VAD Charles Henry Allen

Voluntary Aid Detachment page

Red Cross, St John Ambulance Brigade and Royal Army Medical Corpsbadges

Charles Henry Allen

Transport of Wounded and Hospital Orderly

Charles Henry Allen was the oldest of two sons of Alfred and Jane Allen. He was born on 11th May 1871 and baptised on 9th July that year in Minchinhampton, Gloucestershire.

Charles Henry Allen's baptism record

His younger brother, George William Allen, was born in 1874.

In 1881 the family lived in Sapperton, Gloucestershire, Alfred worked as a factory hand. In 1891 he was an agricultural labourer. Charles was working, though I am unable to decipher the handwriting other than 'stickworker'.

Soon after, Charles relocated to Keighley where he met Elizabeth Brown who was from Westmorland. They married at the Parish Church on 22nd July 1894. He was working as a railway porter and living at 53 Hanover Street.

Charles and Elizabeth's marriage record

By 1901 they lived at 10 Marlborough Street and had three children - George Alfred (5), Ellen (2) and Frederick (6 months). Charles was working as a railway carter.

The Allen family in 1901

In 1911 they lived at 3 Simpson Street. Charles was working as a piece looker in the worsted manufacturing trade, which I believe was an inspector of some kind. His oldest son was also working as a clerk with a worsted cloth manufacturer.

Charles began working as a VAD in December 1916. His past experience of working on the railways presumably stood him in good stead for transporting wounded soldiers, and he also undertook hospital orderly work. Up to May 1919 he worked 1,240 hours between Morton Banks, Spencer Street Auxiliary and Victoria Hospitals. His oldest son, George Alfred, was serving with the RAF so I imagine he would have been very much on his mind. Thankfully George survived the war and returned home to Keighley.

The electoral registers show that the family moved to 30 Paget Street then 117 Redcliffe Street for a few years, but eventually Charles and Elizabeth moved back to Gloucester. At the time of the 1939 Register they were living at 50 Clegram Road, Charles now described as a retired foreman, cloth manufacturer, piece room.

The 1939 Register

Although I have not found a definitive record, family trees on ancestry suggest that Charles died in Thornbury in Gloucestershire in 1948.


England and Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1837-1915

Gloucestershire, England, Church of England Births and Baptisms,1813-1913

1881 England Census

1891 England Census

1901 England Census

1911 England Census

West Yorkshire, England, Church of England Marriages and Banns, 1813-1935

UK, RAF Airmen Records, 1918-1940

West Yorkshire, England, Electoral Registers, 1840-1962

1939 England and Wales Register

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