Frank Allen WW1 and WW2

Frank Allen’s  Military history started in l9l8. He went to France where his activities are not as yet known in any detail. He served initially as a 2nd Lieutenant Observer, Royal Flying Corps. He was, shortly after, a Flying Officer in the Royal Air Force. He served in 9 Squadron RAF flying various types. After its initial formation at St Omer, France on 8 Dec l9l4, No. 9 Sqn was disbanded in March 1915 when its various elements were absorbed into other RFC Squadrons. Reformed a month later at Brooklands, the Squadron then joined the effort in France with its BE2s on reconnaissance and bombing tasks and subsequently with RE8s. Like many other Squadrons, it was disbanded in l9l9 after a brief period in occupied Germany. Motto: Per noctum volamus - Throughout the night we fly.

Frank flew in the R.E.8, DH4 , BE2E and the B/F. He would have performed the same duties as his nephew Brian’s, father-in-law, Bernard Instone. The family story is, that Frank whilst flying was shot at. The bullet past through his flying boot up the trouser leg, through the sleeve of his jacket and out, without breaking the skin. His nephew, Brian remembers the flying boot and recalls it being given to his mother who made it into chaps for her son Norman.

Whilst in France he became ill from influenza. He was in hospital for several months. I wonder was it the same virulent influenza that swept through the world at that time? Worldwide, the mortality figure for the full pandemic is believed to stand somewhere between 3O to 4O million.

Frank’s records show that he was released from the RAF in March l9l9 after being ill for nearly three months.

It appears that he re-joined in l923 again as an Observer.He then relinquished his commission in 1927.


As the second world war brewed up, he was commissioned  as a Pilot officer in the RAFVR in 1939.  This time he was involved in code and cypher intelligence duties working both at home and abroad in the operations room. He became a Flt Lt in 1947 but was declared medically unfit for regular Air Force duties in 1948. Frank did however continue serving as a reservist and remained with the Royal Air Force until he died in 1956




Back to Frank Allen