Allen is understood to have been born in the Poynton area in 1894, although his birth was registered at nearby Prestbury. He was the only son of Walter and Sarah Ann. As a boy, he had attended St Paul’s School, Portwood and had then gone to work with his father in the family greengrocery business at 85 Great Portwood Street.
By the time of the Great War, the family home was at 11 Naples Road, Cheadle Heath and, later, at “Avondale”, 22 Edgeley Road. Allen enlisted into the army at Stockport in February 1915 and was assigned to the newly formed 122nd Brigade. He went overseas in December 1915 and will have seen action during the Battle of the Somme the following year and around Ypres in 1917.
On 8 May 1918, the Germans made a strong local attack on the sector where Allen was, in Belgium. The Brigade opened fire on the advancing troops crossing No Man’s Land. “D” Battery soon came under retaliatory artillery fire from two German 21cm howitzers. At 10.45, there was a direct hit on one of the guns destroying it and killing or wounding all its crew. Sometime during this action, Allen undertook a now unknown act of bravery for which he was awarded the Military Medal. It was possibly for trying to rescue his comrades or for continuing to fire whilst the heavy German bombardment was underway
Just over three months later, on 26 August, the Brigade was moving into new positions in a valley near the Somme village of Pozieres. The Germans were shelling the roads and there were several casualties. Allen was almost certainly one of them. He was not killed outright and was in the process of being evacuated by the Field Ambulance. He didn’t make it as far as the field hospital and died at Bouzincourt about 10 kilometres away from where he’d been wounded.