Trueman Moore Allen (1897-1918)4th Canadian Division, 12th Brigade, 85th Battalion For some fifty years a fading postcard picture of Trueman Allen could be found hanging on the wall in the home of his childhood friend, a reminder of the young man who had been a neighbour so many years before. Trueman Moore Allen was born in Forest Glen, Yarmouth County, in March 1897. His parents, Georgia (Gavel) and Oran Allen worked the family farm located at “the point”, one of the many farms located in the Forest Glen area. Trueman at 18 in 1916 had worked on the farm and for a time worked with Graham and Nicholl who operated a lumber business in Carleton.On March 10th, 1916 a recruiting meeting was held in Kemptville, a small community near Carleton. Trueman attended the meeting and found himself caught up in the patriotic fervour of the time. Two days later, he enlisted in the 219th Battalion.Based in Aldershot, Nova Scotia, the 219 Battalion began recruiting in early 1916 throughout Nova Scotia. Sailing from Halifax on October 13, 1916, to England on RMS Olympic, the battalion arrived in Liverpool England on October 19th and was based at Witney Camp and then Camp Bramshott. Bramshott Military Camp, often simplified to Camp Bramshott, was a temporary army camp set up on Bramshott Common, Surrey, England during both the First and Second World Wars. Camp Bramshott was one of three three facilities in the Aldershot Command area established by the Canadian Army; the others being Bordon and Witley.The 219th battalion was absorbed into the 17th Reserve Battalion on January 23, 1917, however, a number of men including Trueman Allen were transferred to the 85th around the same time. Trueman Allen, now part of the 85th Battalion departed Witney Camp on February 10, 1917 for Folkstone in Kent for departure to France on the S.S. London at 10:30 am the same day.The 85th Battalion (Nova Scotia Highlanders) was one of the four battalions assigned to the 12th Brigade, part of the 4th Canadian Division that joined the Canadian Corps in October 1916. The Division served in France and Flanders thereafter until the Armistice. The Division participated in the assault on Vimy Ridge, and took the left flank of the Canadian Corps on April 9, 1917. Fighting on the 4th Division front led to heavy casualties, and some German positions managed to hold out from the 4th Division for three days. The Division participated in the battle of Hill 70 in Aug 1917 with Passchendaele following in mid-October, and into November. The 4th Division, including the 85th Battalion engaged in the battle of Amiens between the 8th and 11th of August 1918. On the morning of August 8th the battle began in dense fog at 4:20 am. In the first phase, the British 18th (Eastern) and 58th (2/1st London), the Australian 2nd and 3rd, and the Canadian 1st, 2nd and 3rd Divisions advanced against the German lines. Parts of the American 33rd Division supported the British attackers north of the Somme.The attackers captured the first German position, advancing about 3 km In the centre, supporting units following the leading divisions attacked the second objective a further 3 km. Australian units reached their first objectives by 7:10 am, and by 8:20 am, the Australian 4th and 5th and the Canadian 4th Divisions passed through the initial breach in the German lines. It was during this phase of the battle that Trueman Allen was wounded and removed front the battle front to a field hospital. He died as a result of his wounds the following day, August 9th, 1918 ninety-none days before the guns fell silent on the western front. The third phase of the attack was assigned to infantry-carrying Mark V tanks. However, the infantry was able to carry out this final step unaided. The Allies penetrated well to the rear of the German defences and cavalry now continued the advance, one brigade in the Australian sector and two cavalry divisions in the Canadian sector. RAF and armoured car fire kept the retreating Germans from rallying. The Canadian and Australian forces in the center advanced quickly, pushing the line 4.8 km forward from its starting point by 11:00 am. A gap 24 km long was punched in the German line south of the Somme by the end of the day. The British Fourth Army took 13,000 prisoners while the French captured a further 3,000. Total German losses were estimated to be 30,000 on 8 August. The Fourth Army's casualties, British, Australian and Canadian infantry, were approximately 8,800, exclusive of tank and air losses and those of their French allies.The German general Erich Ludendorff described the first day of Amiens as the "Schwarzer Tag des deutschen Heeres" ("the black day of the German Army"), because the morale of the German troops had sunk to the point where large numbers of troops began to capitulate. The Allied forces pushed, on average, 11 km into enemy territory by the end of the day. The Canadians gained 13 km , Australians 11 km , British 2 3.2 km, and the French 8.0 km.The Battle of Amiens was the begining of the last 100 days of World War I.Trueman Allen’s mother received the following letter on September 5, 1918The village and commune of Damery were captured by the 3rd Canadian Division on 15 August 1918. The communal cemetery contains 11 Commonwealth burials of the First World War four of which are unidentified Canadian burials.Damery Communal CemeteryTrueman Moore Allen is listed on the Vimy Memorial, France.
Trueman Moore Allen - 85th Battalion
Minister’s OfficeSept 5, 1918Dear Mrs. AllenI desire to express to you my very sincere sympathy in the recent decease of your son No, 282690 Pte. Trueman Moore Allen C E F who in sacrificing his life at the front, dying Aug 9 of wounds received the day previous aged 20 years and 7 months, has rendered the highest services of a worthy citizen.The heavy loss which you and the nation have sustained would indeed be depressing were it not redeemed by the knowledge that the brave comrade for whom we mourn performed his duties fearlessly and well as became a good soldier and gave his life for the great cause of human liberty and the defence of the Empire.Again extending to you in your bereavement my condolence and heartfelt sympathy.Yours faithfully,S. E. MewburnMinister of Militia and Defence for Canada