William Thomas Allen
Contributed by: Alison Rosier, on 2008-11-05
|First Name||William Thomas|
|Year of Birth||1880|
|Year of Death||1918|
|Place of Wartime Residence||Bushey, Hertfordshire|
William Thomas's Story
I have over the past few years tried to find out some information about my family and I have been helped to a certain degree by a book that my Grandfather had hand written, full of information about his family and partly his wifes family history, my Nan.
William Thomas Allen
This book has been invaluable. Sifting through the pages, picking up the clues and working on them thanks to the information that is found on the internet.
My Grandad writes very fondly of his family and most of all about his mothers.
Her name was Clara and she lived with her 5 brothers and sisters in a small terraced house in Bushey.
One of her brothers was James Berry Allen, an unusual name so it caught my eye. He was 26 when the war broke out and was killed on The Somme in 1916, shortly after he enlisted. He was a single man and the sole support of his mother.
The other brother was William Thomas Allen.
He was older than his brother and had already married a local girl called Daisy. He lived up Clay Hill Road in Bushey with Daisy and five children, all very young in age.
He ended up fighting with the 2nd Royal Fusiliers. His army records are not available so I can only track the miliatary history of his division. He was in the 29th Division.
They fought heavy battles at Beaumont Hamel, attempting to take the German lines at Hawthorn Ridge.
There is in fact old black and white footage of soldiers running across this ridge and I wonder if he is one of them.
His life journey took him through the war and although the inbetween gaps are scanty. I know he ended up fighting near Merville and The Battle of Hazebrouk.
Here he lost his life in severe fighting on April 13th.
He was 37 years old.
I have visited his grave in the small town of Merville. It as with all the other cemeteries, is beautifully kept.
On the inscription are the words' In God's Keeping From Dear Wife. 'Daisy would have had to have found the money for those few words and have carried on in life bringing up the 5 children. It must have been a struggle.
I was able to pay my respects.
I can't explain why I am so interested in the First World War but only the humane side of things.
I just feel perhaps I have been led to find out what happened to these two boys by them wanting to tell the story of their untimely death and suffering.
I hope I have done them justice.
I will always remember them.