039 – Sapper Leonard Oliver Allen

Sapper Leonard Oliver Allen 5th Tunnelling Company

Sapper Leonard Oliver Allen, 5th Tunnelling Company

The life of a tunneller at the front was not an easy one. Often fraught with danger as men worked underground in confined spaces. Tunnels could be blown in by the enemy, the miners could run out of oxygen or  caught in a cave-in.

It must be assumed that Leonard Allen had some idea about what he was letting himself in for by enlisting. He was a 40 year old married miner from Derby in the north east.  On enlistment he was allotted to the 1st reinforcements for the No. 4 Tunnelling Company.

Leonard Allen did not make it anywhere near the front. Soon after arriving in England he became ill which was later diagnosed as Pulmonary Tuberculosis. He was returned home to Australia in September 1916.

Leonard Allen died on 18 September 1918 aged 42 years leaving a wife and one child.

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