Lance Corporal Allen Richard Hart (4576 / 20865 / 203830)

1/7th Bn, The Worcestershire Regiment, 144th Brigade, 48th Division, T.F., B.E.F.

Malvern Commemoration: Holy Trinity North Malvern,

Burial/Commemoration: Magnaboschi British Cemetery, Italy

Nature of Death: Killed in action Italy 15/6/1918

Age: 22

Next of Kin: Son of Sidney and Selina Hart, of Smithfield, Link Top, Malvern and Wayend, Eastnor, Herefordshire

Previous Employment: At his father's shop, Smithfield, Link Top

Allen Richard Hart

Early years

Allen Hart was born in Berrow, Worcestershire in 1896, the son of Sidney and Selina Hart.  He was one of ten surviving brothers and sisters.  After 1898, the family moved to Wayend Street, Eastnor.  The Harts also ran a poultry and game business at Smithfield, Link Top, Malvern.

The Hart's family business, Smithfield at Link Top.

The Hart’s family business, Smithfield at Link Top. (Emma Hart from Ancestry)

In the 1911 Census, 15 year old Allen was living at the shop at Link Top, with his three older brothers and sisters.  It was clear they were all assisting in the business – 27 year-old Evina was recorded as the housekeeper, Sidney (aged 23) and Francis (aged 18) were greengrocers and Emily (aged 21) was the book-keeper.  Selina and Sidney senior, along with the rest of the family were at Eastnor.

First World War

Allen Hart joined the army under Lord Derby’s Scheme in late 1915 and served in France from May 1916 with the 1/8th Worcestershire Regiment.  He was gassed on 20th July 1916 along with much of the rest of the battalion while repairing a section of the Pozieres Road.  He was evacuated to a convalescent hospital at Cayeux-sur-Mer on the coast. 

Cayeux-sur-Mer, location of 5 Convalescent Depot

Cayeux-sur-Mer, location of 5 Convalescent Depot where the men of the 1/8th Worcesters recuperated from their gas poisoning.

Allen returned to his battalion on 5th December, but three days later, along with 150 others were transferred to the 1/7th Battalion to make up the losses suffered during the Somme campaign.

He served with the 1/7th Battalion throughout the winter of 1916, the Passchendaele Offensive of 1917 and when the division moved to Italy.

Battle of Asiago

Allen Hart was killed in June 1918 during an Austrian attack on the British lines.  His father received a letter from Captain H G Westmorland Wood:

“It is with feelings of deepest regret that I have to write to you of the death of your son.  He was killed by fire from an Austrian machine gun, while leading his section in a counter attack against the enemy on the 15th June.  It was owing to the splendid manner in which your son and brother non-commissioned officers led their sections, and obeyed their orders, that this attack finally succeeded . 

“I as his Company Commander, am very sorry to have lost a very promising N.C.O.  Your son is buried with his comrades who fell in this action in the British cemetery close by.  I should like to express the greatest sympathy of the Officers, and men of the Company with you in your present loss.”

Allen Hart's picture, locket and identity disc.

Allen Hart’s picture, locket and identity disc.


In 1921 the Malvern News reported the death of Allen’s father.

“He carried out business at Smithfield Link Top with the assistance of his sons, three of whom gave their lives for their country in the Great War. His last illness was long and painful, but patiently borne. Revd Somers Cocks officiated; the mourners included Miss Hart (daughter), Mr and Mrs W F Ryder (daughter and son-in-law), Mr and Mrs F V Hart (son and daughter-in-law), Mr E A Hart (son), Miss E M Hart (daughter), and Mr Seymour Hart (son).”

Hart’s brothers who were killed were Sidney John, and Walter Reginald.  They are remembered at Eastnor Churchyard on their parent’s grave:

The Hart family grave at St John the Baptist Churchyard, Herefordshire; commemorating all three brothers who were killed in the war.

The Hart family grave at St John the Baptist Churchyard, Herefordshire; commemorating all three brothers who were killed in the war.

Allen is also commemorated at St John the Baptist, Eastnor.

The war memorial at Eastnor Church showing all three Hart brothers.

The war memorial at Eastnor Church showing all three Hart brothers. © Clive Longbottom (WMR-32837)

Malvern News 14/10/1916, 21/5/1921
Carol Field 2015

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