Sheffield to remember one of its bravest heroes

Major William Barnsley Allen
Major William Barnsley Allen

Sheffield is set to remember a veteran who saved hundreds of lives with four acts on heroism in the First World War.

A plaque will be unveiled at the Cenotaph war memorial in the city centre on Saturday in honour of Major William Barnsley Allen, who lived between 1892-1933.

Major Allen was a British Army medical officer decorated for gallantry four times during the First World War.

Major Allen, who also studied for a degree in medicine at the University of Sheffield, was awarded the Victoria Cross in 1916, the highest award for gallantry that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.

Members of the public are invited to the ceremony at 1pm, which will take place in Barker’s Pool and last for approximately half an hour.

The ceremony is the second of three memorial services to commemorate the Sheffield-born recipients of the VCs awarded during the First World War – each will be installed to mark the 100th anniversary since they were awarded.

Major William Barnsley Allen's medals

Major William Barnsley Allen's medals

The Right Worshipful Lord Mayor of Sheffield, Coun Denise Fox, said: “Major William Allen was a much decorated war hero and Sheffield is rightly very proud of him.

“In this period of commemoration for those associated with the First World War, it will be an absolute privilege to stand alongside his family to make a permanent memorial to his valour and honour in the city centre.”

Representatives from the Army Medical Services Reserves, Army Cadets, Sheffield University Officer Training Corps and Royal British Legion will be present to pay their respects to Major Allen.

The Lord Mayor, Lord Lieutenant, The High Sheriff John Holt, Master Cutler Craig McKay and a representative from the Royal Military College will be laying wreaths at the Cenotaph.

William Barnsley Allen was born in Sheffield on June 8, 1892, at 14 Botanical Road, Sheffield.

He joined the Royal Hospital as an assistant house physician but, within weeks, he had enlisted with the Third West Riding Field Ambulance.

In September 1916 Allen, by then promoted to Major, was awarded the Military Cross for his acts of heroism.

He died in 1933, aged just 41.