The AIF Project

John William ALLEN

Regimental number2109
Place of birthLeichhardt, Sydney, New South Wales
ReligionRoman Catholic
AddressAlbermarle Street, Newtown, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation23
Height5' 8"
Weight132 lbs
Next of kinMother, Mrs B Allen, Albermarle Street, Newtown, New South Wales
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date7 April 1915
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll18 April 1915
Place of enlistmentLiverpool, New South Wales
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name4th Battalion, 6th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/21/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A63 Karoola on 16 June 1915
Rank from Nominal RollCorporal
Unit from Nominal Roll4th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 16 August 1916
Place of death or woundingFrance
Date of death16 August 1916
Age at death24.8
Age at death from cemetery records24.8
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsAustralian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux, France

Villers-Bretonneux is a village about 15 km east of Amiens. The Memorial stands on the high ground ('Hill 104') behind the Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery, Fouilloy, which is about 2 km north of Villers-Bretonneux on the east side of the road to Fouilloy.

The Australian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux is approached through the Military Cemetery, at the end of which is an open grass lawn which leads into a three-sided court. The two pavilions on the left and right are linked by the north and south walls to the back (east) wall, from which rises the focal point of the Memorial, a 105 foot tall tower, of fine ashlar. A staircase leads to an observation platform, 64 feet above the ground, from which further staircases lead to an observation room. This room contains a circular stone tablet with bronze pointers indicating the Somme villages whose names have become synonymous with battles of the Great War; other battle fields in France and Belgium in which Australians fought; and far beyond, Gallipoli and Canberra.

On the three walls, which are faced with Portland stone, are the names of 10,885 Australians who were killed in France and who have no known grave. The 'blocking course' above them bears the names of the Australian Battle Honours.

After the war an appeal in Australia raised £22,700, of which £12,500 came from Victorian school children, with the request that the majority of the funds be used to build a new school in Villers-Bretonneux. The boys' school opened in May 1927, and contains an inscription stating that the school was the gift of Victorian schoolchildren, twelve hundred of whose fathers are buried in the Villers-Bretonneux cemetery, with the names of many more recorded on the Memorial. Villers-Bretonneux is now twinned with Robinvale, Victoria, which has in its main square a memorial to the links between the two towns.

Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front

Embarked Sydney, 16 June 1915.

Joined 4th Bn, Gallipoli, 7 August 1915.

Wounded in action, 6-7 August 1915 (head wound); admitted to HS 'Caledonia', 7 August 1915; transferred to 1st Australian General Hospital, Heliopolis, 10 August 1915; to Convalescent Camp, Zeitoun, 18 August 1915. Embarked Alexandria, 8 November 1915; admitted to Advanced Base, Mudros, 18 November 1915; rejoined unit at Gallipoli, 7 December 1915. Disemnbarked Alexandria from Mudros, 29 December 1915 (general Gallipoli evacuation).

Appointed Lance Corporal, 3 March 1916.

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 23 March 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 30 March 1916.

Promoted Corporal, 3 August 1916.

Killed in action, 16 August 1916.

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal

Mother wrote to Base Records, August 1920, stating that her son had tried to enlist in 1914 under his own name but was rejected, and stated, Statutory Declaration, 16 November 1920, that his real name was John William LEININGER.
Miscellaneous detailsReal name: John William LEININGER
SourcesNAA: B2455, ALLEN John William

Print format