|Born||9 November 1916|
|Died||11 May 1982(aged 65)|
|Place of birth||Ballarat East, Victoria|
|Place of death||Ballarat, Victoria|
|Service/branch||Second Australian Imperial Force|
|Years of service||1940–1944|
Silver Star (United States)
Early life[edit | edit source]
Allen was born in Ballarat East, Victoria, the second son of Clarance Walter Allen, a labourer, and his wife Ruby Ethel née Robertson. After an early childhood involving domestic violence Allen and his sister were abandoned, then raised in an orphanage. From around 12 years of age, Allen started work, usually as a labourer on farms.
Military career[edit | edit source]
Allen enlisted in the Second Australian Imperial Force on 19 April 1940. As a stretcher-bearer destined for the 2/5th Battalion, Allen left for the Middle East in September 1940. He was nicknamed "Bull" for the way he charged through the opposition when playing with the battalion in Australian Rules football.
Allen saw action in the Western Desert Campaign early in 1941 and was shown to be reliable, but in early April was admitted with "anxiety neurosis" to hospital. He rejoined his battalion in time for the Syria–Lebanon Campaign where he attended to casualties all night under fire on 10–11 July 1941 near Khalde and walked for 10 km the next morning to get transport.
After serving in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) Allen's battalion returned to Australia in August 1942, then in October sailing for Papua. Allen rescued wounded soldiers under fire around Crystal Creek on the 7 and 8 February 1943 for which he was awarded the Military Medal. On 30 July 1943 at Mount Tambu, Allen safely rescued twelve United States soldiers and was later awarded the Silver Star — the citation stating: "Private Allen’s bearing and his untiring efforts in tending the wounded and helping with rations and stores were an inspiration". Allen returned to Australia in September 1943, his behaviour becoming unstable; in February he assaulted an officer and was demoted. He was medically discharged on 10 September 1944.
Later life[edit | edit source]
Temporarily losing the power of speech, Allen lived with an uncle while recovering. He married in 1949 and worked as a labourer and at the Ballarat Base Hospital as a medical orderly. Allen also worked at Sovereign Hill demonstrating a horse-drawn Chilean quartz-crushing mill for tourists.
Allen died on 11 May 1982 at Sovereign Hill of diabetes and myocardial infarction.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
The swedish power metal band Sabaton dedicated their song "The Ballad Of Bull" from their album Heroes to Allen's actions on Mount Tambu.
See also[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- Moremon, John. "Allen, Leslie Charles (Clarence) (1916–1982)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Canberra: Australian National University. http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/allen-leslie-charles-clarence-12130. Retrieved 29 August 2014.
- "'Bull' Allen". Australian Government, Dept. of Veteran's Affairs. http://www.ww2australia.gov.au/pushingback/bullallen.html. Retrieved 29 August 2014.
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