Old soldier donates fortune to regiment
AN old solider who amassed a fortune in stocks and shares has left the majority of his £1million estate to his beloved regiment.Brian Allen, from Stowmarket, has handed the Bury St Edmunds-based Suffolk Regiment Museum a crucial lifeline of several hundred thousand pounds.
AN old solider who amassed a fortune in stocks and shares has left the majority of his £1million estate to his beloved regiment.
Brian Allen, from Stowmarket, has handed the Bury St Edmunds-based Suffolk Regiment Museum a crucial lifeline of several hundred thousand pounds.
The 70-year-old has also bequeathed a £250,000 legacy to the West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds, where he was cared for after falling ill.
Mr Allen, who worked as a compositor on a weekly newspaper and died in January, is thought to have built up his vast Stock Exchange portfolio from an early age.
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Few people knew Mr Allen's canny dealings had seen him amass stocks and shares worth almost £1million.
But the high life of luxury homes, fast cars, thoroughbred racehorses and sleek yachts was not for him.
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Mr Allen, who later lived at the Woodfield Court residential home in Temple Road, Stowmarket, was known as a man who had a good eye for an investment, although he spent little on himself.
His niece, Vanessa Bonner, from Stowmarket, said he was a generous man who loved Bury St Edmunds, where his late wife Beryl worked in the Marks and Spencer's store for almost 40 years, and was proud of being a member of the Suffolk Regiment.
Colonel Tony Taylor, secretary for the Suffolk Regiment, said: "It's a delight and a surprise to us that we are to receive the majority legacy from this estate. This has come totally out of the blue.
"I understand that his wealth came from stocks and shares. It seems he was a very private person with an interest in stocks and shares. He became a very rich man.
"The Suffolk Regiment Museum is very precious to us and this is a great bonus – it will allow us to do a great deal for the museum, not least to secure its long-term future."
Col Taylor said Mr Allen's estate was worth almost £1m. Once the £250,000 legacy to the hospital has been handed over, along with a number of individual bequests, the remainder will go to the regiment.
He added checks had revealed Mr Allen was not a member of the Stowmarket branch of the Suffolk Regiment Association or any other section.
Col Taylor believed Mr Allen must have heard about an appeal launched by the regiment, which was disbanded in 1959, to develop its permanent exhibition at Moyse's Hall Museum in Bury St Edmunds and decided to make it the main beneficiary of his estate.