Charles Ernest Frank ALLEN

ALLEN, Charles Ernest Frank

Service Number: 1033
Enlisted: 26 April 1915, Brisbane, Queensland
Last Rank: Lance Corporal
Last Unit: 25th Infantry Battalion
Born: Wimbledon, Oxford, England, 1 June 1876
Home Town: Darwin, Darwin, Northern Territory
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Botanist
Died: United Kingdom, 13 September 1939, aged 63 years, cause of death not yet discovered
Cemetery: Brompton Cemetery
West Brompton, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, Greater London, England Plot: V, 140.9, 144.3 Grave Type: Common
Show Relationships

World War 1 Service

26 Apr 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 1033, Brisbane, Queensland
29 Jun 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 1033, 25th Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
29 Jun 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 1033, 25th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Aeneas, Brisbane
4 Sep 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 1033, 26th Infantry Battalion, 'ANZAC' / Gallipoli
14 Jul 1919: Discharged AIF WW1, Lance Corporal, SN 1033, 25th Infantry Battalion

Help us honour Charles Ernest Frank Allen's service by contributing information, stories, and images so that they can be preserved for future generations.

Biography contributed by Telita Kellner

Charles Ernest Frank Allen was born on the 2nd of July 1876 in Wimbledon in the county of Oxford, England. Before his arrival in Australia, C. E. F Allen spent some time working in Rhodesia and Mozambique. By trade he was a botanist, he received his formal training at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, England. He went on to apply to join to His Majesty's Armed Services during the Second Boer War in South Africa. Due to medical issues with his teeth, he was declared as unfit for service. C. E. F. Allen worked with the botanic gardens in Cairns and later in Darwin, Northern Territory, and on October 7, 1913, he was titled curator and later acquired the additional role of Superintendent of Agriculture for the Northern Territory. He was the garden’s very first full-time curator but he soon left to join the Australian Expeditionary Force during the First World War.

C. E. F. Allen applied to join in Brisbane and despite previous rejection, this application was accepted and he became a part of the 26th battalion. Before departure to war Allen attended a smoke social programme on the 22nd of April 1915 that farewelled the Northern Territories first contingent of volunteers for the front in Europe. While at War C. E. F. Allen visited various places such as France and England. While abroad the then Private was charged with ‘conduct of prejudice of good order and military discipline in that he in the field of Hazelbrouck was found in possession of plunder’. He was found guilty and subsequently forfeited 28 days’ pay. On the 14th of July 1919, C.E.F Allen was Medically Discharged and was seen as unfit for duty when examined. He was discharged for the same reason that he was originally rejected by the armed forces. Upon his return, he was awarded the 1914/1915 star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

C. E. F. Allen returned to the Botanic Gardens in the 1920s but due to his many responsibilities, he was unable to devote much time to the Gardens. Allen undertook experimentation in economic botany and established the Gardens first Herbarium during his time as Curator. He retired from the position in February 1936. He later returned to the United Kingdom where he later died. Since then, there has been a park and street dedicated to him in Fannie Bay, Darwin. 


Bisa, D. (n.d.). Remember me kindly.

Brown, G. (2017). Occasional Papers no.39. [Online] Available at:  [Accessed 26 Dec. 2017]. (2007). Allen, Charles E.F., botanical collector. [Online] Available at:  [Accessed 26 Dec. 2017]. (2017). Smoke socials, meat works and rebellion: Darwin 1914 to 1919 - Department of Tourism and Culture. [Online] Available at:  [Accessed 26 Dec. 2017].

Trove. (2017). Allen, Charles Ernest Frank (1876-1936) - People and organisations. [Online] Available at:  [Accessed 26 Dec. 2017]. (2017). The Study of Australian Eucalypts - Encyclopaedia of Australian Science. [Online] Available at:  [Accessed 26 Dec. 2017].

National Archives of Australia. (2017). Record Search - National Archives of Australia. [Online] Available at:  [Accessed 26 Dec. 2017].

Contributed by Telita Kellner as part of the 2018 Northern Territory Chief Minister’s Anzac Spirit Study Tour