William Allen (1793-1864), Rear-Admiral
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William Allen entered the Navy in 1802, and rose swiftly through the ranks. He was best known for commanding the steamer Wilberforce in the disastrous Niger expedition of 1841-42, after which was placed on half pay. In 1848 Allen published A Narrative of the Expedition Sent by H.M.'s Government to the River Niger in 1841. The following year he travelled through Syria and Palestine, and published the results in The Dead Sea, a New Route to India. He attracted considerable attention for his advocacy of the construction of a canal between the Mediterranean and the Red Sea. Allen was promoted to retired rear-admiral in 1862.
Armed Forces and Intelligence Services