113055 Pte. Leonard Allen, was born in Nottingham, England, on June 2nd, 1893, one of eleven children to Frank and Elizabeth Allen.

The family, by degrees, emigrated to Canada in 1909 and 1910, and were living in the St. Albert district, north west of Edmonton, Alberta. All were listed as farmers in the 1911 Census. Some time after 1912, though certainly by the time he had signed up in the Canadian Expeditionary Force, at Barriefield, Ontario, in July 1915, Leonard had married Edith Carter, a young widow with a young son. Her brother, now Leonard's brother-in-law, Pte. Percy Wardle also signed up with the 8th CMR, three days later.

Initially assigned to the 8th Canadian Mounted Rifles, Leonard and his fellow regiment members sailed to the UK in October 1915, where they underwent further training and preparation for the theatre of war across the channel in France. Through December Leonard was paid as a cook.

Under the reorganisation of the Canadian divisions in January 1916, under the 8th Infantry Brigade, the 8th CMR was absorbed into the 4th CMR, whom they joined in the field in early February.

On June 2nd, 1916, the Germans opened a local offensive focussed on Armagh Wood, south east of Ypres, in Belgium. The 4th CMR, in front of the wood that day, caught the brunt of the attack. After five hours of continual heavy bombardment, which tilled the front line flat, 191 men of the 4th CMR had been killed, and 350 of their number had been taken P.O.W. The attack had all but annihilated the regiment.

Finally reported as missing in action on June 15th, it took until April 1917 for Leonard to be officially recognised as having been killed in action that June 2nd morning. This was because it often took months for German P.O.W. reports to confirm which men had been taken prisoner. As 350 men of the 4th CMR had been taken P.O.W. that June morning, which was also Leonard's 23rd birthday, time had to be allowed to be sure that he wasn't a P.O.W.

As his body was never recovered, Pte. Leonard Allen is remembered on Tablet H, Panel 32 of the Menin Gate Memorial, in Ypres (Ieper), Belgium.

His widow, Edith, originally from England herself, returned to the UK with her son and lived with her mother before finally settling in Brighton, on England's south coast.

Credit and many thanks go Paula Pocock for Leonard's biography.

Image of Tablet H, Panel 32, Menin Gate Memorial supplied by 4cmr.com