BULLEN, Forester

No. 31660, Private, Forester B. BULLEN
Aged 20

Northumberland Fusiliers, 21st (Tyneside Scottish) Battalion
formerly 26454, Bedfordshire Regiment
Died of his Wounds on Sunday, 24th September 1916

Born Lakenheath, registered Mildenhall Q1-1896 [4A:795].

1901 census...Aged 5, he was living at Plough Lane, Lakenheath with his father-John Henry BULLEN [43] a shoe maker born in Westley; his mother- Emma (née RUTTERFORD) [36] born Lakenheath; sister- Florence [8] born Lakenheath; sister- Sylvia K. [7] born Lakenheath

1911 census...Aged 15, a farm labourer, he was living at Plough Lane, Lakenheath still, with his father, mother and two new siblings, sister-Agnes Winifred [9] born Lakenheath and brother- Frederick Sharp [2] born Lakenheath.

Forester initially enlisted in Cambridge,in the Bedfordshire Regiment.

Dying of his wounds and with no service records surviving, it is impossible to say where or when Forester was injured. Family records have him hit by shrapnel whilst on guard duty.
His battalion started the Battle of the Somme on 1st July 1916 astride the Albert - Bapaume road, facing La Boiselle and suffered badly. The remnants after four days were transferred to 37th Division at Pommier, 14 miles NE of Bapaume.

Dying and being buried at Dernancourt, he ended up just a few miles from where he started in the battle. XV Corps Main Dressing Station was formed at Dernancourt in August 1916, when the adjoining cemetery EXTENSION was opened. The 45th and 56th (1st/1st South Midland) Casualty Clearing Stations came in September 1916 and remained until March 1917.

The Bury Free Press of 21st October 1916 reported that:-

It was with regret and sympathy the sad news spread on Wednesday morning that Mr. and Mrs. J.H.Bullen had received an official letter informing them their eldest son, Prvt Forester Westley Bullen, of the Northumberland Fusiliers, had died of wounds received in action on Sept.24th. He was called up on Feb.14th, had one leave home, and left for active service on July 14th. He was twenty years of age, and was held in respect by al who knew him. When the Lakenheath troop of Boy Scouts was formed, he was one of the first to join, and he was a former member of St.Mary's Church Choir. On Wednesday morning the bell was tolled.

Forester in his early days in the Army, in the Bedfordshire Regiment

From his medal index card it seems no-one wanted his medals and application was made to dispose of them.
Many times this turned out to be due to not being able to contact a family member at the time.

Forester BULLEN is buried in Dernancourt Communal Cemetery Extension, grave 3:C:21

© Commonwealth War Graves Commission

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