Captain Allan Noel Minns, DSO, MC was an English officer of the British Army who served during the First World War.

He was born on 23 March 1891, in Thetford, the son of Bahamian-born Dr. Allan Glaisyer and Emily Minns (née Pearson).[1] His father is believed to have become the first black mayor of an English town when he was elected to the position in Thetford in 1904. Minns attended Thetford Grammar School before entering Guy's Hospital to pursue a career in medicine.

Enlisting shortly after the outbreak of war, Minns was commissioned in the Royal Army Medical Corps as a lieutenant in September 1914. His first service overseas was in the Gallipoli Campaign, where he was awarded the Military Cross while with the 39th Field Ambulance. His citation, which was published in the London Gazette on 2 November 1915, reads:

For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty at Suvla Bay, Gallipoli peninsula, on 30th August 1915, when attending to the wounded under heavy shrapnel fire. Another officer who was assisting him was killed. Lieutenant Minns later returned to the dressing station, took out 12 stretcher squads and brought in 24 wounded men.[2]

From 2 October, Minns was ranked as a temporary major while in command of the 39th Field Ambulance.[3] He had relinquished it by January 1916 and was evacuated to Egypt. Minns remained there for two months until he was sent to Mesopotamia. He left for India in July, but returned to the theatre the following year. In Mesopotamia, Minns was awarded the Distinguished Service Order and twice mentioned in despatches. He remained in the region until 1921,[4] on attachment to the 1st Rifle Brigade.[1]

He died on 6 April 1921, the result of a motor accident. He is buried in Thetford Cemetery.


  1. 1.0 1.1 MINNS, Captain Allan Noel’, Who Was Who, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 1920–2015; online edn, Oxford University Press, 2014 ; online edn, April 2014 accessed 22 June 2015
  2. The London Gazette (12867), p. 1633. 2 November 1915, Retrieved 22 June 2015.
  3. The London Gazette (29468), p. 1562. 8 February 1916, Retrieved 22 June 2015.
  4. Commissioned Officers in the Medical Services of the British Army, 1660-1960: Roll of officers in the Royal Army Medical Corps, 1898-1960, p. 139.
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