Widow: War veteran’s death is a huge loss to me and Stalham
As a teenager, he fought at the Battle of Kohima, one of the Second World War's most pivotal - and brutal - clashes. But unlike many of those he served alongside, Stanley William Allen survived to return home and enjoy a long life.
Now, however, following his death, aged 90, earlier this month, his widow Margaret, 68, is concerned that there may not be many mourners to pay their respects at his funeral.
The couple, who are not originally from the area, never had children and his own family, which he had not seen for many year, lives in Lancashire. She has appealed for well-wishers to attend, to ensure he receives a fitting send-off.
Mrs Allen, from Stalham, said that his time in the Army had stayed with him throughout his life. 'His army days had a significant impact on his life to never be forgotten. But he was very proud of his army life.
'He is one of those unique, irreplaceable people, I'm proud to call him my husband and it has been a great loss for me and Stalham. People like Jack should be remembered.'
Mr Allen - known as Jack - was born in 1925 to Thomas and Elsie Allen. Aged 15, he joined the Home Guard and was assigned to protect various London Underground stations. Two and half years later, he signed up at Holloway Road recruiting office and was sent to Carlisle, where he was taught to drive tank transporters.
One day, he was ordered to drive a heavy goods vehicles to Derby to drop off a commanding officer and a searchlight. On his return, he stopped off at his mother's and spent the night – leaving the tank transporter unattended. On his way back the following morning, he was met by two Metropolitan Police and two Military Police officers who arrested him. Shortly afterwards he was deployed to the Far East. He served there as a dispatch rider with the 4th British Field Ambulance, as the British gradually turned the tide of the war against Japan.
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He did not return to Britain until August 1947. He worked as a postman and then a lighting technician in London. He stopped working in 1982 after he was made redundant. The couple, who married in 1971, moved to Stalham in 2000.
Mr Allen died on January 13 at North Walsham and District War Memorial Hospital, with his wife by his side.
Details of the funeral have yet to be announced. To keep up to date with developments, visit www.edp24.co.uk