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Arthur Samuel Allen and Mona Allen Collection

Major-General Arthur ‘Tubby’ Allen was one of the most battle experienced and well regarded AIF generals of WWII. He had seen active service in both World Wars from platoon, through company, battalion, brigade and divisional command of the 7th Division AIF.

In World War II Allen’s brigade fought at the Battle of Bardia in 1940, in the campaign in Greece and then in Syria where he led the campaign in 1941 as 7th Division commander to bring the Vichy French to an armistice. Transferred with the 7th Division to New Guinea, he pushed back the Japanese on the Kokoda Track and set up the capture of Kokoda in 1942 only to be relieved of duty by General Blamey through the influence of his rival, Major-General Herring. His wife Mona Allen accompanied him to the Middle East where she worked with the Red Cross and also as an RAF cypher clerk.

Much of Allen’s military collection had previously been donated to the Australian War Memorial. A definitive biography of Tubby Allen – ‘Kokoda Commander’ -by Stuart Braga was published in 2004. However since then more family archives have come to light including personal correspondence, numerous unseen photographs and ephemera connected to both Tubby and Mona Allen, especially during WWII. Connect-History was invited by the Allen family to help them catalogue and sort this diverse archive collection so that it could be donated to a suitable institution.