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

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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.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission states:

  • Acting Bombardier SIDNEY CHARLES ALLEN
  • Service Number: 59529
  • Regiment & Unit/Ship: Royal Garrison Artillery, Anti-Aircraft Depot (Parkhurst)
  • Date of Death: 25 April 1918
  • Age: 24 years old
  • Buried or commemorated at HADLEIGH (ST. JAMES THE LESS) CHURCHYARD, North-West of Church.
  • Country of Service: United Kingdom
  • Additional Info: Son of James Edward and Sarah Allen, of Myrtle Villa, Lynton Rd., Hadleigh. His brother James Edward Allen also died in service.


  • Service Number: 12071
  • Regiment & Unit/Ship: Essex Regiment, 1st Bn.
  • Date of Death: 08 April 1919
  • Age: 22 years old
  • Buried or commemorated at HADLEIGH (ST. JAMES THE LESS) CHURCHYARD, North-West of Church.
  • Country of Service: United Kingdom
  • Additional Info: Son of James Edward and Sarah Allen, of Myrtle Villa, Lynton Rd., Hadleigh. His brother Sidney Charles Allen also died in service.

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 James ALLEN and James Edward ALLEN

Sidney James ALLEN and his younger brother James Edward 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 GREEN of Hadleigh (where all their children were born).

Their parents were married in 1886 in Hadleigh and their first son was born in the December of the following year. By 1891 they had two sons and were living in the High Street, Hadleigh and by 1901 were living at Myrtle Villa, Lynton Road, Hadleigh with six sons (their last son was born in October).

  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 1906 at age 18, their eldest brother Ernest enlisted into the Royal Garrison Artillery. By 1911 he had been promoted to Bombardier and was married with twins. His wife and children were living in Hadleigh, whilst Ernest was living in the Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich. All other brothers were living at home with their parents in 1911 (James and Sidney were 14 and 17), and like their father, were all working as Bricklayers.

Just before war broke out in 1914, Ernest was promoted to Corporal and sent to France on 16th Aug, and ten days later the 17-year-old James enlisted as a Private into the Essex Regiment, serving in both the 1st and 9th Battalions. By November Ernest had been promoted to Sergeant, then in mid-January 1915 he was admitted to hospital with a fractured and dislocated ankle, and returned home to a British hospital on the 21st. On 30th May 1915, James was sent to France.

Sidney enlisted into the Royal Garrison Artillery (Anti-Aircraft Depot) in Oct 1915 (age 21, unmarried). He was promoted from Private to Gunner, then finally Acting Bombardier. He died on 25th April 1918 aged 24 from Pneumonia at Parkhurst Military Hospital, Isle of Wight. Five months later on 17th Sep, James was discharged with the rank of Acting Corporal as he was “no longer physically fit for war service”. He died a few months later on 8th Apr 1919, presumably from illness or injuries sustained whilst in service (age 22). He was also the last soldier to die from Hadleigh. Sidney was posthumously awarded the Victory Medal and British War Medal, and James the Victory Medal, British Medal, 1915 Star and Silver War Badge.

After returning home with a fractured ankle in 1915, Ernest served at home until 5th Jan 1918 when he was sent to Egypt. 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 was awarded the British War Medal, Victory Medal and 1914 Star (he was one of “the old contemptibles”). Ernest worked as a bricklayer after the war and died in 1953 at age 65, and his wife Emily Rose (nee HAMMERTON) died in 1966 at age 77.

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.

Their father James died in 1928, and their mother the following year in 1929. They were both aged 66.

What of the other brothers?

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

Bertie married in 1919 at age 27 to a 43-year-old widow called Matilda FRANKLIN (nee THORINGTON). They didn’t have any children of their own, but Matilda had three from her first marriage. She died in 1943 at 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 and had three surnames as middle names!). They were married nine years before her death in 1955, and Bertie himself died in 1966 at age 66. I haven’t found any military records for him.

Percy married Agnes Miriam HOWARD in 1922 and they had three children. He worked as a bricklayer and died in 1983 at age 84. I haven’t found any military records for him.

The youngest brother, Archibald, married Annie Louise EVANS in 1923 (possibly after being discharged from the army) and they had three children before Annie’s untimely death in 1930 at age 27. They named their son Sydney James, presumably in honour of his two brothers who died. Archibald remarried the following year to Beatrice Florence BYFORD and had three more children. He worked as a bricklayer and died in 1966 at age 64.

Family Tree

The brothers’ father James Edward Allen was one of six children born between 1853 and 1864 to William ALLEN and Jane Ann JARMAN. William was a wharf foreman and agricultural labourer.

Sidney and James’s mother Sarah GREEN was the twelfth of thirteen children, all born in Hadleigh between 1840 and 1864 to parents William GREEN (an agricultural labourer) and Anne HAINESWORTH. Their first child survived, but the next four died in infancy. They had two more, then lost another child, followed by five more who all survived.

Sidney and James’s paternal grandfather William ALLEN was one of ten children, all born in Pebmarsh, Essex, to parents John ALLEN and Ann JARMAN. John was a Corn Dealer. Their paternal grandmother Jane Ann JARMAN is the only child of parents Joseph JARMAN and Jane SMITH. Joseph was a Farmer and Land Agent. It’s more than likely that their paternal grandparents were cousins of some degree via the Jarman side.

Sidney and James’s maternal grandfather William GREEN was one of five children born in Hadleigh to parents William GREEN and Mary Ann ROGERS. I don’t know anything about them. I’ve not been able to trace their maternal grandmother (Anne HAINESWORTH) line back further than the name of her father, James HAINESWORTH, although there is a possible family from Rayleigh she could fit into.

Link To Hadleigh

Sidney and James were both born and lived in Hadleigh, so their place on the war memorial is easy to understand.

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