5 November (1914)…

Captain John Francis Allen. (Headstone cropped on far right) 5 November 1914. Ypres Town Cemetery (P. Ferguson image, September 2016)

Captain John Francis Allen
(Headstone cropped on far right)
5 November 1914
Ypres Town Cemetery, Belgium
(P. Ferguson image, September 2016)

Captain John Francis Allen
1st Battalion Loyal North Lancashire Regiment

Buried at Ypres Town Cemetery John Francis Allen’s father, William Henry, lived at Broham House, Broham, Bedford, England. The 1st Battalion Loyal North Lancashire Regiment landed at Le Havre, France 13 August 1914 and participated in many of the war’s early engagements, the Battles of Mons and the subsequent retreat, the Marne, Aisne and the first Battle of Ypres. Captain Allen, the battalion’s adjutant, died of wounds received during the First Battle of Ypres. On 17 February 1915 and 1 January 1916 J.F. Allen was posthumously Mentioned in Despatches. He was 32 years of age.

Ypres Town Cemetery, where Captain Allen is buried at E2.15, is the resting place of 144 others of which 136 are identified. The cemetery was in use from October 1914 until May 1915.

John Francis Allen. (Imperial War Museum)

John Francis Allen.
(Imperial War Museum)

This Day
5 November 1914
287 Fatalities
Source: Commonwealth War Graves Commission

In preparing a research record of images for November 1 – 11 one must understand that it was not a set goal in its day to find markers for each of November’s first eleven days. To have managed to take images for each representative day in this current series (over some years) is somewhat bewildering though I confess that with Captain Allen’s headstone image he was not the initial focus of the day’s outing. As a result Captain Allen’s marker is cropped. For this I apologize to him and to his family. However, one must surely be aware that I will revisit Ypres Town Cemetery…being a little way beyond the Menin Gate Memorial…not a too distant walk. And with the camera shutter sounding – another image will be produced, Captain Allen being the focus, and subsequently added to this soul’s story for 5 November (1914)…

The marker image here is also the only one I have for the 5 November date…and in its cropped fashion, in many ways, it completes the series though the forthcoming image for 9 November is also an only record for that day. The soldier’s graves next to Captain Allen are Second Lieutenant J.A. Tucker (far left) and Captain G.R. Shedden (centre).

About The Author

Paul has worked with the Paradigm Motion Picture Company since 2009 as producer, historian and research specialist. Paul first met Casey and Ian WIlliams of Paradigm in April 2007 at Ieper (Ypres), Belgium when ceremonies were being held for the re-dedication of the Vimy Memorial, France. Paul's sensitivity to film was developed at an early age seeing his first films at RCAF Zweibrucken, Germany and in Sardinia. Paul returned to Canada in 1967 and was further amazed by David Lean's "Lawrence of Arabia" and "Bridge on the River Kwai". Film captivated Paul and with time he became increasingly interested in storytelling, content development, character, direction, cinematography and soundtracks. At the University of Victoria, Paul studied and compared Japanese and Australian film and became interested in Australian film maker Peter Weir and his film "Gallipoli" (1981). Paul was entranced when he learned Weir had visited the beaches, ridges and ravines of the peninsula. The film "Gallipoli" alone led Paul on many journeys to sites of conflict in England, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Malta, Hawaii and Gallipoli. It was, however, when Paul watched documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, "The Civil War", that Paul understood how his own experience and insight could be effective and perhaps influential in film-making. Combining his knowledge of Museums and Archives, exhibitions and idea strategies with his film interests would be a natural progression. Paul thinks like a film-maker. His passion for history and storytelling brings to Paradigm an eye (and ear) to the keen and sensitive interests of; content development, the understanding of successful and relational use of collections, imagery and voice. Like Paul's favorite actor, Peter O'Toole, he believes in the adage “To deepen not broaden.” While on this path Paul always remembers his grandmother whose father did not return from the Great War and how his loss shaped her life and how her experience continues to guide him.


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