Next of Kin: Joshua and Elizabeth Allin, R.R.#2, Clinton, Ontario
Personal Details: 5 ft. 3 in., 123 lbs., dark complexion, blue eyes, dark brown hair, Methodist
Lorne William John Allin was one of seven sons born to Joshua and Elizabeth Allin. The family farmed at R.R. #2 Clinton, on the Maitland Concession (now Hwy 8), close to the Village of Benmiller. The brothers received their primary education at S.S. No. 7 Colborne Township School, where Lorne passed his Senior III general proficiency exams in November 1907.
When war was declared, three of the Allin boys enlisted in quick succession – Harold in September 1915 with the 71st Battalion, Lorne in January 1916 with the 161st Huron Battalion, and Raymond “Secord” in April 1916 with the 13th Canadian Mounted Rifles. Harold and Secord would both return home from the war.
The 161st Huron Battalion embarked for England on November 1, 1916 aboard the S.S. Lapland, arriving in Liverpool ten days later. Private Lorne Allin was one of a number from the battalion transferred to the 58th in late November, joining the unit in France on December 22, 1916.
For Canadian troops, the Third Battle of Ypres, better known as Passchendaele, began in late October 1917. The first stage of the attack was to begin on October 26th, 1917, under the command of General Sir Arthur Currie. The 58th battalion moved into the front line on October 24th, which allowed them one day of rest before going into the attack. At midnight on October 26th the battalion assembled in the jumping off trench in front of the Bellevue Spur. The 43rd Battalion was on its left, and the 46th Battalion was on the right. The attack began at 5:40 am on October 26th under a covering barrage from the artillery. The combination of rain and shelling had turned the ground into a quagmire, with sucking mud that was sometimes hip-deep.
When the artillery barrage lifted it was observed that the advance on the right had been slower than on the left which caused casualties within the first assaulting waves. The advance continued and the infantry took possession of three concrete pillboxes at Lamkeek Farm, and Dad Trench. In doing so, these advancing waves were then subject to heavy enemy machine gun fire from German trenches. Additional heavy enemy fire came from Crest Farm, causing the men to occupy shell holes in front of their positions. An intense fight took place for the possession of Contour Trench until four German officers and 60 men surrendered around 2:30 pm. During this operation, there were heavy and severe casualties. During the night of October 26th machine gun posts were established in front of Contour Trench. The enemy did not make a determined effort to recapture their lost positions.
Casualties on this day were 61%. Of the roughly 500 men who began the day, 303 were either killed, wounded or missing. It was during the operations at Passchendaele on October 26, 1917 that Private Lorne Allin was killed in action. His body was not recovered so he has no known grave, but his name is memorialized on the Menin Gate Memorial in Ypres, Belgium.