Gunner John Thomas Allen, killed in action in Libya recently, was a promising New Zealand artist who specialised in caricatures. Much of his work was published in “The Press" Gunner Allen was the son of Mr and Mrs A. C. Allen, Palmerston North, and he attended the Palmerston North Boys’ High School. He took his B.A. degree at the University of Otago, and came to Christchurch with the intention of taking the fine arts course, but changed his plans and graduated master of arts with honours. His first published caricatures appeared in “Canta" during 1935 and 1936, and in 1936 his work appeared in “The Press.” The Caxton Press produced two books of his caricatures in the same year, “Face Values” and “Parliamentary Portraits." Early in 1937 he went to England to develop his talent in a wider field. He was not attracted by political cartoon work, for which the demand was greatest, but by May his caricatures were appearing in the “Daily Herald ” While in Christchurch, Gunner Allen made several essays at modelling, at which he showed distinct promise, and he began modelling again in London, both in relief and in the round. He achieved considerable success, selling several examples of his work. When war broke out he joined the New Zealand anti-tank battery formed in England, and went with it to the Middle East. He served in the first Libyan campaign, Greece, Crete, and again in Libya. His battery has published three magazines, a large proportion of the illustrations being caricatures and other drawings by Gunner Allen.
PRESS, VOLUME LXXVIII, ISSUE 23529, 6 JANUARY 1942, PAGE 6
There are no public contributions written for this casualty
Text in italics supplied by Cenotaph Online, Auckland War Memorial Museum