Title - A Letter from Caernarvon

Accrington Pals groupThe 1911 Census shows Robert (Bob) Bullen as a 19-year old house painter living at 35 Cardwell Street in Padiham with his parents, William Henry (Bill) and Jane Ann Bullen, and siblings Bertha, Lily and John (Jack). Bob volunteered for army service with the Burnley Company of the Accrington Pals on 21st September 1914, and was allocated the number 15708.

Left: Accrington Pals group with Robert Bullen at centre front. Photograph courtesy of Terry Whittaker.

Bob wrote the following letter to his brother, Jack, in the first week of March 1915, shortly after Lt.-Col. Rickman took command of the battalion at Caernarvon.

Letter Letter Transcript of letter

On 1st July 1916 during the attack on Serre, Bob witnessed the death of Capt. Henry Riley before being severely wounded in the right hand and leg by German machine gun fire. The Burnley Express of 12th July 1916 reported that Bob lay on the battlefield for two days before he was carried back to the British lines. Following amputation of his leg, he was invalided home and transferred to Huddersfield Military Hospital where his parents were able to visit him on Sunday 9th July. At 8 o'clock the following morning, Bob died of his wounds. He lies buried in Padiham Cemetery.

Right: The grave of Robert Bullen in Padiham Cemetery. Photograph courtesy of Terry Whittaker.

Grave of Robert Bullen

Robert Bullen's letter is reproduced here by kind courtesy of his brother's grandson, Terry Whittaker.

© Andrew C Jackson 2009

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