Jennifer Bullen visited the museum to show us the memorial plaque to Lt Henry Stanley Tempest Bullen, her father-in-laws elder brother.
Harry Bullen of ‘D’ Battery, 251st Brigade of the Royal Field Arilltery was Killed in Action on 14th April 1917 during the Battle of Arras (an action launched in support and as a diversionary action to the larger French offensive on the Chemin des Dames). He died at the age of 20 and is buried south of Arras at Beaurains Road Cemetery, which was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens.
His mother, Edith Bullen lived in Gosforth, Northumberland. A memorial window to Lt Bullen was erected in St Nicholas Church, Gosforth following the war.
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Submitted by Olivia Wallis of Richmond. Thomas Cole, son of Ben and Jane Cole, was born in Gainford, Durham in 1882, though the farming family resided in the local village of Newsham. On 9th June 1906, Thomas married Margaret Ellen Watson in St Cuthbert’s Church, Durham and, by 1911, Thomas and Margaret were the parents of Thomas, aged 3, Mary, aged 2, and Ben, aged only 11 months. Following the outbreak of war, though the exact date uncertain, Thomas enlisted at the neighbouring village of Dalton, and joined the 9th Battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment. Throughout his time with the 9th Battalion, Thomas wrote often to his devoted wife and children. In October 1916, Thomas wrote to tell his wife that he had become teetotal, news he expected to surprise his wife, explaining ‘I can’t drink French beer!’ Perhaps more poignantly, Thomas also expressed to Margaret his hopes of the future and a hope that future generations would never suffer the horrors of war. Thomas never got to pursue his hopes, he was killed on 23rd June 1917, aged 35. The battalion war diary for 23rd June does not detail events of that day, it simply collates casualties for the month as 6 men killed, 1 wounded and 2 missing. Private Thomas Cole is buried at Dickebusch New Military Cemetery, Belgium and commemorated locally on the war memorial in Newsham village.
John was born in 1896 in Leyburn North Yorkshire. In 1900 the family moved to Burtersett near Hawes where John’s father Jeremiah worked as a stonemason at the local quarry. John had two younger brothers, Anthony and George. On leaving school John also worked at the quarry. In February 1916 he had married a local girl, Jane Ann Dinsdale. By the time of his wedding John was with the 4th Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment, having enlisted at Askrigg in October 1915. John embarked for France in April 1916. The Battalion would not take part in the Somme offensive until September 15th with the eventual plan for the 26th was for the Battalion to attack and capture German trenches running from Flers. It was during the German counter attack that the Battalion suffered heavy casualties, one of which was John. His body was never found and it wasn’t until early 1917 that his wife Jane was officially notified that her husband had been killed. By the time of his death Jane had given birth to a child. Private John William Horn’s name is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.
John O’Hern is buried in Reeth Road cemetery, Richmond. He died of his wounds after the end of the First World War on 1 February 1919. He entered into service at the age of 29 years and 9 months while living at Mill Lane in Richmond. He worked at the paper mill and had also previously served in the 4th Territorial Battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment. His medal card shows his original regimental number (1669) and also his later number (200238) – as the 4th Battalion issued new nubmers in 1917. He was tried by Court Martial at Baizeiux on 9 October for being drunk on parade – after 6 days confinement he paid a 10 shilling fine. The card shows that not only did he receive the three well known medals nicknamed ‘Pip, Squeak and Wilfred’ – so called after a cartoon strip in the Daily Mirror, but also a Silver War badge due to his injuries towards the end of the war. Owing to a terrible gunshot wound to the spine, John O’Hern became paralysed. A bullet was removed from his spine through surgery in April 1918, but he died as a result of this battlefield injury months later.