Bertram Kerr Allen

Thank you to Bruce Kettles for providing the service file


Nov 1, 1882

Born to Nathaniel and Marry Howard (nee Preston) Allen at Stella Ontario


Feb 26, 1915

Attested into the 39th Battalion at Belleville Ontario with the rank of Lieutenant 

Ø      Next of kin given as Nathaniel Allen, father, of 257 John St, Belleville Ontario

Ø      Previous occupation given as Civil Servant

Ø      Previous military experience given as 5 years in the 15th Battalion, Argyll Light Infantry

Ø      Religion given as Church of England 

He served with the Argyll Light Infantry with the rank of Captain and was the Officer Commanding “A” Company


Jun 17, 1915

Embarked the RMS Missanabie at Montreal Quebec

Note the ship did not sail until June 24th


Jul 4, 1915

Disembarked at Plymouth England and proceeded to Shorncliffe


Sep 24, 1915

The Battalion moved to the West Sandling Camp where the Battalion was renamed the 39th Reserve Battalion


Nov 9, 1915

Proceeded to France as the escorting Officer of a draft of reinforcements for the front line Battalions


Nov 13, 1915

Rejoined the Battalion at West Sandling from escort duty


Feb 15, 1916

Transferred to the 21st Battalion and proceeded to France and TOS (Taken On Strength) the 21st Battalion on arrival in Havre.  When he joined the Battalion, he was assigned to “D” Company


Feb 27, 1916

Proceeded to the Trench Warfare School for instruction


Aug 2, 1916

Participated in a Court of Enquiry into the illegal absence of L/Cpl F McMahon, 59735, who was found guilty and sentenced to 5 years detention.  This was remitted shortly afterwards and L/Cpl McMahon was set free


Aug 6, 1916

Proceeded to the Canadian Corps Officers’ School for a course of instruction of Subaltern Officers


Sep 15, 1916

Lieut Allen was killed during the attack on the strong point in the Sugar Factory at Courcelette.  During this attack, all of the front line Officers of the Battalion became casualties.

Sunken Road Cemetery
Contalmaison France

Following the war the British War Medal, Victory Medal, Plaque (Dead Man’s Penny), Scroll and Memorial Cross were sent to his mother, Mrs Mary Howard Allen, at 232 Charles St, Belleville Ontario 


Below is the family plot on Amherst Island, near Kingston Ontario

Above is the Memorial Wall in Kingston



During the Remembrance Day ceremonies in 2008, Veteran's Affairs Canada conducted a vigil each night for the week leading up to November 11.  This vigil consisted of projecting the names of every Canadian soldier who is listed with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission on various buildings and monuments across Canada, and in London England.  The photo below shows Lieut Bertram K Allen's name being projected on the outside wall of Canada House in London England.

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