My granddad Herbert Allen 1887-1962 as the only son of Big Jim Allen the Fairground Booth Boxer. He did have four younger sisters though . Lizzie Goss (Elizabeth Ann) , Louie Ansell (Beatrice) , Norah Allen ,Violet May Allen (Alexandra)
Big Jim Allen .He used to travel around the country as a Fair Booth boxer . He was big and strong and boxing came easy to him . The more he boxed the better he got , but when Herbert was old enough to start school he gave it up and got a job at Arlesey Cement Works . His mother Ellen Dear “Nellie”was the daughter of The Fountain Publicans , George and Mary Ann Dear. She later ran the shop where Fairfield Garage office now stands . Herbert was born in the now demolished 122 Crawley Terrace in 1887.
Nellie Dear . He moved to 237 Asylum Rd about 1900 . He lived here at least until he left school . His dad moved to 40 New Rd (Newtown) in 1911 and by then Herbert was 24 and had moved out . When he left school Herbert started working with his dad and Allen Uncles at the Arlesey Cement Works. When work was scarce Granddad even walked to the East End of London and got a job on the docks . The First World War started and Herbert was called up.Herbert was pretty useful with his fists like his dad . Tough as he was , Herbert saw some terrible things in the war and never talked about it.
The Allens were a cricket mad family and his Uncle Alfred Allen even named one of his sons Ranjit Singh Allen after one of the Worlds best ever batsman .Herbert was a demon fast bowler for The Lamb Inn who played in Lamb Meadow .The Three Counties Asylum poached him so he could play for them . It was here he met my grandmother who became his wife , when she was making tea for the cricketers.
Herbert back row 3rd in
Herberts medals I used to regularly look at these and sometimes I was allowed to clean them. When nan was in her 80’s they disappeared .They is no great value in them I might buy a replacement set on Ebay. They are medals given for fighting in a war zone. The star is for fighting in France or Flanders. The lady with wings is the victory medal. The King George Medal and the set of 3 is for serving the full term of the war.They only got 2 if they joined after 1915. I looked up Granddad in the National Archives and have a copy of the paperwork saying he was awarded all three. I will shortly add this.
Mary Mills “Polly” parents Jane Avery and Jim Mills had emigrated to Canada with her youngest sister Daisey. Mary needed somewhere to live and a job. So when Three Counties Asylum were recruiting in Mere Wiltshire it seemed the answer to her prays. Herbert and Polly started courting and after a time they married . They now needed a house. They moved into Gothic Farm with dad Big Jim and worked there as an Agricultural Labourer. He also worked at Waterloo Farm Herbert heard the foreman at the Brickyard was retiring so Herbert blagged his way into the job.
He told them he was a Sargeant in the army and was used to dealing with men . He got the job and a Brickyard house went with it . Herbert carried on working up here till he was 70 . They lived in the Brickyard house until they got 2 St Peters Ave in 1938. It was almost brand new and had a flush toilet that was joined onto the house , and a bathroom . Course no hot water or electric lights yet.
Grandad Herbert died in 1962 aged 75 . Nan Polly ‘s son Uncle George and family moved from the Rally to live with her . But he emigrated to Australia in the late 60’s. They emigrated to Rockingham in Western Australia , and they have all done very well there. Mollie Polly Daisey Alma George and Whitey the dog.Whitey helped subsidize the families budget with all the rabbits he caught . So we have family in Brisbane , Calgary , Naples in Italy , New York and Toronto on the Lombari side . Some Early Allens contacted me from New Zealand and their family tree matched mine.They were the first to emigrate in the 1800’s .
Herbie Herbert My memories of granddad was that he always called everybody nicknames. My nickname was clivical Clive. He then always drew a watch on my wrist. When the 1 o’clock home service news was on you weren’t allowed to say even 1 word , and the same when the football pools were on you were hardly allowed to breathe.