Willie ALLEN #50246

Indigenous Australian, Willie ALLEN, 11th Light Horse Regiment

Willie ALLEN was born in Darwin, NT in 1884 and was working as a labourer when he enlisted 10 December 1917. His next-of-kin and half sister Teeja Batcho was living at the Kahlin Aboriginal compound at Myilly Point, Darwin.

Willie Allen trained at Rifle Range Camp, Enoggera, before embarking overseas. This is where his portrait would have been taken, and subsequently published in The Queenslander Pictorial, 2 February 1918. Allen embarked with the 1st Reinforcements (Queensland), Egypt from Sydney on 10 June 1918 and arrived in the Australian Mounted Division Training camp at Moascar, five weeks later.

1st Reinforcements, Queensland, featuring several Aboriginal soldiers - believed to include: Willie Allen, Glen Combarngo, Herbert Roberts, Patrick Brady, John Lewis, Harry Roberts, and Alexander Stanley

Trooper Allen was the allotted to the 11th Light Horse Regiment and along with 40 others joined the regiment in the field at Ludd, [Lod] in Palestine in early September. Here the regiment was readying for a move via Jaffa and Birket Ramadan to undertake operations near Semakh where enemy troops both Turkish and German had gathered in force. The troops charged the town in the early morning of 25 September, the town being captured by 5.30 am and 365 prisoners taken. The regiment moved on to patrols in the Damascus region and were at Zgarta when news of the Armistice in the middle east reached them.

Before returning to Australia the Light Horse Regiments were returned to Egypt to undertake garrison duties during the Egyptian uprising. During this posting Willie Allen was found to be AWOL briefly before embarking for home in July 1919. Soon after his return he married Madeline Ferguson, in Queensland, 20 September 1919.

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The information in this blog post has been researched by State Library staff and volunteers, it is based on available information at this time. If you have more information that you would like to share or further research uncovers new findings, this post will be updated.

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