The AIF Project

James Edward ALLEN

Regimental number2616
Place of birthGin Gin via Bundaberg, Queensland
SchoolGin Gin State School, Queensland
ReligionChurch of England
AddressGingin, Queensland
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation30
Height5' 9"
Weight147 lbs
Next of kinFather, William Allen, Ox Hill, Gingin, Queensland
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date5 July 1916
Place of enlistmentBundaberg, Queensland
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name49th Battalion, 6th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/66/3
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A40 Ceramic on 7 October 1916
Regimental number from Nominal Roll2616A
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll49th Battalion
Other details from Roll of Honour CircularA member of the Gin Gin Rifle Club, and a splendid marksman.
FateKilled in Action 7 June 1917
Place of death or woundingMessines, Belgium
Age at death31
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 29), Belgium

The Menin Gate Memorial (so named because the road led to the town of Menin) was constructed on the site of a gateway in the eastern walls of the old Flemish town of Ypres, Belgium, where hundreds of thousands of allied troops passed on their way to the front, the Ypres salient, the site from April 1915 to the end of the war of some of the fiercest fighting of the war.

The Memorial was conceived as a monument to the 350,000 men of the British Empire who fought in the campaign. Inside the arch, on tablets of Portland stone, are inscribed the names of 56,000 men, including 6,178 Australians, who served in the Ypres campaign and who have no known grave.

The opening of the Menin Gate Memorial on 24 July 1927 so moved the Australian artist Will Longstaff that he painted 'The Menin Gate at Midnight', which portrays a ghostly army of the dead marching past the Menin Gate. The painting now hangs in the Australian War Memorial, Canberra, at the entrance of which are two medieval stone lions presented to the Memorial by the City of Ypres in 1936.

Since the 1930s, with the brief interval of the German occupation in the Second World War, the City of Ypres has conducted a ceremony at the Memorial at dusk each evening to commemorate those who died in the Ypres campaign.

Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: William and Sarah Jane ALLEN
Family/military connectionsBrothers: 2615 Pte Ernest ALLEN, 49th Bn, killed in action, 25 April 1918; 2614 Pte Josiah ALLEN, 49th Bn, killed in action, 7 June 1917.
Other details

War service: Western Front

Embarked Sydney, 7 October 1916; disembarked Plymouth, England, 21 November 1916.

Embarked Folkestone to join the British Expeditionary Force, France, 8 January 1917.

Marched in, 4th Australian Divisional Base Depot, Etaples, 8 January 1917.

Taken on strength, 49th Bn, 15 January 1917.

Allotted letter 'A' to regimental number, 13 March 1917.

Marched in, School of Instruction, France, 24 March 1917; rejoined unit, 9 April 1917.

Killed in action, Belgium, 7 June 1917.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, ALLEN James Edward

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