Hitchin WWII and MI6 veteran who retired at 84 celebrates 100th birthday

Reginald Allen at home with his 100th Birthday card from the Queen

Reginald Allen at home with his 100th Birthday card from the Queen - Credit: Archant

A WORLD War II veteran who served in the Royal Navy and worked for MI6 has marked his 100th birthday.

Reginald “Reggie” Allen marked the milestone with family last Thursday.

The Hitchin resident has led an interesting life, rising to the rank of Lieutenant in the Royal Navy during World War II and seeing action on seven ships.

He was involved in the evacuation of Dunkirk and is now awaiting a belated Arctic Star from the British government, having already been awarded the Russian equivalent.

Mr Allen also worked as espionage and as a translator in MI6, thanks to his fluency in German and Danish. He continued to work there for a while after the war, before returning to his pre-war occupation in the fur trade.


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He did not retire from work until the age of 84, and only then because he was asked to step down.

But now he is hoping to put his feet up.

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Son John said: “He is now looking forward to spending the next 10 years generally relaxing, writing more poetry and sunning himself on his balcony.”

Mr Allen, who has received a congratulatory card from The Queen, was also a member of Bancroft Bowls Club in Hitchin until he was 98.

“He says he retired to give the youngsters a chance to play for the club,” added John.

Mr Allen has three children, six grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren and four great-great grandchildren.

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