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Capt Arthur de Bells Adam (MC)
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
Lieut Edward Stanley Ashcroft

Pte 22599 Henry Allen

  • Age: 23
  • From: Liverpool
  • Regiment: The King's (Liverpool Regiment) 20th Btn
  • D.O.W Saturday 1st July 1916
  • Commemorated at: La Neuville Brit Cem Corbie
    Panel Ref: I.A.16

Born in Hale in 1893, Henry was the 4th of 9 children born to James Allen, a farm labourer born in Halewood, and his wife Sarah, born in Speke. Henry had one older brother and at least 3 younger brothers; he also had and older sister and at least 2 younger sisters - the 1911 Census shows that Sarah had 10 children of whom 9 survived but I have only been able to account for 8 of the 9. In 1901 and 1911 the family lived in High Street, Hale Village, with James, the father, employed as a nursery or farm labourer. In 1901, their eldest son, Thomas, is also an agricultural labourer; by 1911, Thomas is a nurseryman and Henry a domestic gardener.

It is probable that Henry enlisted in September 1914 and he served in France from 7th November 1915, earning all three medals. He died on 1st July 1916 from wounds almost certainly sustained on 1st July, the opening day of the Somme Battle. The 20th Battalion lost 23 men killed on this day, including two Second Lieutenants and their Company Quarter Master Sergeant and also had 77 men wounded. This compares favourably with the 18th Battalion who on the same day lost 7 officers and 164 other ranks killed and a total of almost 500 killed, wounded or missing. Henry is buried in La Neuville British Cemetery, Corbie, in Grave I A 16 and is commemorated on his parents’ headstone in St Mary’s Churchyard, Hale Village, as is his younger brother, Edward, who was 2 years younger and enlisted in 112th Brigade Royal Field Artillery.

Edward died of wounds near Bailleul on 20th January 1916. Edward also earned his three medals and is buried in Bailleul Communal Cemetery Extension in Grave II C 65. The Widnes Weekly News reported that Edward “was the first to die of about 130 lads who have gone from the village of Hale”.