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Remembered Today:

289245 Sapper Harry Allen - Royal Engineers

John Beech

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Afternoon All

My Great Uncle, Sapper Harry Allen, was a railway storeman prewar working at New Street Station in Birmingham. He joined up under the Derby Scheme in 1915, but appears not to have been called up until June 1917. Very little is known of his war time service, but those with similar service numbers all appear to have gone to Egypt. He was later renumbered WR/274715 which would put him probably in one of the railway operating companies, which would make sense given his prewar occupation.

The question is which company? Those older relatives who knew Harry, he survived the war and died in 1968, say he didn't talk about the war or give any suggestion where he served, although he was awarded the War Medal and Victory Medal, so served overseas.

I'm hoping someone can suggest a company, possibly from his original serial number. Any suggestions as to where he served would also be appreciated.

Many thanks


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  • 5 years later...

Hi John


I have been trying to identify the war service for a Harry Allen in my family tree. Born in Alvechurch 30 Aug 1895 d Bromsgrove 1968. Son of Henry Allen and Mary Andrews. In 1939 he is still working on the railway, living in Bromsgrove with his mother Mary. I was not able to find a matching military record as there are lots of Harry Allens in medal and pension records. Is this man your Great Uncle? He is a cousin of mine twice removed.




Richard Green

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To to clarify these number. Six figure numbers WR1 and WR 2 are railwaymen,  five figure WR numbers are road and quarries. They were issued in mid-1918 when the whole of transportation troops were renumbered. In March 1918 units were instructed to provide nominal rolls for their units but it took a couple off months for them to be allocated. In theory, you should be able to find  a man's unit by checking for service records of adjacent men, however the time lag could mean a man had been posted to another unit in the interim.



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