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Cpl. William Wilson Allen (1240 B Co. 24th. Regiment).

Directions to Memorial

Died 12th. March 1890 of influenza. He is buried in Monmouth cemetery. On entering the cemetery, follow the path and take the first left up the hill. Follow this round the bend to the right. The grave is about 20 yards further on, on the right hand side, next to the path. Note the grave has the name as 'Allan', he also signed his own name with 'Allan', but many records show him as 'Allen'.

Rough location can be found on Google Earth at:

51° 49' 10.65"N 2° 42' 54.40"W


Why was he awarded the Victoria Cross?

Despite severe wounds, he and Hitch kept communication with the hospital open, enabling the patients to be withdrawn. When his own wounds had been dressed, he continued serving out ammunition to his comrades throughout the night. He was aged 35 at the time of the defence.

Read part of Corporal Allen's letter to his wife.

Further Information

Said to have been born in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, but we now know he was born in a little village south of Berwick-on-Tweed in Northumberland. Enlisted at York in October 1859 aged 15 years.

He was Assistant Schoolmaster as a Corporal in Brecon Barracks in 1876 when he married a local girl - Sarah Ann Reeves in August 1876; they had a family of seven children. Wounded in the left shoulder at Rorke's Drift. He received his Victoria Cross from Queen Victoria at Windsor Castle on 9 December 1879.

Later he served as a Sergeant Instructor with the 3rd Militia Battalion in Brecon and the 4th Volunteer Battalion in Monmouth. Sgt Allen died still serving in Monmouth. A fund was set up to look after his widow and children. (His VC is in the SWB Museum Collection).

Further Information supplied by the South Wales Borderers Museum, Brecon.

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