Victoria_Cross_of_canada

THE

 

TO THE VICTORIA & GEORGE CROSS

COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE

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b. 26/09/1906 Poplar, London.  d. 01/08/1985 Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire.

 

DATE AND PLACE OF GC ACTION: 31/05/1935 Quetta, India.

 

Florence Alice Allen (1906-1985) was born on the 26th September 1906 in the South Barracks, Walmer, near Dover, Kent. She was the daughter of Job and Florence Annie Allen (nee Stride). Her father was a Private in the Royal Marines.  She spent her early life abroad however, living on Ascension Island. She was educated privately on the island before being sent to the Royal Marines School at Chatham, Kent.

 

After leaving school, she trained as a nurse in Halifax, West Yorkshire. She worked for a time as a children’ escort when they were travelling between the UK and India between the wars and at the time of her award of the AM she was nurse to Christopher, the son of Flight Lieutenant C.H.Turner, RAF, of No 5 (AC) Squadron, RAF Quetta, India (now Pakistan).

 

On the morning of 31st May 1935, Allen was woken by the rumbling noise and falling masonry. She rushed over to Christopher's cot but was unable to lift him out because the mosquito net was in the way; as the house collapsed around her, she threw herself on top of the child. The boy escaped with just a small scratch but Allen was buried under the rubble for 2 days with both legs and an arm broken. Allen was the only investiture of the Albert Medal to be performed by King Edward VIII during his short reign. It had been delayed due to Florence’s long recuperation from her injuries.

 

Allen recovered from her injuries and was awarded the Albert Medal (LG, 19th November 1935). In 1946, Florence gave birth to a daughter, Jillian Marie, though there is no record of the father, and she never married. She was working as a café owner at the time. When she was able to,  she returned to work as a children’s nurse. She chose to exchange her medal for a George Cross in 1971, despite the fact she had mislaid her AM.

 

Following her retirement, she settled in Downley, Buckinghamshire. On 1st August 1985, she died in High Wycombe, and was cremated at the Chilterns Crematorium, and her ashes scattered in the Garden of Remembrance. Her GC and QEII Silver Jubilee Medal 1977 were sold at auction in 1993 for £3,000 and are in private ownership. Her missing Albert Medal was sold in 1984 at Sotheby’s to an unknown buyer.

 

LOCATION OF MEDAL: PRIVATELY HELD. (SOLD FOR £3,000 IN 1993).

BURIAL PLACE:  CHILTERNS CREMATORIUM, AMERSHAM, BUCKINGHAMSHIRE.

 

 

 

Florence Alice Allen AM

(exchanged for GC)

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19th November 1935