Leslie Holdsworth Allen

Leslie Holdsworth Allen (1879-1964). Courtesy PoemHunter.

Leslie Holdsworth Allen (21 June 1879 - 5 January 1964) was an Australian poet and academic. He was Professor of English at the Royal Military College, Duntroon, the senior lecturer of English and Latin at Canberra University College and chairman of the Literature Censorship Board.[1]

Life Edit


Allen was born in Maryborough, Victoria, the second son of William Allen, a Congregational minister and the older brother of Sir Carleton Allen. He was eleven when his family moved to Sydney where he attended Newington College (1894-1899).[2] He later attended the University of Sydney[3] and the University of Leipzig.

Academic careerEdit

In 1911, Allen was appointed as a senior lecturer in classics and English at Sydney Teachers College. After his marriage in 1915 to Dora Bavin (sister of Sir Thomas Bavin, Lancelot Bavin and Major Cyril Bavin OBE) he became professor of English at the Royal Military College, Duntroon. During his tenue at Duntroon he produced plays for the Canberra Society of Arts and Literature and wrote poetry and children's verse. In 1931, he became the sole lecturer in English and classics at Canberra University College (now the Australian National University).


Allen was appointed in 1933 as a member of the Commonwealth Book Censorship Advisory Committee. From 1937 he was chairman the Literature Censorship Board from 1937.

Family lifeEdit

His wife Dora (sister of Thomas Bavin and Lancelot Bavin) was tubercular and she died in 1932 predeceased by their only son. On his death in Moruya, New South Wales, he was survived by his only daughter.


His poem "Memnon" was included in the Oxford Book of Australasian Verse, 1918.[4]

The Haydon-Allen Lecture Theatre is in part a memorial to his work at the Australian National University.[5]



  • Gods and Wood-Things. Sydney: Angus & Robertson, 1913.
  • Phaedra, and other poems. London: Erskine MacDonald, 1921.
  • Araby, and other poems. Sydney: Dymock's Book Arcade, 1924.
  • Patria.Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1941.


  • Billy Bubbles: Child songs. Sydney: Teachers' College, 1920.

Except where noted, bibliographical information courtesy WorldCat.[6]

See alsoEdit


  1. Allen, Leslie Holdsworth (1879 - 1964), Australian Dictionary of Biography Volume 7 (MUP, 1979) pp 44-46.
  2. Newington College Register of Past Students 1863-1998 (Syd, 1999) pp3
  3. Alumni Sydneienses
  4. Leslie Holdsworth Allen, "Alphabetical List of Authors, Oxford Book of Australasian Verse (edited by Walter Murdoch), Oxford University Press, 1918., Web, Apr. 18, 2014.
  5. ANU - Campus Map
  6. Search results = au:Leslie Holdsworth Allen, WorldCat, OCLC Online Computer Library Center Inc. Web, Apr. 18, 2014.

External linksEdit

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