Allen, Cadet Thomas Meredith (1313)

No 9 Reserve Sqn RFC

Thomas Allen was born in Apia, Samoa, and was a 21-year old Seaman with the Samoa Shipping Line when he joined the 2nd Infantry Battalion at Liverpool, NSW, on 28 November 1914. He had previously served with the Auckland Territorials in New Zealand. On 11 February 1915 he departed from Sydney on HMAT A48 Seang Bee. Pte Allen suffered a gunshot wound in the groin at Gallipoli on 1 May 1915 and was evacuated to Weymouth, England. A promotion to Lance Corporal in February 1916 was short-lived, as he was reduced to Private two months later after missing a morning parade, but was promoted back to Lance Corporal soon after, and subsequently to Corporal. In November 1916 he transferred to the AFC while in France, and was then seconded to the RFC next month and posted to the School of Military Aeronautics in Reading. After graduation from Reading, he went to No 9 Reserve Sqn RFC in Norfolk.

He was killed in an aircraft accident at Norfolk on 27 April 1917 when flying Henry Farman F20 A1214. The Court of Enquiry found that the aeroplane didn’t flatten out soon enough when gliding towards the ground while landing. After the crash Allen was taken to Thorpe War Hospital where he died. Cdt Allen had accumulated 2 hours and 25 minutes’ solo experience on the Shorthorn prior to the accident.

Cdt T M Allen is buried in Grave 165 at Ashtead (St Giles) Churchyard, Surrey, England.

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