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Pte. James Edward Allen
Australian Imperial Force 49th Infantry Battalion
(d.7th Jun 1917)
James Edward Allen was born at Gin Gin, Queensland, on 11 March 1886. He was considered a skilled marksman and was a member of the Gin Gin Rifle Club. The 30-year-old farmer and grazier enlisted with the Australian Imperial Force on 5th July 1916 along with two of his brothers, Ernest and Josiah. Together the three brothers departed Sydney with the reinforcements for the 49th Infantry Battalion aboard HMAT Ceramic on 7th October 1916
Having been sent to the Western Front, Allen frequently wrote letters to his brother William back in Australia, in which he responded to news from home and described the conditions at the front. In a letter dated 4th June 1917 he wrote of a large-scale offensive to take place over the coming days, and on 7th June Allen and his two brothers fought at the battle of Messines. Initially listed as missing in action, Allen was later confirmed to have been killed in action on that day along with his brother Josiah. One witness reported seeing him killed by an artillery shell. James Edward Allen is commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial in Belgium.
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