He was about 35 years old, a sergeant who had recently been reduced in rank to Corporal for being drunk on duty. He was in the 2nd Battalion, 24th Regiment of Foot (later The South Wales Borderers), British Army during the Zulu War when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.
On 22 and 23 January 1879 at Rorke's Drift, Natal, South Africa, Corporal Allan and another man (Frederick Hitch) kept communication with the hospital open, despite being severely wounded. Their determined conduct enabled the patients to be withdrawn from the hospital, and when incapacitated by their wounds from fighting, they continued, as soon as their wounds were dressed, to serve out ammunition to their comrades during the night.
He later achieved the rank of sergeant for the second time.
He died of influenza on 12 March 1890 at 85 Monnow Street, Monmouth, at the age of 46. A fund was set up to help the family, his wife, Sarah Ann and his seven children. He is buried at Monmouth Cemetery, Monmouthshire.
His Victoria Cross is displayed at the South Wales Borderers Museum, Brecon.
Read more about this topic: William Allen (VC 1879)
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