Ronald Shadrick ALLEN


ALLEN, Ronald Shadrick

Service Number: 2805
Enlisted: 11 August 1915
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 12th Infantry Battalion
Born: North Motton, Tasmania, Australia , 4 July 1898
Home Town: North Motton, Central Coast, Tasmania
Schooling: North Motton State School, Tasmania, Australia
Occupation: Farmer
Died: Killed in Action, France, 23 July 1916, aged 18 years
Cemetery: Pozières British Cemetery
Ovillers-La Boisselle, Pozieres, Picardie, France Plot III, Row O, Grave 25, Pozieres British Cemetery Ovillers-La Boisselle, Pozieres, Picardie, France
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour
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World War 1 Service

11 Aug 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 2805, 26th Infantry Battalion
27 Oct 1915: Involvement Private, SN 2805, 26th Infantry Battalion
27 Oct 1915: Embarked Private, SN 2805, 26th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Ulysses, Melbourne
23 Jul 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, 12th Infantry Battalion

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Biography contributed by Evan Evans

From François Berthout

Pte 2805 Ronald Shadrick Allen,
12th Australian Infantry Battalion, A Company,
3rd Brigade, 1st Australian Division

Today, in the light of day, the sun sets its rays on the peaceful cemeteries, the white cities of the Somme in which stand in silence, behind the rows of their white graves, thousands of young boys, a whole generation of men, of heroes who rest in peace side by side in the fraternity and the mateship which binds them to each other and with which they fought with so much bravery more than a hundred years ago for their country and for France which will always honor with care, honor and dignity their memory and will keep strong and alive, with respect and gratitude their stories, the history of men who gave their today for our tomorrow and over whom I would watch without rest and with love so that they will never be forgotten.
Today, it is with gratitude and the deepest respect that I would like to honor the memory of one of these young men, one of my boys of the Somme. I would like to pay a very respectful tribute to Private number 2805 Ronald Shadrick Allen who fought in the 12th Australian Infantry Battalion, A Company, 3rd Brigade, 1st Australian Division, and who was killed in action 105 years ago, on July 23, 1916, the first day of the battle of Pozieres, Somme, at the age of 19.

Ronald Shadrick Allen was born on July 4, 1898 in North Motton, Tasmania, alongside his twin brother Herbert and was the son of Herbert Osborne and Marion Wallace Hay Allen (née Purton) and had, in addition to his twin brother, three brothers and a sister.

Ronald had been named after his paternal grandfather Shadrach Purton and his great-grandfather,also named Shadrack Purton, who had been born in England in 1796 but died in Westbury, Tasmania in 1871. Shadrack was a convict overseer and farmer. He had fought in the Battle of Waterloo on June 18, 1815.

Ronald spent a happy childhood on a small-holding of just over 46 acres called "Fairview", in Allison’s Road, North Motton,Tasmania but unfortunately,his mother died aged 37 years from a possible miscarriage in 1911, when he was 13 years old. Later Jessie Violet Brothers, nee Saltmarsh, a widow and mother of Charles Jnr, married Herbert Allen on June 19, 1912. Jessie became his step-mother and loved Ronald as her own son. He was educated at North Motton State School until the age of 12 then worked in the fields as a farmer with his father.

Ronald enlisted on August 11, 1915 in Hobart, Tasmania and after initial training, was assigned to the 26th Australian Infantry Battalion, 6th reinforcements at Claremont Camp in September and embarked with his unit from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A38 Ulysses on October 27, 1915 then sailed for Egypt.

On December 26, 1915, Ronald was disembarked in Abbassia, Egypt, and was admitted the same day to the 4th Auxiliary Hospital suffering from mumps and a few days later, joined the 7th Training Battalion then was transferred to the 12th Australian Infantry Battalion,A Company, in Zeitoun on March 1, 1916 and on March 29, embarked from Alexandria then proceeded overseas for France.

On April 5, 1916, Ronald arrived in France and was disembarked in Marseilles and with the 12th Australian Infantry Battalion, were sent to the Somme, where, unfortunately, three months later, on July 23, 1916, the first day of the battle of Pozieres, Ronald met his fate and was killed in action on the Bapaume Road called "Deadman's Road", he was 19 years old.

Today, Ronald Shadrick Allen rests in peace with his friends, comrades and brothers in arms at Pozieres British Cemetery and his grave bears the following inscription "The Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away".

Ronald, you who were on the dawn of a life full of promise and expectation in the innocence of the youth you were in, when the bells of war rang through the towns and villages of Australia, despite your very young age, you answered the call of duty without hesitation with in your heart, the deep desire to do your duty and not to be left behind, you wore the colors with honor and in the Somme, until your last breath, alongside your comrades and brothers in arms, you served with determination and tenacity and in the poppies, you paid the ultimate sacrifice, for Australia and for France, for humanity, for peace and freedom,you gave your life.My words are very few things and will never be strong enough to express to you my gratitude that I have deep in my heart for you and all those who, by your side, in the Somme, fought and fell, for all these heroes like you who rest in peace in our cemeteries but I would like, with all my heart, to say thank you for everything you have done for us, for France for which you have done so much and which, forever, will keep your memory alive.Through the words of the schools of Amiens and Villers-Bretonneux "Do not forget Australia", we will always honor the memory of our Diggers who became our sons and wrote the most glorious pages of Australia and the friendship that unites Australia and France and which is for me a great pride, and through the eyes and the lives of these young men was born my deep love and admiration of Australia,an admiration that I feel for each of these young men who, in the trenches, on the battlefields, in the apocalypse of the great war, fought with exceptional devotion and courage and who were deeply admired by their French brothers in arms who had the honor to fight by their side, for the same causes and gave their today for a deep desire for peace.They were young, volunteers and in the trenches, shared the same sufferings, fears and tears in the face of a world at war which, in the horror of the fights and the worst battles, tried to rob them of their humanity but in the face of the adversity, they remained united and strong, they stood admirable in bravery which they showed in their actions and in their smile which, despite what they endured never disappeared, they kept their sense of humor to face the darkness that fell on them in incessant rains of shells and bullets which transformed formerly peaceful landscapes into fields of death on which thousands of men fell day after day under the fire of machine guns which decimated waves of men who charged with courage through the no man's land with for only weapon, the steel of their bayonets.Men who knew they had no chance against enemy machine guns but who despite everything, went over the top with conviction without a single step back to be alongside their comrades.United to each other, their strength, their courage was their camaraderie, their unity which allowed them to remain strong, they watched over each other and shared the sufferings, joys and sorrows, their faces blackened by mud and by the fatigue and torments of war, they fought and struggled without rest in this endless nightmare but never gave up despite what they endured in the trenches.Together, they held their lines in the interminable expectation of the next assault across the no man's land which, in front of their eyes was red with the blood of their brothers and friends who fell before them in the barbed wire, in the mud which swallowed, under tons of shells thousands of men.Led by valiant officers who were the first to fall into the mud of the Somme, all did their duty and moved forward with the greatest bravery in the face of a hail of bullets and terrible losses.Side by side they loaded the enemy trenches under the fires of hell under which they collapsed leaving behind few memories of their lives, few objects and broken families who never saw their sons,their husbands again. But the war never had the last word on them who were afraid of being forgotten or of being crushed by the weight of the years because today, more than ever, they continue to live and exist through us who are their legacy and through my visits to the battlefields and cemeteries of the Somme, with love I would bring them back to life so that their history, their courage and their sacrifices are never forgotten, they will never cease to live. Thank you so much Ronald,for everything. At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember him,we will remember them.