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Lieutenant Thomas Allen

Schools Waterloo 200

Crane Hall near Ipswich, Suffolk

1 Jan 1787 - 12 Nov 1833

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Waterloo Soldier by: Maltings Academy

Date added: 16 Apr 2015

Lt Thomas Allen was born in 1786 the son of Thomas Allen of Crane Hall, near Ipswich.

In 1809 Thomas Allen signed up to the army in February 1809 and became a LT on the 8th September 1809. He served his country in the Kings German Legion where he served in Talavera (where he was wounded) San Sebastian, the Netherlands as well as Waterloo.

We cannot know Thomas Allens exact involvement in the Battle of Waterloo but we do know about the Kings German Legion.The King Germans Legion were primarily involved in defending La Haye Saint. This was an important position to defend as it was close to Wellington’s line and would be a serious threat if the French were to take control of it. There was a detachment of 360 men of theKing's German Legion, posted at La Haye Saint. They were thought to be reliable and strong soldiers. The soldiers had sheltered there in the rain the night before, with lots of men from other battalions however they did not know that it was to be defended so they broke up all the farm carts for fïrewood, and even the great gates of the barn, on the opposite side to the road; this meant they had no wood left to build firing platforms or block the entrances to defend the farm effectively.However they knocked holes in the walls, and the upper windows where the men of theKings German Legionhad a good view of the French infantry's advance and retreat, and of the cavalry charge. Napoleon also saw the importance of this farm, and he ordered Marshal Ney, who was in the thick of most of the fighting, to take it at all costs. It was first attacked at about 3 p.m. by French infantry who came up the road and across the fields. They surrounded the buildings, trying to force an entry. Some French soldiers got in by the open door of the barn at La Haye Saint, but they were slaughtered by the King Germans Legion. Straw in the barn also caught fire, and the defenders had to put it out with their campkettles, which they filled from a pond. That attack was not successful, and many of the defenders were killed. However the Kings German Legion had used most of their ammunition fighting the attack. They kept sending messengers up to the crossroads for more, but none came. In the middle of the afternoon they had to collect all they could from the dead and wounded. Even so, they had only four or five rounds a man.At about 6 p.m., the French made a second attack. They crept along the foot of a wall, seized the barrels of the defenders' rifles and fired into the yard through the loopholes. They also brought an axe and tried to smash the wooden gate. Soldiers standing on the roof of the shed inside the wall leaned over the top and fired their last few rounds. But other French soldiers were able to climb on to the roofs of the stables opposite where they fired down into the courtyard. The King Germans Legion ran out of ammunition and the farm had to be abandoned. The only way of escape was through the house and out by the garden door at the back. As the defenders ran for it, the French broke in, and there was a short, violent and bloody fight with bayonets and the butts of muskets. Only 41 of the 350 Kings German Legion Hanoverians reached the crossroads alive. In the last hours of the battle, the French were in the garden, little more than 100 yards from Wellington's line, with artillery under cover of the buildings. But, the gun smoke was so thick that neither side could see the other.

He died peacefully at the age of 46 on the 12th November 1833 and is buried at All Saints Churchyard in Chelmsford.

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