Sunday, 16 May 2021

Trevor Allen (1891 - 1983) – poet, journalist and author

With thanks to Al Poole of the Royal Welch Fusiliers Museum for additional information

Albert Thomas Trevor Allen was born in Brompton on 29th April 1891. He left school at 14 and went to work in the Mechanical Engineer's Department of the District Underground Railway. Trevor wrote satirical verses for A.R. Orage's “New Age” magazine, and met literary people while working for two years as a shorthand-typist in C.F. Cazenove's Literary Agency. 

Early in 1915 Trevor enlisted as a Private with the Royal Army Mecical Corps (R.A.M.C. Field Ambulance) and began writing articles on army life for the “Daily Chronicle” newspaper. He was attached to the 11th Royal Welsh Fusiliers Batallion (RWF) on 5th October 1917 as a Water Duties/Sanitary Specialist. He had a spell in hospital (possibly due to malaria), rejoined then eventually then left the Bn on 4th May 1918. While serving with the 11th Welsh Fusiliers on the Doiran front, Salonica, he continued writing articles, which later gave him the background material for his novel “Jade Elephants”. Discharged in 1919 he used his ex-servicemen’s grant to fund his studies of journalism at the University of London and went on to work as a journalist. He became Chairman of the London Writer’s Circle. 

Trevor Allen died on 23rd November 1983.

508422 - Pte Albert Thomas Trevor ALLEN. RAMC.

Works published: 

Underworld : the biography of Charles Brooks, criminal (1931)

Ivar Kreuger : match king, croesus, and crook (1932)

The tracks they trod : Salonika and the Balkans, Gallipoli, Egypt and Palestine revisited (1932)

Jade elephants (1934)

London lover : songs of a city's romance (1947), verse

We loved in Bohemia (1953)

Roads to success (1957)


Fomed in 1898, the Royal Army Medical Corps is the largest Corps in the British Army Medical Services (AMS). 

The Macedonian Front, also known as the Salonica Front (after Thessaloniki), was a military theatre of World War I formed as a result of an attempt by the Allied Powers to aid Serbia, in the autumn of 1915, against the combined attack of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Bulgaria

“Dust of Macedonia” (1918)  by Trevor Allen published in  “The English Review” magazine, 1920.

Ever, I taste your dust between my teeth. 

It clings about the nostrils, blinds the eyes, 

And lingers subtly in the touch of things. . . 

Dust is the fevered breath of this parched land. 

On arid hill-tracks where the convoys wind, 

On roads where limbers jolt, and marching men 

Blink in the glare, and spit, and stumble on, 

Even from the withered grasses of the plain, 

It lifts in clouds, like smoke before the sun, 

Burdens the heat, and clogs the track unending. 

And when those dry winds from the Vardar sweep 

The land is blinded by a drifting shroud. 

Camps are engulphed. Wayfaring mules and men 

Blunder, unseeing, while the dust-storm rages. 


In your dust, O land time-worn, is the tang of Death, 

In your dust is the odour of dying things, and dead ; 

Old wars, old creeds, old tyrannies lade your breath ; 

Dust of dead villages, dust of the men who bled. 

These; and your untilled lands where roots decay; 

Your febrile swamps, your flowers of burnt-up Springs- 

They rot in the dust our young lives breathe to-day; 

In the ancient dust that to our bodies clings. 

Dear dust of England, too, your dust will be 

Where whitened crosses in the fierce light gleam — 

Dust of my comrades I no more may see. . . . 

Even so. The Faith, the Home-love, and the Dream – 

These will be England's own, eternally. 

Published in “The English Review” 1920 Page 199

Trevor had another poem about Macedonia published in The English Review  in April 1919 on page 273 – “A Cuckoo … in Macedonia”