Sergeant Percy Herbert Allen, 5586

  • Batt - 2
  • Unit - Leicestershire Regiment
  • Section -
  • Date of Birth - 1882
  • Died - 25/09/1915
  • Age - 33

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Source: Michael Doyle Their Name Liveth For Evermore: The Great War Roll of Honour for Leicestershire and Rutland.
He was the son of George Allen a printing compositor, born on the 1st December 1856 in Boston, Lincolnshire and his wife Hannah Allen (nee Busfield, married on the 24th February 1877 in the Pateley Bridge, Yorkshire district), born 1857 in Batley, Yorkshire. Percy Herbert, a schoolboy, was born in the 2nd quarter of 1882 in Pateley Bridge, Yorkshire, his siblings were, George Frederick, a schoolboy, born on the 29th January 1878 and Clarice, a schoolgirl, born on the 4th March 1880, the latter two siblings were both born in Yorkshire, Nellie, a schoolgirl, born on the 24th September 1884 in Lincoln, Arthur William, a schoolboy, born 1887 and Gerald Walter, born 1891, the latter two siblings were both born in Loughborough, Leicestershire, in April 1891 the family home was at Albert Place, Loughborough. In March 1901 Percy was absent from the family home at 11, Queens Road, Loughborough, residing there was his father, a printing compositor, his mother and siblings, Clarice, an elastic factory clerk, Arthur, a car body maker, Nellie, an elastic weaver and Ernest a railway draughtsman. In April 1911 Percy was employed as an iron foundry labourer and was residing in the family home at 34, George Street, Loughborough, together with his wife, Violet Maud Allen (nee Austin), born on the 20th September 1886 in Penzance, Cornwall and their children, Percy William, born on the 9th December 1905, Cyril Victor, born on the 27th June 1908, Clarice Violet, born 1910 and Violet Maud, born 1911, all the children were born in Guernsey, Channel Islands. Percy and Violet also had further children, Dorothy May, born on the 28th November 1904 and Arthur William, born in 1913, the latter two children were both born in Loughborough and Dennis Herbert, born on the 23rd December 1914 in Northampton. Clarice died in 1911 in Loughborough aged, 2 and Violet died in 1912 in Loughborough, aged 1. On the 5th October 1916, Percy’s widow married Ernest. F. Sharp, a car man, in the Bedford district. Violet died in the 4th quarter of 1918 in the Rochford, Essex district, aged 32.
Percy enlisted into the Regular Army on the 2nd November 1899 in Leicester, and was allotted the service number 5586. He gave his place of birth as Pateley Bridge, Yorkshire and age as 18 years 8 months. Marital status as single and his trade or calling as railway porter.
He confirmed that he had previously served with the 3rd Bn. Leicestershire Regiment.
His medical examination recorded that he was 5 feet 5¾ inches in height, weighed 117 lbs, had a chest measurement of between 33 and 34 inches, his complexion was described as florid, he had brown eyes and his hair colour was dark brown. The following distinctive marks were noted, scar on right middle finger and a small scar on his right wrist, he gave his religion as Church of England.
During his period of military service the following events of note occurred:-
Promoted. Corporal. 10/1/03.
Extended. Service from 8 to 12 years. 24/3/04.
Promoted. Lance Sergeant. Paid. 29/5/06.
Re-engaged. Army Reserve. Section “D.” 2/11/11.
Appointed. Lance Sergeant. Paid. Portsmouth. 8/8/14.
Appointed. Acting Sergeant. Fort Purbrook. 25/8/14.
Promoted. Sergeant. Fort Purbrook. 8/9/14.
Embarked. For British Expeditionary Force. Southampton. 11/12/14.
Killed in action. In the Field. 25/9/15.
He was awarded the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal.
Percy’s surviving service record amounts to a total of twelve pages, of which only three pages relate directly to his military service, and these are in extremely poor condition with much of the hand written information in some cases barely legible, damaged or missing entirely, however the content does offer at least a little descriptive insight into some of the events that took place during his period of military service.
The War Diary records: 25 Sept-15 - At 5.30am the Battalion was in positions of readiness in accordance with orders in four lines opposite their objective with bombing parties, sandbag parties and carrying parties all arranged and in position. At 6.00am the first line got over the parapet quickly followed by the second, the left had to right form to get in line with the right as the trench ran back from a salient near the centre. As the first two lines went out the third and fourth filed into the vacant positions in the firing line. The gas affected a number of our men, and the smoke caused a dense fog and direction was difficult. Casualties began at once and the third line was ordered out to fill up gaps. Owing to the thick smoke it seemed likely that gaps would occur on the flanks and at 6.07am the fourth line was sent out with special instructions to maintain touch with the units on either flank. At about 6.10am the left were over the German parapet and our flag was seen flying on their lines. The left went forward with such dash that they outstripped the 2/8th GURKHAS and came in for a lot of fire from rifles and maxim guns from our right. This caused a good many casualties including all the officers and most of the NCO’s of “A” Company which was the extreme left. Undeterred the men went on, got over the uncut wire and reached the road with parties of the 2/8th GURKHAS and gained their objective. In the meantime our right had not fared so well. They went forward in good line under a heavy fire till held up by the German wire. A number of our men here were collected in the ditch in front of the German wire waiting for developments. Officer casualties. Killed Captain F. H. ROMILLY D.S.O., Captain E. C. DEANE, R.A.M.C. Died of wounds 2nd Lieutenant M. W. BROWNE. Wounded Lieutenant Colonel H. GORDON D.S.O., Captain W. C. WILSON, Lieutenant H. H. PHILLIPS, 2nd Lieutenant G. W. TANNER, 2nd Lieutenant H. H. HEMPHILL, 2nd Lieutenant V. E. ELLINGHAM, 2nd Lieutenant C. C. BAILEY, 2nd Lieutenant G. W. GROSSMITH. Slightly wounded Major F. LEWIS, Captain D. L. WEIR. Gassed 2nd Lieutenant W. WILSON. Missing and believed killed Lieutenant W. T. PICKIN, 2nd Lieutenant R. E. S. LODGE. Missing known to have been wounded 2nd Lieutenant C. G. WOODBOURN. Missing and no trace 2nd Lieutenant W. J. WILKINSON, 2nd Lieutenant E. A. WILKINSON, 2nd Lieutenant T. R. LONGCROFT. Rank and file casualties. Killed 72. Wounded 217. Gassed 42. Missing 96. Wounded slightly but did not quit Battalion 3. What was left of the Battalion were relieved from the front line by the 2/39th GARWHAL RIFLES at 6.30pm and moved into support and local reserve just in rear. Before the operations began the Battalion worked for a week in strengthening the front line and preparing the defences behind. Four very strong lines were constructed capable of resisting the enemy’s bombardment.

Leicestershire Project Findings
  • Conflict - World War I
  • Other Memorials - Loughborough Carillon, War Memorial Bell Tower, Messenger and Co Roll of Honour (inside Carillon), Loughborough
Research from Michael Doyle's Their Name Liveth For Evermore
  • Unit - Leicestershire Regiment
  • Cause of death - KILLED IN ACTION
  • Burial Commemoration - Loos Mem., France
  • Born - Pateley Bridge, Yorkshire
  • Enlisted - 12/11/1899 in Leicester
  • Place of Residence - 1 Grafton Street, Northampton, Northamptonshire, England

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