838633 A/Sgt. Alfred Watson Allen was born on March 29th, 1885, in Keppel Township, Grey County, Ontario.

Working as a raftsman, Alfred rode logs down from northern Ontario to the lumber mill at Owen Sound. He was a serving member of the local militia unit, the 31st Regiment when the war broke out.

On account of his job and his young family he did not attest to the 147th Battalion until March 27th, 1916. Family oral history has him enlisting over the objections of his wife Ellen, who was expecting their second child.

Alfred trained with the 147th for the remainder of the year until they sailed in November of 1916. In England the 147th ceased to exist on January 1st, 1917, when it formed the nucleus of the 8th Reserve Battalion.

Alfred was taken in an early draft to the 4th C.M.R. on February 8th, 1917 and served through Vimy, Hill 70, Passchendaele and the final 100 days, reaching the rank of Acting Sergeant.

Sailing home on the H.M.T. Carmania, Acting Sergeant Allan occupied Berth 15 on Deck D of the ship.

On arrival in Halifax the unit boarded the trains and left for home. Toronto.

Pulling into the Toronto North train station the 4th CMR paraded to the University Armouries before heading to the demobilization centre at the Canadian Exhibition Grounds.

There Alfred was struck off strength on March 20th, 1919, having come through the war without any visible wounds.

Biography details and image credit: George Auer