QSA (1) Elandslaagte (6410 Pte. W. Allen, Gordon Highrs:)
William Allen was born in Thatcham, Reading, around 1877. A baker, he attested for the Gordon Highlanders on 19 February 1898, his medical notes recording the entirely appropriate tattoo of: ‘heart within wreath - Soldier in Highland costume right forearm’. Posted to the 2nd Battalion, Allen witnessed brief service in the East Indies, before serving in South Africa from 23 September 1899 to 24 December 1899. It was here that he was wounded in action at Elandslaagte when struck by a mauser bullet on 21 October 1899. Hit in the left forearm, his medical notes make clear a severe compound fracture, with associated loss of grasp to the left hand.
The wound proved a career-ending affair; discharged from Wynberg, Allen was evacuated home to England and convalescent care in Chichester. He later required an operation at Netley.