John William Allen (1880-1920)

An ongoing project to commemorate and research the lives of those who appear on war memorials and rolls of honour in the local area, who served in the military, or whose deaths were linked to conflict.


John William Allen was born in North Shields, Northumberland, on 23 January 1880[1], the son of draper William Allen and his wife Isabella Ann (née Weatherley).

His father's work saw the family move to Yorkshire in the early 1880s, with siblings born in Leeds and Halifax. By 1901, they had moved to 11 Market Street, Milnsbridge.

He enlisted as an army reservist in December 1902 and was assigned to the East Yorkshire Regiment. His enlistment form recorded his occupation as "waiter". In total, he went on to spend three years on active service.

William Allen died prior to the 1911 Census, by which time the family was living at Alma Terrace, Thongsbridge. By then, John William was an assurance agent and army reservist.

He married widow Melinda Joy (née Lockwood)[2] on 1 August 1911 at Huddersfield Register Office. His step children were:

  • Arthur Joy (c.1895-?)
  • James Joy (1903-1973)[3]
  • Lewis Joy (1905-1984)[4]

At the outbreak of war, he was called up and spent a total of 72 days in France before return home in November 1914.

At the time he was discharged from the Army in April 1915 for being "no longer physically fit for War Service" and suffering from "mitral stenosis", he was living at 1 Dyson Hill, Honley. His service record described him as 5'7½" tall, sallow complexion, grey eyes, and brown hair. His medical record also recorded bouts of influenza (1903), dysentery (1904), chronic gonorrhoea (1904, 1905, 1906 & 1909)[5], syphilis (1907), and rheumatism (1914).

He died aged 31 and was buried at St. Mary's, Honley, on 6 January 1920.

Melinda Allen died in March 1951, aged 78.

Huddersfield's Roll of Honour: 1914-1922

The following extract is from Huddersfield's Roll of Honour: 1914-1922 (2014) by J. Margaret Stansfield:

ALLEN, JOHN W. Private. No 7223. 1st Battalion East Yorkshire Regiment. Born Honley. Died 3.1.1920. Buried in HONLEY CHURCH BURIAL GROUND. Grave location:- 63, 595.
ROH:- Honley War Memorial.

Commonwealth War Graves Commission



Notes and References

  1. This is the date recorded in his Army pension statement.
  2. Formerly married to coachman Thomas Joy.
  3. Born 23 March 1903 in Honley. Died in Barnsley aged 70.
  4. Born 19 November 1905 in Honley. Died in Huddersfield aged 78.
  5. By 1909, the gonorrhoea was "severe [and] very resistant to treatment".