High Wood bell

  • Height  260 mm
  • Width  305 mm
  • Weight  21 kg
  • Note  G
Bell Inscription

High Wood
In memory of Frederick Arthur Allen.
Given by his parents.

The High Wood bell is one of seven in the Carillon named for the 1916 Battle of the Somme, New Zealand’s first major engagement on the Western Front. The bell is dedicated to Frederick Arthur Allen, who was killed during the offensive.

Frederick Allen

Born to Henry and Ada Allen of Dunedin, Frederick and his family moved to Hataitai, Wellington, where he went to the Terrace School and Wellington College. He trained as an accountant and became a partner with his father and brother Leonard in their accountancy firm H. F. Allen and Son. Frederick was 29 when he enlisted with the New Zealand Expeditionary Force, leaving Wellington in May 1916 aboard the Willochra to join the Wellington Infantry Regiment in England.

After time in camp in England and France, Frederick joined his battalion on the Somme battlefield at the end of September 1916. He was killed in action only 11 days later, on 2 October 1916. After a hellish 23 days on the front line, the New Zealand Division began pulling out from the Somme the following day. When he died, his brother Leonard was also at the front; Leonard survived and returned to New Zealand.

Henry and Ada Allen donated this bell to the Carillon in Frederick’s memory. Like over half the New Zealand men who died at the Somme in 1916, Frederick has no known grave. He is remembered at the Caterpillar Valley Memorial near Longueval, which commemorates more than 1200 officers and men of the New Zealand Division whose bodies were lost on the battlefield. 

Further information

Auckland War Memorial Museum Online Cenotaph record – Frederick Allen

Commonwealth War Graves Commission record – Frederick Allen  

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Matthew Allen

Posted: 29 Jun 2020

Thanks for this information - our family was aware of the bell and our link to it (and often jokingly say we should pop in and grab it back) but this was the most I had heard about my great uncle's back-story. We knew he was an accountant as we have a Victoria University silver plate/trophy for some accounting prize he won, and we knew our grandfather was an accountant too - the only other thing we were told was by our father who said he was told by his father (Leonard) that Frederick was killed in a charge that Len was also involved in - the story being that he knew his brother had been shot but had to keep moving ahead.