Our beginnings can be traced back to the early 19th century England. Born in Liverpool in 1806, Thomas Allison established himself as a cabinet maker, blind maker and undertaker in Camberwell, London. It was there in 1844 that John was born.
In the 1860s, John Allison arrived in Melbourne and soon after purchased the business of John Little in Simpsons Road (Victoria St), Richmond, which had commenced there in 1851. Richmond would become the headquarters of the firm for many years.
John’s sons, Jack and Roy, took over from their father before he died in 1921. After buying out his brother’s share in the late 1920s, Roy changed the firm’s name to John (Roy V) Allison. In doing so, Roy distinguished it from the other competing firms of Allison.
In 1944, Roy’s sons John and Rob were taken into partnership by Roy. When they returned after service during the war, they became involved in the management of the business.
In 1956, they purchased a funeral business operated by Norman Monkhouse in Brighton and Sandringham in the name of its founder, J. Monkhouse & Son. After Roy’s death in 1957, John and Rob carried on the business in equal ownership.
In the 1970’s Clive, Rob’s son and the fifth generation Allison to be in the funeral business, entered the firm. Since 1988, he has been Managing Director and has continued to make Allison Monkhouse one of the foremost funeral firms in the world.
Throughout the history of the firm, a number of Allisons have been recognised publicly for their contributions to the funeral industry.
Roy was elected Honorary Life Member of the Australian Funeral Directors’ Association (AFDA). He, along with his son, John, were elected Fellows of the British Institute of Embalmers. Roy was the first Fellow outside of the UK.
John was elected Life Councillor of the AFDA in 1969; Rob in 1978. In 1995, Rob was honoured as a Member of the Order of Australia (AM), for service to the funeral industry, including his role in the return of the Unknown Soldier, and to the community.
More recently, Clive was thanked by both the Swedish and Australian governments for his work in the tsunami relief in Thailand.
All of this achievement would not be possible without the continuing help of loyal staff, many of whom have had a long association in our company’s history. Allison Monkhouse is a family owned company with a real sense of family amongst our staff. A caring family firm encourages caring staff.