1885 - 1916
CPL David Wallace Crawford
1887 - 1916
Lce-Corpl John Joseph Nickle
1894 - 1916
Pte 17911 Morton Neill
1897 - 1916
Lieut Edward Stanley Ashcroft
1883 - 1918
Pte 57515 Alfred Christopher Allan
- Age: 23
- From: Dundee
- Regiment: The King's (Liverpool Regiment) 18th Btn
- K.I.A Monday 9th April 1917
- Commemorated at: Bucquoy Rd Cem Ficheux
Panel Ref: VI.N.25
Alfred Christopher was born in Dundee. He was the son of David Allan and his wife Agnes Strang (nee Melville) who lived in 5 South George Street, Dundee during the war. Prior to the war Alfred was employed by the Dundee Courier as a clerk within the Commercial Department.
At the time of the 1901 census David and Agnes were living at 6 Kinnaird Street, Dundee. Agnes had just given birth to an as yet unnamed baby boy, and the couple have five other children living with them: John aged 14, David 12, Alfred 7, Agnes 5 and Archibald 2.
Alfred enlisted in Dundee, formerly with the Highland Divisional Cyclist Company and was serving in the 18th Battalion, The King’s Liverpool Regiment as Private No 57515 when he was killed in action on the 9th April, 1917 aged 23 having been at the front for four months.
Arras 09th April 1917
Details of the circumstances the18th Battalion had to contend with are illustrated below:
The battalion formed the left assaulting battalion of the brigade, the 2nd Wiltshire Regiment being on the right, the 19th Manchester Regiment being in support and 2nd Battalion Yorkshire Regiment furnishing “moppers -up” for the two assaulting battalions. The brigade advance was timed to begin at ---- hour after “Zero”, suited to conform with the movements of 56th Division and other divisions on our left further north (near Arras). This battalion’s objective was the front-line system Lion Lane on the left (exclusive) to Panther Lane on right (exclusive). This sector included the strongpoint known as “The Egg”.
The brigade advanced at prearranged time, i.e., 11.38 a.m, from position of assembly trenches south of Neuville Vitasse to German front line. This necessitated an advance across the open of at least 2,000 yards. This area up to Neuville Vitasse- Henin road was crossed in artillery formation; after this, owing to machine-gun fire and considerable resistance from German posts forward in the sunken roads, it was found necessary to deploy. During the whole movement across the open the advancing columns had been under considerable artillery fire from guns of all calibres. On gaining the position immediately in front of German line it was found that the wire was practically uncut; this wire formed two strong belts in front of German trenches. Two small gaps were eventually discovered and Second-Lieut H.F.Merry gallantly led a bombing party through them, but his three remaining men were killed as they reached the German trenches.
From the moment the battalion was “held up” in front of German wire Capt. R. W. Jones, the senior company commander on the spot, at once began the work of consolidating in front of German wire. The battalion held on in this position for the remainder of the day, until relieved by the 16th Manchester Regiment about 3 a.m. on the 10th of April, all the time under intense machine-gun and rifle fire.
Between 9th-10th April, 1917, the 18th King's lost 2 officers 2nd Lt. F. Ashcroft and 2nd Lt. H.G. Ewing and 59 other ranks killed. 8 other officers were wounded.
His grieving parents took out a notice in the Dundee Telegraph on the 20th April 1917:
ALLAN – killed in action on the 9th April, Pte Alfred Allan aged 23 Kings Liverpool Rgt, fourth son of Mr and Mrs David Allan, 5 South George Street, Dundee – deeply mourned.
And from the Dundee Courier on the 21st April 1917 :
“COURIER” EMPLOYEE KILLED.
Mr David Allan, South George Street, Dundee, has received official intimation that his son, Private Alfred C. Allan, has been killed in action. Private Allan enlisted in the Cyclists Battalion in November 1915, but was afterwards transferred to the King’s Liverpools. He was 23 years of age, and had been at the front for four months. His officer in a letter to Mrs Allan, said he was an excellent soldier in every way, and a great favourite with the remainder of the men in the company. Previous to enlisting he was employed in the commercial department of the “Dundee Courier”.
Alfred now rests at Bucquoy Road, Cemetery, Fichieux. where his headstone bears the epitaph:
"UNTIL THE DAY DAWN AND THE SHADOWS FLEE AWAY"
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