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Richard Gerard Ross Allen, 2nd Lieutenant, W. Yorkshire Regiment (TF), att. R.F.C.

Richard Gerard Ross Allen came up in October 1908 from Tonbridge School. He graduated with a BA in 1912.

Born: Dublin, Ireland on 19 April 1890

Fell in action: 16 November 1916

Boat club days

During his first year at College he was a member of the Boat Club and rowed in both the Lent and May races; at No. 6 in the second boat in Lent 1909 and at No. 7 in May 1909. On both occasions the boats rowed well:

“After chasing First Trinity III for three nights, we bumped them at the Glass Houses, thus becoming the top third boat on the river, and so following the first and second boats” (Chanticlere, Michaelmas Term 1909, p35). The Glass Houses were part of Junction Farm and were situated on the left, just past the railway bridge and before Ditton Corner.

Allen seems to disappear from both the boat club records and the archives after his first year, with just a brief mention in the examinations book which does not record that he got a BA. The last record of his examinations are “Law Sp. II2” December 1911, however The Book of Matriculations and Degrees 1901-12 confirms that he did get his “A.B.” in 1912 (p5).

Reported missing

The Jesus College Society Annual Report 1917 provides a short obituary for him. However, it does highlight the problems of reporting deaths in the war as it says “Having previously been reported missing, he was officially reported killed on May 15 1917”, six months after his actual death (p17).

The obituary ends by saying “We have heard no details.” As Allen had not joined the Society he appeared to not to feel a strong connection to the College. This meant that news of him was not forthcoming.

You can email us on ww1-project@jesus.cam.ac.uk, go to our First World War homepage, or find us on Lives of the First World War.

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