Alan Manning was a Petty Officer on the Wangpoo supply ship in the Second World War. After the war, Alan worked with his father, Bert Manning, making coffins in his father’s factory in Grosvenor St, Prahran. After a couple of years, Alan saw there was a need for a funeral company to serve the ex-service soldiers. He built a funeral home at 374 Burke Road Glen Iris in 1940, namely Alan Manning Funerals. In particular, he cared for TPI soldiers, friendless soldiers, RSL members, The Rats of Tobruk and the 39s.
Alan Manning would offer poor and needy families of Australian soldiers a $550 full funeral service. In the 1960s, Margaret and Kevin Reardon joined the company and moved into the residence, becoming managers of the company. Seeing there were many returned soldiers and Vietnam veterans living around Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital, he purchased Ronald Jensen funeral home in Plenty Rd, Preston. Alan Manning worked very closely with the Padres from the Repatriation Hospital and continued to be highly regarded in the RSL fraternity.