Herbert Allen, Private 357824, 2/10th Battalion, The King’s (Liverpool Regiment)
Died 29th June 1917 in Belgium
Herbert Allen was born on 19th March 1889, the third son of Martha and Stephen Allen, a Pawnbroker and Jeweller of 61 Chestergate. The family later moved home, first to Oxford Road and then to Upton Cottage, Prestbury.
Herbert was educated at Macclesfield Grammar School and on leaving he trained as a dentist, opening his Dental Rooms in Leek. He attended Prestbury Church regularly, and it was there that in 1912 he married Maud Grounds.
The couple had three children: Kenneth Douglas, born in Leek in 1912; Stephen Phillip, born in Leek in 1914; and Herbert Geoffrey, born in Macclesfield in 1916. Stephen Phillip died in March 1918 at the age of four, just a few weeks before Maud received confirmation of her husband’s death.
Herbert was conscripted in 1916 and was placed with the King’s Liverpool Regiment – the Liverpool Scottish Battalion. After his initial basic training, undertaken first in Kent and then Surrey, he was drafted to France in February 1917. The battalion took over the duties at the trenches at Bois Grenier, close to Ypres. In a well-rehearsed operation, on the 26th June, 165 men executed a daylight raid on the German trenches; vicious and brutal hand to hand fighting ensued, an operation resulting in the loss of 3 officers and 32 other ranks.
Herbert was killed in action on 29th June 1917, aged 28 years; his body was never recovered, and his death was not confirmed until the following year.
According to Herbert’s medal index card, his medals were sent to his last known address but were returned; either his wife had moved away, or she did not want the medals and sent them back.
Private Herbert Allen has no known grave and is commemorated on Panel Ref. Panel 3 of the Ploegsteert Memorial in Belgium. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission holds casualty details for Private Herbert Allen, and he is listed on the Imperial War Museum’s Lives of the First World War website.
GRO (England & Wales) Index: Births, Marriages, Deaths
Commonwealth War Graves Commission website
Lives of the First World War website
WWI British Army Medal Rolls Index Cards
Macclesfield Courier: 30 March 1918