Leonard James ALLEN

Year of Birth:  1892

Place of Birth:  Townsville, Queensland

Date of Enlistment:  4 December 1914

Date and Place of Embarkation:  13 February 1915, Brisbane, Queensland

Ship:  HMAT Seang Bee A48

Rank:  Private

Unit(s):  9th Australian Infantry Battalion – 1 to 9 Reinforcements

Regimental Number:  1303

Died:  1 October 1917

 

 

Late A J Allen and Mate – photo Northern Herald (Cairns) 21 December 1917

 

Leonard James Allen was born on the 24 March 1892 to John James Allen and Elizabeth Ann Stillman. There were 3 brothers whose births were recorded, William James born 1889, Arthur Stanley 1897 and died in 1898, Henry Dean born in 1901 and died in 1901.  There were 2 other brothers though who had made contact with the AIF regarding Leonard, Robert Allen who was a Chief Petty Officer, and John Allen.

Leonard’s mother Elizabeth Ann died in 1904.

Leonard James Allen enlisted in Brisbane on the  4 December 1914 at the age of 24 years 8 months.  He was employed as an Engine Driver and named his father, Mr J J Allen of Townsville, as his next of kin, this was later changed to his brother Jack Allen, Mulgrave Road, Cairns.  He was 5 feet 8 inches in height, weighed 150 lbs with a dark complexion, grey eyes and dark brown hair.  He was Church of England.

He embarked from Brisbane on 13 February 1915 on the HMAT Seang Bee for the Gallipoli campaign.  After several admissions to hospital on Lemnos and in Egypt he rejoined the 9th Battalion at Gallipoli on 10 July 1915.  After several more admissions to hospitals in Malta he was transferred to London for treatment on 10 October 1915.  He returned to Egypt on 23 April 1916 then transferred to the British Expeditionary Force and arrived in Marseilles France on 9 June 1916.

He was wounded in action on 3 October that year and admitted to 13th Australian Field Ambulance then moved several times for treatment finally being discharged on 27 October 1916.  He returned to the field on 2 December 1916.  He was again admitted to hospital on 5th December that year, eventually being transferred to London for treatment.  He returned to France on 9 March but was struck down with influenza on 16 June.  He rejoined his unit on 5 August 1917 and was killed in action on 1 October 1917.

Initially, he was reported buried at Bellewarde Ridge Military Cemetery. Bellewaarde Ridge Cemetery, Zonnebeke was a little way North East of Bellewaarde Lake, it contained the graves of 17 soldiers from Australia and 11 from the United Kingdom who fell in September and October 1917.

Leonard James Allen is remembered at Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres, Flanders, Belgium.

 

HMAT Seang Bee A48

 

NAA B2455 – letter from Leonard’s brother John

 

NAA B2455 – letter from his brother Robert

 

NAA B2455

 

Northern Herald (Cairns) 2 November 1917 p5

 

 

Online Resources

Queensland Birth Death & Marriage Index

NAA: B2455, Allen, L.J., National Archives of Australia

Australian War Memorial

Photograph of late L.J. Allen Northern Herald Cairns 21 December 1917

Photograph of HMAT Seang Bee A48,

Northern Herald 2 November 1917

 

If you have a photograph or further information about this soldier you would like to share and add to his biography, please contact the Society projects@cdfhs.org

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