How do two acts of kindness in 2023 connect with two brothers who were killed during World War One ? As we approach Remembrance Sunday, we would like to especially remember two brothers from East Farndon who lost their lives during World War One: Alfred Owen Allen (known as Owen) and David Clifford Allen.
The Allen family lived on Harborough Road, East Farndon and then at Church Cottage, Main Street. When war was declared in 1914, Owen joined the 1st Battalion, Northamptonshire Regiment, who landed in Le Havre in August that year. Shortly after this, on 15th September 1914, Owen was killed in action, aged 21. He is buried at the Vendresse British Cemetery in France.
David had joined the Coldstream Guards Gun Regiment, and he died in Leicester on 1st November 1919, aged 24. The family thinks he died from the effects of mustard gas poisoning during the war. He is buried in East Farndon churchyard.
The great-niece of Owen and David, Sue Grant, lives in East Farndon. In October 2023, she contacted a Facebook group connected with the Battle of the Somme, asking if anyone would be visiting the Vendresse British Cemetery. A service veteran replied, saying that he was visiting the area and would find Owen’s headstone and take a photograph. He also offered to place a wooden cross next to it asking Sue what words she would like him to write. The kindness of this stranger was very much appreciated by Sue and her family.
At around the same time, a volunteer working for the Commonwealth War Graves Commission visited the graveyard at St John the Baptist Church, East Farndon to clean the headstone of David Allen. The volunteer has a full-time job and cleans war graves across the Midlands in his lunch breaks. Again, this kindness is appreciated by Sue and her family.
For the full article regarding the men from the village who both fought and lost their lives during World War One please visit the village history page on the East Farndon website: East Farndon in World War One