ALLEN – Sidney Charles Allen (1894-1918) & James Edward Allen (1896-1919)

War Memorial – Hadleigh, Essex


The St James The Less church WWI plaque lists S C Allen as having died in 1918, and J E Allen in 1919. The memorial plaque names them as Sidney C Allen and James E Allen. Sidney and James were brothers.

There is headstone is a dedicated to the Sidney and James in St James The Less churchyard, which gives some more information (including parents and another brother):

  • Bomdr. Sidney Charles Allen, who died 24th April 1918 in Carisbrook Military Hospital I. of Wight. Aged 24 years.
  • Also Corpl. James Edward Allen, who died 8th April 1919 aged 22 years.
  • The dearly beloved sons of James and Sarah Allen.
  • Also Alfred John Allen who died 16th Sept 1974 aged 85 years.

Sidney and James Allen were from a family of seven children, all boys. Their parents were James Edward Allen, a Bricklayer born in Gosfield, Essex, and Sarah Allen nee Green of Hadleigh (where all their children were born).

  1. Ernest James Allen – 17 Dec 1887 (d.1953)
  2. Alfred John Allen – 12 Sep 1889 (d.1974)
  3. Bertie William Allen – 9 Mar 1892 (d.1966)
  4. Sidney Charles Allen – 1894 (d.1918)
  5. James Edward Allen – 1896 (d.1919)
  6. Percy Richard Allen – 14 Feb 1899 (d.1983)
  7. Myrtle Archibald Stanley Allen – 5 Oct 1901 (d,1966)

In 1911, James and Sidney (age 14 and 17) were living at home with their parents and four other siblings at Myrtle Villa, Lynton Road, Hadleigh, Essex (as they were in 1901).  Like their father, all the brothers worked as Bricklayers. Their father James died in 1928, and their mother the following year in 1929. They were both aged 66.

Sidney died 25th April 1918 aged 24 of Pneumonia at Parkhurst Military Hospital, Isle of Wight. He was unmarried.

  • Enlistment Date: Oct 1915
  • Rank: Gunner / Private / Acting Bombardier
  • Unit: Anti-Aircraft Depot (Parkhurst)
  • Regiment: Royal Garrison Artillery
  • Regimental Number: 59529
  • Medals Received: British War Medal and Victory Medal
  • Death Date: 25 Apr 1918 (age 24)
  • Death Place: Parkhurst Military Hospital, Isle of Wight

James‘s first theatre of war was in France on 30th May 1915. He was discharged 17th Sep 1918 as “no longer physically fit for war service” (four weeks before peace was declared) and was the last soldier to die from Hadleigh at almost five months to the day from the war ending, presumably from injuries sustained whilst in service (age 22). He was unmarried.

  • Enlistment: 26 Aug 1914
  • Rank: Acting Corporal
  • Regiment:  Essex Regiment, 1st Battalion
  • Regimental Number: 120718
  • Medals Received: Victory Medal, British War Medal, Star and Silver War Badge
  • Discharge: 17 Sep 1918
  • Cause of Discharge: Army Order VI dated 14th Sept 1918 2 (a) King’s Regulation 392 (xvi)
  • Death Date: 8 Apr 1919 (age 22)

What of their brothers?

The eldest brother, Ernest, enlisted in 1906 into the Royal Garrison Artillery. He married Emily Hammerton in 1909 and became father to twins later that same year. He was sent to France on 16th Aug 1914, where he served until being admitted into hospital with a fractured and dislocated ankle, and returned home to a British hospital on the 21st. Ernest then served at home until 5th Jan 1918 when he was sent to Egypt, but only seems to have been there until Feb. His wife gave birth to their third child the March of 1918, and Ernest was demobilised on 20th Apr 1919 with the rank of Battery Sergeant Major. He worked as a bricklayer after this time and died in 1953 age 65.

Alfred never married, and I’ve not found any military records. He worked as a bricklayer and died in 1974 age 85.

Bertie married in 1919 at age 27 to a 43 year old widow called Matilda Franklin (Thorington). They didn’t have any children of their own, but Matilda had three from her first marriage. Matilda died in 1943 age 67, and Bertie remarried three years later to Amy Wallis Greenfield Worrell Wordly, formally Barrett and nee Taskere (she’d been married twice before)! They were married nine years before her death in 1955, and Bertie himself died in 1966 age 66.

Percy married Agnes Miriam Howard in 1922 and they had three children. He worked as a bricklayer and died in 1983 age 84.

The youngest brother, Archibald (he didn’t use his first name Myrtle, unsurprisingly!), enlisted into the Royal Marine Light Infantry: Chatham Division in Dec 1918 at age 17. He married Annie Louise Evans in 1923 and they had three children before Annie’s sad death in 1930 at age 27. They named their son Sydney James, presumably in honour of Archibald’s two brothers. Archibald remarried the following year to Beatrice Florence Byford and had three more children. He worked as a bricklayer and died in 1966 age 64.