Ystradgynlais Wargraves

John Allen

Ystradgynlais Fallen of World War One

John Allen was born in Staffordshire and moved to the Swansea Valley to work in the collieries before joining the South Wales Borderers. He died in 1915, killed in action in France.

Whilst the Llais reports on him as a widower with 6, later corrected to 5 children, we believe this is supposed to have said that he left a widow and 5 children, as all of the evidence ponts to Alice being the father of his children (i.e. not a second wife) and outliving him by some decades. Note that the CWGC record him as "Husband of Alice Allen, of 14, Brookland Terrace, Abercrave, Swansea." which will have come from the next-of-kin information upon his registration.

The information on John Allen comes principally from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, from the Labour Voice newspaper, and the Parish Burial Register (courtesy of the Swansea Archives).

The new Ystradgynlais War Memorial was erected in 2016.

John Allen

Ystradgynlais Fallen of World War One

NameJohn Allen
Date of Death25th January 1915
Place of DeathWestern Front, NE France
Age at Death45
Unit and RegimentSouth Wales Borderers; 1st Bn.
Service Number15110
Additional InformationCoal Miner Labourer Underground , originally from Staffordshire, moved to Swansea Valley by 1911, at first boarding in Abercrave, then brought his family down.
MemorialLE TOURET MEMORIAL - FRANCE; Panel 14 and 15.
Local MemorialsYstradgynlais War Memorial
Family DetailsHusband of Alice Allen (born 1872, died 1955), of 14 Brookland Terrace, Abercrave, Swansea.
Known SonsJohn Allen, born 1899 in Oldbury, Worcs
William Thomas Allen, born 22nd August 1908 in Rowley Regis, Staffs, died June 1987 in Talgarth, Powys
Known DaughtersMary Ellen, born 1898 in Oldbury, Worcs
Annie, born 1903 in Rowley Regis, Staffs, married 1919 to Elias Rodriguez, one stillborn child, and son Thomas (born 1922, baptised 1929 St. David's Church, Abercrave)
Edith, born 1905 in Rowley Regis, Staffs

The Le Touret Memorial is a World War I memorial, located near the former commune of Richebourg-l'Avoué, in the Pas-de-Calais region of France. The memorial lists 13,389 names of British and Commonwealth soldiers with no known grave who were killed in the area prior to the start of the Battle of Loos on 25 September 1915.

The son of John Allen, William Thomas Allen, is remembered in Saint David's cemetery, Abercrave

From The Llais

The Llais newspaper prided itself on being the source of a plethora of local information, including on the fate or circumstance of soldiers during the war, and on the death of members of the community over decades of reporting.

From the Labour Voice newspaper, 13th February 1915 comes an erroneous report:-

We regret to note that Pte. John Allen of Brooklands Terrace was killed in action on 28th January 1915. He is a widower and leaves 6 children one of whom is married.

From the Labour Voice newspaper, 20th February 1915 comes a correction, but we believe "was a widower" should read "leaves a widow":-

We also announced in our last issue that Pte. John Allen, Abercrave, who was killed in active service, was a widower with 6 children. That should have read 5 children.