Missing in action
"If they do not stop throwing bits of lead about and small iron foundries at one another I really think somebody will surely get hurt."
Privates Robert and Stephen Allen enlisted in the AIF in July 1915 and served with the 13th Battalion in France. They were killed by same shell on 14 August 1916. Initially reported as missing, in 1917 they were listed as killed in action.
The pink telegram
If someone went missing or was killed, a telegram was sent to the local clergyman, who broke the news to the family. Unfortunately, instead of being a source of consolation, the sight of a clergyman often led people to fear the worst.
After the Allen brothers went missing, their family was desperate for news. The army could not provide any further details, so the family asked the Red Cross Wounded and Missing Bureau for help. Between October 1916 and September 1917, witnesses were interviewed and the accounts forwarded to the family.