Rank or Title
Date of Birth
Date of Death
9 Apr 1917
War time / or Pre War occupation
Place of Birth
World War I Address
Place of Death
War Memorial Location
Soldier or Civilian
Pte Frederick Reginald Allen, 27968, 6th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was killed in action while serving as a stretcher bearer in Flanders on April 9th, 1917. He was aged 27.
In a letter to parents Frederick and Ellen Allen, of 63 Havelock Road, Luton, Capt F. B. Williams wrote: "It is with the deepest regret that I have to inform you of the death of your son, Pte F. R. Allen, who was killed in action whilst the battalion was attacking on April 9th. You may be comforted to know that your son died whilst helping others - a more noble death is hard to imagine...If he had lived I should have undoubtedly recommended him for distinguished service in these last operations."
Talking of his own personal loss with the death of Pte Allen, L-Cpl H. W. Hanby wrote: "For something like 24 hours he and other stretcher bearers worked very hard carrying wounded men out of the line to a dressing station. One of them was Richardson, whose home was at Maulden, and who came out with the same draft as your son. While they were at the dressing station shells fell so close that Richardson asked the bearers to shift his position.
"Your son and two others left their shelter to go to the stretcher. At that moment your son and another bearer, named [Pte William Charles] Mossman, were killed by a shell. The man on the stretcher and another stretcher bearer were not hit. The knowledge that your son died a noble death while saving a comrade will, I hope, help to temper your feelings of sorrow. He was a son to be proud of."
The Allen family were all born in Redbourn and had arrived in Luton by the time of the 1911 Census. Before enlisting in March 1916, Frederick was a velvet cutter employed by hat materials supplier Charles Clay & Son, of Waldeck Road. He went to France in June 1916.
[Later official records give the date of death as either April 9th-12th or April 12th]