War hero remembered on 100th anniversary of his death

WAR TRIBUTE: Derek Bland (left) of Friends of Seaham War Memorials and Malcolm Pickering vice-chairman of Northumbria Country, Royal British Legion, at the grave of W Allen.
WAR TRIBUTE: Derek Bland (left) of Friends of Seaham War Memorials and Malcolm Pickering vice-chairman of Northumbria Country, Royal British Legion, at the grave of W Allen.
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A WARTIME driver who died 100 years ago has been remembered on the anniversary of his sacrifice.

William Allen was 19 years old when he died at home in Seaham.

We have got to remember them because they made a huge sacrifice as part of the war.

Derek Bland

It is thought he may have died as a result of wounds he sustained in the First World War.

It is believed he was a member of the Royal Field Artillery and it is thought he would have been responsible for transporting ammunition among other duties.

The century milestone was marked by the Friends of Seaham War Memorials, who gathered at Princess Road Cemetery to lay a cross on his gravestone at 11am on Friday.

Members of the campaign group hope Mr Allen’s family will get in touch as they build up a picture of his role in the war effort and his life in Seaham.

He is among four First World War servicemen to be buried in the cemetery who died a century ago this year. Derek Bland, a member of the group, said: “We have got to remember them because they made a huge sacrifice as part of the war.

“A lot were lost and fought in the war who were from Seaham and it’s important that we keep that in mind.” The friends group aims to ensure those who gave their lives in conflict are not forgotten and help conserve and restore the war memorials in the town.

These include a number which record a W Allen across the town.

Tributes to war dead have been installed in New Seaham Conservative Club, the Town Park, Princess Road Cemetery, Dawdon Miners’ Lodge and chapels including Christ Church, St Mary the Virgin, St Mary Magdalen’s and St Hild and St Helen’s.