation with Mr. Fitzgerald and Dr. Youl, operated accordingly on two occasions, but neither operat- tion was followed by any beneficial result. About six months ago Colonel Anderson visited Mr. Lloyd Jones's station, near Avenel, and remained there six weeks. During that period the fatal nature of the disease with which he had been at- tacked was communicated to him by Mr. James, and he received the intimation with calm resignation. Since his return to Mel- bourne, some four months ago, his decline has been gradual, and it was considered advisable that opiates should be administered to secure alleviation of his suffering and need- ful rest. Each afternoon, from half-past 2 to 6 o'clock, he was accustomed to be rowed on the river, that diversion alone relieving the monotony of his illness. He adhered to this practice until last Thursday, when he had become so weak that he was unable to continue it. He did not leave his room after - wards, and he lingered until last evening, when, in the presence of Colonel Rede and other friends, he passed away.
The deceased officer will be buried with military honours to-morrow afternoon, in the St. Kilda Cemetery, the funeral moving from Christ Church, South Yarra, at 4 p.m. The general orders issued from head quarters appear in our advertising columns, and in ad dition to the directions in connexion with the funeral, the late colonel's last address to the force is published for the information of volunteers. Appended are some particulars
of his life :
Colonel William Acland Douglas Anderson C.M.G., was the only son of the late Lieuten- ant-Colonel Joseph Anderson, C.B., K.H., of the 50th Queen's Own, and he was born in the army on the 31st October, 1829. Early in life he came out with his father to Sydney and received a portion of his education there. Whilst at Sydney his father received orders to rejoin his regiment in India. He followed his father, and on the 1st April, 1846, he joined the same regiment as an ensign. On the 26th August, 1848, he received his lieuten ancy, and whilst he held that position he was appointed adjutant. He returned to England with his regiment, and on the 21st of May, 1852, he attained to the rank of captain. He acted as extra A.D.C. on Lord Fitzclarence's staff at Portsmouth, and there exchanged his commission for one in the 65th Foot. In 1853 he came out with drafts of men to reinforce the forces in New Zealand. His father being then engaged at pastoral pursuits in the Goulburn district, he remained in Victoria, retired from the army by the sale of his commission, and on the 12th July, 1853, he was appointed by Governor La Trobe as a commissioner of gold fields. At first he was stationed at Castle maine, and afterwards he acted as secretary to Mr. Wright, the chief commissioner. Leaving the civil service he entered political life, and for a time represented the electorate of Evelyn in the Legislative As- sembly. Credit has been given to Colonel Pitt for having raised and organised the volunteer force of Victoria in 1859, but Colonel Anderson was the real founder of the organisation, for in 1855 he raised a rifle corps in Melbourne, which was not only the first in Victoria, but probably the first in Australia. True, an effort was made just pre viously to form a cavalry company, which was to be called the "Victorian Yeomanry," but it failed. As the movement started by Colonel (then Captain) Anderson increased, he was appointed Lieutenant-Colonel commanding the 1st Melbourne Rifles. On the 21st March, 1862, when Colonel Pitt, who had been acting deputy adjutant-general was called to the New Zealand War, Lieutenant Colonel Anderson was elevated to the posi- tion of colonel-commandant of all the Vic- torian volunteer force, including the administration of the naval branch, and that position he has held ever since. In 1878 he was created C.M.G. Colonel Anderson has been thanked in minutes by every Governor since Mr. La Trobe, and in general orders several times by the Generals on the station. His management of the Victorian forces was quoted in the House of Commons by Colonel Lloyd Lind- say, on the authority of a letter from General Carey. He was selected by Government to accompany His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh in his tour through Victoria, and to accompany the Duke of Genoa during his visit, to the interior. Under Colonel Anderson's regime the volunteer force has risen to a very satisfactory state of efficiency. It was on his advice that the Permanent Artillery Corps was formed in 1870, and against his strong remonstrances that it was disbanded in 1880, through the shortsighted ness and false economy of the late Berry Government. It was also chiefly owing to the exertions of the late com mandant that the large quantity of war stores and matériel which this colony pos- sesses was secured, for he was indefatigable in impressing on the Government the im- portance of keeping the military department supplied with the most modern appliances. He was enthusiastically in favour of annual encampments for the volunteers, believing that they learned more valuable knowledge on those occasions than during the whole 12 months in their drill-rooms. In this matter, however, he was also checked by Government parsimony. His last public act was to attend the commission on colonial defences which a few months ago sat at Sydney.
Colonel Anderson married the only child of Colonel Alexander Davidson, of the Hon. East India Company's Service, and Mrs. Anderson and two sons and two daughters