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Remembered Today:

Lance Corporal Allen

Christina Holstein

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Apologies if I've put this query in the wrong forum - if so, Mods, please move it to the right one.

One of my German friends is currently staying in Australia with a chap who has two objects relating to WW1, i.e. a platoon flag and a silver colored metal canteen( with a large dent in it). According to a handwritten inscription on the flag, it was carried by a Lance Corporal Graeme Marchand Allen (No. 422 or 622?, 16th Northumberland Fusiliers)) on the 1st day of the Somme when he was wounded (and the drinking bottle may have saved his life). My friend thinks that these objects should rather be given to a museum than be doomed to rot in an Australian home and the owner agrees.

I suppose the starting point would be the Northumberland Fusiliers museum but where could they find information about the service number?

This is probably a simple question but as the British Army isn't my thing, I'd rather ask the experts!

Thanks in advance for any help or ideas and Happy New Year to everyone,


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Hello Christina

I hope you are well. It is some time since we last met.

The medal index card indicates that his number was 16/622. The prefix of course represents his battalion.

Best wishes


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According to his medal card he was cashiered as a Lieut serving with the Durham Light Inf on 2 7 1918 by a G C M and forfeited his medals. Ralph.

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Graeme Marchand Allan was born in Middlesborough in 1889. In 1911 he was living with his widowed father in Newcastle on Tyne and working as a journalist.

He died in Edinburgh 18th April 1957.

Medal Index Card shows Graeme Marchand Allan L/Cpl 16/622 Northumberland Fusiliers

To France with main body 16/11/1915

Then gets a little murky.the Roll shows discharged KR para 392 (xix(a)) Commission; but his medals were forfeited when he was cashiered from the Durham Light Infantry on 2 July 1918 following a General Court Martial

You can view his mic for free on Ancestry not sure if this link will work otherwise go through the Ancestry home page

Enlisted in the 16th on it's formation as the 'Newcastle Battalion', locally raised, on or around the 12 Sepember 1914.

He is in a casualty list as wounded, published in the Newcastle Journal 28 August 1916.

His Officer's Record with the DLI is at TNA http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C1139634 They were weeded so can be pot luck but surely his 'crime' is recorded curious to know what it was!

The London Gazette tracks his appointment and dismissal

Commissioned as 2nd Lieut to DLI 26 April 1917

LG 21 May 1917


Transferred to a Service Bn 24 October 1917


Dismissed the Service 29 July 1918 LG 28 August 1918


The war diary for the 16th NF has a harrowing account of their attack on the 1st July, as the day ended the author of the diary wrote, "The men of the attacking Coys moved forward like one man until the murderous fire of the enemy's MG forced them to halt. Not a man wavered and after nightfall we found in several places, straight lines of ten or twelve dead or badly wounded as if the platoons had been dressed for parade."


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Wow, that's wonderful. Thanks very much Ron, Ken and Rjaydee, I'll pass that on to my German friend and they can make of it what they will. I don't know if the Australian who owns the objects in question is a relative but I'm sure he'll be very interested in all the information you've produced.

Thanks very much to you all. I knew I'd come to the right place.

Ron - when did we meet last - must be getting on for 20 years ago. I hope we meet again soon.


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