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 Cpl. William Wilson Allen

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24th

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PostSubject: Cpl. William Wilson Allen   Fri May 01, 2009 11:48 pm

Cpl. William Wilson Allen (1240 B Co. 24th. Regiment)

Despite severe wounds, he and Hitch kept communication with the hospital open, enabling the patients to be withdrawn. When his own wounds had been dressed, he continued serving out ammunition to his comrades throughout the night. He was aged 35 at the time of the defence.


Said to have been born in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, but we now know he was born in a little village south of Berwick-on-Tweed in Northumberland. Enlisted at York in October 1859 aged 15 years.
He was Assistant Schoolmaster as a Corporal in Brecon Barracks in 1876 when he married a local girl - Sarah Ann Reeves in August 1876; they had a family of seven children. Wounded in the left shoulder at Rorke's Drift. He received his Victoria Cross from Queen Victoria at Windsor Castle on 9 Decembe 1879.
Later he served as a Sergeant Instructor with the 3rd Militia Battalion in Brecon and the 4th Volunteer Battalion in Monmouth. Sgt Allen died still serving in Monmouth. A fund was set up to look after his widow and children. (His VC is in the SWB Museum Collection).
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PostSubject: Re: Cpl. William Wilson Allen   Fri May 22, 2009 8:32 am

Hi 24th,

Cpl Allan was also the brother in law of Pte William Partridge who married Mary Reeves, known to the family as Polly, the sister of Sarah Ann Reeves,

Following the death of W.W.Allan, his widow supported herself and her children when she opened a grocery shop with the help of her parents.

Cheers
Bookworm.
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PostSubject: Re: Cpl. William Wilson Allen   Fri May 22, 2009 3:11 pm

bookworm wrote:
Hi 24th,

Cpl Allan was also the brother in law of Pte William Partridge who married Mary Reeves, known to the family as Polly, the sister of Sarah Ann Reeves,



Cheers
Bookworm.

Bookworm. Was Allan married to Mary before the Battle of Rorkes Drift or After when they both returned to England.
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PostSubject: Re: Cpl. William Wilson Allen   Fri May 22, 2009 5:24 pm

Hi Littlehand,

William Allan married Sarah on 16th Aug 1876, William Partridge married Mary on 13th November 1880.

Cheers
Bookworm
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PostSubject: Re: Cpl. William Wilson Allen   Fri Jun 15, 2012 7:48 pm

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PostSubject: Re: Cpl. William Wilson Allen   Sat Dec 01, 2012 12:55 pm

good afternoon all -- new member - seeking help!! we live in Lowick, northumberland which has kyloe in the parish. in 2014 we are hoping to send a local scout troop to to south africa as part of an expedition doing fieldwork mainly in lesotho. we were also hoping to have them visit rorkes drift because of the local connection. it appears that willan allen or allan was born in kyloe. has anyone any source information to confirm this? or any other information on his early years ??? scratch
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PostSubject: Cpl William Allen   Sat Dec 01, 2012 3:45 pm

Hello Pilgrim and welcome to the forum.

According to the RDVC site. he is said to have been born in Newcastle, however, it is now known that he was born in a little village south of Berwick-upon-tweed in Northumberland, England, (the little village is not metioned unfortunately). He enlisted in York in October 1859 at the age of 15, he died on the 12th of March 1890 of influenza, and is buried in Monmouth cemetary. His grave says 'Allan', he also signed his name as 'Allan' but many records show him as 'Allen'.

Hope this helps.
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PostSubject: Re: Cpl. William Wilson Allen   Sat Dec 01, 2012 4:44 pm

ty for a prompt response - i am aware of most of what you posted but i am looking for the source data . i have the census records for kyloe for the relevant time but of course because of his age he would not have appeared on them. kyloe is a tiny place - basically a farm steading but there are records of allans living there at the relevant time - alas the church is now a house but as it is very near holy island the church is anglican -- i was wondering how he enlisted in york and into what regiment - the parish at that time had anglican -scottish perebyterian - english presbyterian, methodist and other churches --all of which are now closed - my thought was the family might have been methodist ergo the welsh regiment ?? but that is probably spurious - although the methodists at that time had a strong line of education. he must have been educated as his letter to his wife is very good and he was an assitant teacher at base. and of course how did he end up in york at the age of 15?? its a fascinating project for the local scouts to realise who lived where and when and the mobility of people even then -- oh and we have a another vc holder locally as well -- 'the piper of loos'.
what i really need to do is bottom the source of the information that he was born in kyloe and then try and work out how he enlisted in york and what happened in the yrs between kyloe and taking the queens shilling - and of course why ?? the farm records may shed some light on that - and where was he educated?? if he lived at kyloe the house most probably is still there and i will check the farm accounts and records when i am next along there. i think it would be nice to know the child and the man not just the medal. . but again ty for your assistance and if you can turn up anything else let me know
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PostSubject: allen VC   Sat Sep 28, 2013 8:41 pm

after spending a day in the county archives(I thought it would take weeks!!!) - I think I have solved one of the oddities - he was born at Kyloe (THE LOCAL AND VERY OLD CHURCH BEING CALLED sT Nicholas) a tiny place - and was baptised at 'St Nicholas' -- this parish - because it is within the bishopric of Durham due to being within the parish of holy island, the baptism was erroneously recorded as being in St Nicholas - the cathedral at Newcastle within St Andrews ( I know its complicated - but its basically that -- when the church closed and eventually became a dwelling the church records went back to Durham - but when the county took them into archives they were listed under St Nicholas (Newcastle). the family lived at several addresses and the father seems to have moved from farmhand to possibly farm manager/steward over the yrs as he had his/his wife's brother and sister in law living with them and also a 'servant' - (although she was a 10 yr old girl from bamburgh. - an interesting connection as later in life after William's father died his mother moved to Bamburgh and seems to have had another child ) at this time the annual hirings took place -- where farm workers were hired on a yearly basis and had to move house each time -- which complicates things. but I spoke to James Joicey of ford and etal and alas this period is when the Waterford's had the estate and were very much absentee landlords. I am still trying to track down the estate records and will speak to the present Kyloe owner - although I suspect that where they lived is now a pile of rubble - its quite fascinating as a social history tale and have still not worked out why and how he enlisted so far away from home. - poss because work on the land was not available? he ran away from home? or he was 'turned out' - I am also now suspecting that he lied about his age on enlistment!!! - any comments would be most welcome - when I eventually sort this out I will submit it on here and to the regimental museum for comments -- but I think theres a long way to go -- we know what happened (almost) re the VC - but I think the story of each of these heroes is in the making of the man . normal people called upon in extraordinary circumstances and doing acts which are incredible ...please tell me if im doing this wrong as regards this forum but I feel that this makes the VC much more of a personal and human thing -- it is within us all to do the improbable when faced with the impossible.....
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PostSubject: Re: Cpl. William Wilson Allen   Sat Sep 28, 2013 9:04 pm

Pilgrim. Thanks for taking the time to research and post your findings. Looking forward to your next post. It does get very complicated but stick with it! agree  looks like your covering ground fast!
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