Private James Edward Allen

Service number 2616A, 2616
Birth Date 1886-03-11
Birth Place Australia: Queensland, Gin Gin
Death Date 1917-06-07
Death Place Belgium: Flanders, West-Vlaanderen, Messines
Final Rank Private
Service Australian Imperial Force
Unit 49th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • First World War, 1914-1918
  • First World War, 1914-1918

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 5 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 7 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 4 June 1917 he wrote of a large-scale offensive to take place over the coming days, and on 7 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.



Date of birth 11 March 1886
Date of enlistment 05 July 1916
Date of embarkation 07 October 1916
Date of death 07 June 1917