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George William Allen


Serial No:
Serial No. 2554

17th Battalion


George William Allen - Information

George was a son of journalist Robert Allen and his wife Alice. The Allens had lived in Ryde, where George was born in 1895. In the late 1890s, they packed up and relocated to Ingleburn House in Ingleburn. Growing up in the area, George began supporting himself as a labourer. The Allens watched anxiously, as the world as they knew it, would be forever changed with the advent of war. Talk of serving the motherland and the need to fight, dominated conversation. When he was 20 years old, George decided to enlist in the AIF, signing up in Liverpool on the 26th of July 1915. During training, George was posted as a Private to the 6th Reinforcements, 17th Battalion. Given his travel orders, he boarded the HMAT Euripides on the 2nd of November 1915, setting off from Sydney.

George landed in Egypt, and soon joined his unit. The 17th Battalion had returned from Gallipoli in early February 1916, and before long, impetus of operational strategy had shifted to the Western Front. Therefore, George'€™s unit left Alexandria and proceeded to the Port of Marseilles in France. They were introduced to trench warfare in what was known as The Nursery near Armentières, undertaking trench raids. The Battalion was then moved south. Here, they were put into position for operations during the Somme Campaign. The German attack on the French fortress city of Verdun had occupied all French manpower resources. The then extended British assault did not go as planned, and more reserves were brought in. The Anzacs were ordered to attack the village of Pozières in late July. The village was captured; however, the Germans launched a counter attack resulting in much bitter fighting. During the onslaught, George was wounded on the 26th of July, hit in the leg. It was a severe injury, the bullet fractured his tibia. He had lost much blood and an infection was already brewing, when he was admitted to hospital in Rouen in early August. He was then evacuated to England, to the 3rd London General Hospital. Sadly, there was just too much damage and necrosis from the wound, that his leg was amputated at the thigh. After some much needed rest at a Convalescence Depot, George was invalided back to Australia on the 5th of April 1917.

After receiving further treatment in Sydney, George returned to his family in Ingleburn. In mid July, he and a fellow local soldier, Carlyle Gordon Wells, were given a welcome home party at the Ingleburn Library Institute. They were presented with a medal inscribed by the Soldiers’ Social and Reception Committee. Songs, dance performances and refreshments were provided for his family and friends for the evening. The boys were cheered and congratulated on their safe return. Many were deeply saddened that George had lost his leg in the line of duty. George then tried to get on with his life. He later met and married the love of his life, Irene Mabel Seymour. They tied the knot in Kogarah in 1920 and later relocated to the city. George passed away on the 18th of November 1972 at the Repatriation Hospital in Concord.