Patrick Bulfin

Medals awarded

  • General Service Medal 1918-62 with Malaya and Palestine clasps
  • 1939-45 Star
  • Italy Star 1943-45
  • Defence Medal 1939-45
  • War Medal 1939-45
  • Distinguished Service Order
  • War Cross (Norway)

Born in 1904, Patrick George ‘Paddy’ Bulfin joined the Green Howards in 1925. Gaining promotion to Lieutenant in January 1927 Bulfin, a ‘tough-looking, slightly built man’ served in Palestine during the riots and with the Shanghai Defence Force, 1930-1.

Serving with the 1st Battalion, he fought in Norway in April 1940 where he was awarded the Norwegian Military Cross for his effective leadership in the fighting around the River Sjoa. You can find out more about events in Norway in 1940 here.

He was promoted to Major in January 1942, and was Second in Command of the 1st Battalion when it was deployed to Egypt in March 1943. In August 1943 he became its Commander and it was in this role that he gained the Distinguished Service Order in recognition of his leadership of the Battalion in its fighting at Minturno and Trimonsuoli in Italy in January 1944. His citation reads in part, “Lt Col Bulfin’s influence was most marked and his presence at points of danger throughout the action were an encouragement and inspiration to all ranks under his command… His cool judgement under fire, his skill in directing his battalion in both attacks and his own example of fearlessness showed qualities of leadership which were quite outstanding.” So intense was this fighting that the Green Howards were awarded in total seven medals for valour.

Having been wounded earlier in January 1944, Bulfin was admitted to hospital in February 1944. On 23 February he returned to the Battalion but was personally ordered by the Brigade Commander to return to hospital as he was unfit. Thereafter he served in staff roles.

After the war, Patrick Bulfin served in Cyprus before leaving the army in 1951. He then subsequently emigrated to Australia with his wife Emma and he died in April 1981, aged 76.