Charles Henry ALLEN

Poppy

ALLEN, Charles Henry

Service Number: 984
Enlisted: 2 September 1914, Morphettville, South Australia
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 10th Infantry Battalion
Born: Booleroo Centre, South Australia, 1 September 1895
Home Town: Booleroo Centre, Mount Remarkable, South Australia
Schooling: Booleroo Centre Public School
Occupation: Labourer
Died: Killed in Action (GSW head), Gallipoli, 19 May 1915, aged 19 years
Cemetery: Shrapnel Valley Cemetery, Gallipoli
Plot III, Row D, Grave 28. Also panel 58 at the AWM
Memorials: Australian War Memorial, Roll of Honour, Booleroo Centre HB1 WWI*, National War Memorial (South Australia), Port Pirie HB01 Presbyterian Church*
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World War 1 Service

2 Sep 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 984, Morphettville, South Australia
20 Oct 1914: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 984, 10th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Ascanius, Adelaide
20 Oct 1914: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 984, 10th Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
25 Apr 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 984, 10th Infantry Battalion, ANZAC Gallipoli
19 May 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 984, 10th Infantry Battalion, ANZAC Gallipoli

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Biography

Born 1 September 1895 In Booleroo Centre, South Australia
(SA Birth Record 1842 - 1906 Book: 570 Page: 424 District: Fro.)

Father Christopher ALLEN (b. 29/12/1867 Hamilton SA - d.11/5/1956 Port Pirie SA)
m. 1892
Mother Elizabeth Ann (nee BALDOCK,  b. 18/4/1874 Manoora SA - d. 11/5/1956 Port Pirie)
living at Port Pirie, South Australia.

Siblings:
Brother       Cecil Ernest ALLEN
                  (b. 19/9/1892 Booleroo Centre - d. 17/12/1893 Booleroo SA)

Brother        Christopher John ALLEN
                   (b. 4/2/1894 Booleroo SA - d. _____)

Brother        Edward Melville ALLEN
                   (b. 18/7/1897 Booleroo Centre SA - d. ____)

Next of kin in service:

Uncle:         3248 Joseph George BEES
                           (actual name is   GEORGE Henry Bee BALDOCK)
                  Private in 3rd Pioneer Battalion
                  Returned to Australia 4 December 1918
                  (b. 6/4/1878 Booleroo Centre - d. 27/2/1953 Sth Melbourne, VIC)
                  (1.m. 4/10/1899 - Emma Eliza Catherine Nottle 
                                              b. 1880 Booleroo Centre - d. Oct 1942)
                  (2.m. 1922 Victoria - Alice Annie Isabell Campbell  b. 1890)

Uncle:         2103 Thomas Alfred Bee Baldock 
                  Lance Corporal in 4th Pioneer Battalion
                  Returned to Australia on 23/9/1918
                  (b. 5/5/1896 - d. 4/5/1976  cremated & placed in Centennial Park Cemetery)
                  (m. Lucy Victoria Horn  (b. 26/4/1896 - d. 11/10/1982)
                   cremated and placed next to Thomas in Centennial Park Cemetery)  

Cousin:       5438 Harold Lesley Sawley 
                  
Private in 23rd Battalion
                  killed in action 3/5/1917
                  no known grave
                  commemorated on Australian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux, France

Cousin:       452 Norman Ernest George Sawley
                  
Private in 27th Battalion
                  died of illness 7/12/1915
                  buried in Chatby War Memorial Cemetery (Row b, Grave No. 35), Egypt

Cousin:       631 Henry Theodore Swanton
                   
Private in 32nd Battalion
                  Died of wounds 24/7/1916
                  buried in Bologne Eastern Cemetery (Plot VIII, Row A, Gravbe No. 146), France

2nd cousin: 1338 Lionel Edward Baldock 
                  Private 12th Battalion
                  killed in action  19/9/1917, Belgium
                  no known grave
                  commemorated on The Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 17), Belgium

Six months after he moved to Broken Hill to work on the BHP smelters,
war broke out in Europe.   Charles became the first man from the Booleroo district
to volunteer for the AIF (Australian Imperial Force) when he travelled to Port Pirie
to enlist within weeks of the outbreak of war.

Described on enlisting as 19 years old; single;6' 1/2" tall; 168 lbs;
pale complexion; brown eyes; brown hair

31/8/1914      Completed medical at Port Pirie - fit for service

2/9/1914        Enlisted at Morphettville, South Australia
                     Commanding Officer appointed Charles to D Company
                     Morphettville Camp

20/10/1914    Embarked from Outer Harbour, Port Adelaide on board HMAT Ascanius A11
                     as a Private with the D Company, 10th Infantry Battalion

Recommended as a good shot by Booleroo Rifle Club, Charles was posted to
the 10th Battalion and left for Egypt.

2/3/1915        Embarked from Alexandria, Egypt on board Ionian to GALLIPOLI

He was involved  in the dawn landing at Gallipoli, where he did wonderful work.

He was one of the battalion's snipers, and also participated in valuable
reconnoitring work.

On the evening of 18 May 1915, the Commander of the 10th Battalion received
a message from his Brigadier to say that the Turks had landed a division of new
troops, and that the Australians were in danger of being attacked. This intelligence
proved accurate, because at 3am the following morning the Turks attacked in
great force . However, the attack failed, as they were mown down by Australian
rifle and machine-gun fire, and only three actually made it as far as the Australian
parapet.

The 10th Battalion war diary records that, considering the numbers who attacked
and losses were very light. Ten men were killed that day in defence of the 10th
Battalion position.  Private Charles Henry Allen was one of them.  He was shot
through the head and, briefly exclaiming  "Oh!" and he fell dead.

His close mate, 744 Private Ralph Ewart Field (23/7/1916 killed at Pozieres),
wrote to Charles' parents:-
"Charles was an example to the battalion in his living and as a soldier
 the Battalion had no equal. He was a credit to his Empire, a credit
 to Australia, and a credit to you."

Charles had written to his parents before leaving for the Dardanelles, telling them
not to worry about him. If the worst came, he wrote, they would know that he died
fighting for his King and Country, and he did not think he could die better.

19/5/1915        Killed in action at the Dardanelles, GALLIPOLI
buried by:        Chaplain J C McPhee
buried in:         Divisional Cemetery, Shrapnel Gully
                       Row IV, Plot C, Grave 2

later buried in:  Shrapnel Valley Cemetery   (400 yards south east of Anzac Cove)
                        Plot III, Row D, Grave 28

Medals:
1914-15 Star (4019);  British War medal (4537);  Victory medal (4536);
Memorial Plaque and Memorial Scroll (305865)

Sourced and submitted by Julianne T Ryan.  26/2/2013.  Lest we forget.

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