Harry first appears on a census in 1901. He was living with his family at 9, Bateman Place, Hanley in Staffordshire. The family comprised of Albert (head and father) aged 28 an ironworker Pudd (puddler?). His wife was Mary J 32 and their only child then was Harry aged 3 who had been born in Hanley. There was also a couple, Samuel and Mary Taylor who were boarders in the house.
Ten years later and the 1911 census tells us the family had moved to Flintshire. Their address was 76 Ash Grove, Shotton. Albert now 39 was still an ironworker. Mary Jane his wife of 16 years was 38 and now they had three children. Harry was 14 and a barber, Doris was 9 and Albert was 2 months old. The form tells us that a fourth child had not survived. There seems to be another family, the Heywoods living at the same address.
One of the news cuttings below tells us he worked at the Marsh Mill prior to enlisting.
UK soldiers who died in the Great War 1914 -19 accessible on www.ancestry.co.uk gives us all the regimental details above and that he enlisted in Wrexham. His medal card tells us that he first entered a theatre of war (the Balkans) on 28th June 1915 and exactly two months later he was dead.
There is a card for Harry in the Flintshire Roll of Honour at the County Archive Office in Hawarden. It gives the address 8 Wellington Street Shotton and his regimental details. It says that he served in the army for one year. The card was signed by Mary J Bullock, his mother.
A strong family story was that Harry had been shot in his sleep by a sniper in a trench when he was sleeping and this is confirmed in news cuttings from the time. There are some discrepencies about his age at the time of his death. Some news cuttings say 20 and one says he was 18. Our research suggests very strongly that he was only 18 (see census returns). The story that has come down the family and told to Mavis was that he was only 18 which would have made him 17 on enlistment.
Re the snipers mentioned above – Excerpt shown in timeline below taken from a a letter Lt. Col. Frank Mills, D.S.O. sent to Br.-Gen C.F. Aspinall-Oglander, CB., CMG, D.S.O. on 5th February 1930, regarding two chapters of the Sulva Operations as he, I believe, was writing about it, and Frank Mills wanted to comment on what was written, Frank Mills also added that “I do not think you make enough of the terrible things the men had to endure during these operations.” (National Archives – Cat. Ref. :WO/95/4323, Image Ref: 293)
The news cuttings shown in timeline below are not too easy to read so we have transcribed here.
SHOTTON MEN KILLED BY A SNIPER
Mr and Mrs Bullock of 8 Wellington Street Shotton, whose son was killed at the Dardanelles by a sniper, has received the following letter from Major R B Thursk of the 8th battalion RWF Gallipoli Peninsula August 8th.
“I regret to have to inform you that your son, Harry Bullock, was killed this morning in action. He was shot by a sniper and killed instantaneously without any suffering, which I an sure, will be comforting for you. I can only express my deepest sympathy with you in your sad loss and can add that his loss will be a great one to me and the company as he was a good hard working soldier.”
Private Bullock joined the colours over twelve months ago prior to which he was engaged at the Marsh Mills. He was only 20 years of age. Much sympathy is felt with the parents.
Private Harry Bullock – Shotton
Private Harry Bullock aged 18 years son of Mr and Mrs Bullock of 8 Wellington Street, Shotton has been killed at the Dardanelles. He was shot by a sniper while asleep. Much sympathy has been extended to the parents in the loss of such a promising young son.
Local Casualties County Herald 24th Sept 1915
Local Casualties – The following are local casualties reported:- Stretcher Bearer Griffith Jenkins King Edward Street Shotton 8th Batt RWF killed in action, Gallipoli; Private William Marland, Ashfield Road Shotton, South Wales Borderers, killed in action, Gallipoli;Private R Roberts Lower Brook Street Connah’s Quay 15th Batt RWF; Private Harry Bullock Wellington Street Shotton 8th Batt RWF killed while asleep by a sniper, Gallipoli; Private Lewis, Dee View Road Connah’s Quay, 8th Batt RWF seriously wounded and now in Manchester: Sergeant Major Frank Baird 5th Batt RWF slightly wounded and ill with enteric now in a London hospital.
The War Diary of the 8th Bn Royal Welsh Fusiliers does not cast any more information on the fate of Harry
25th – to 31st August 1915 Remained as garrison on CHESHIRE RIDGE. Nothing of event to record during this time. Continuous fatigue parties employed on improving fire and communication trenches. Machine Gun Detachment rejoined from No. 3 Section on the 29th.
Harry is also remembered on the Hawarden War Memorial and St. Ethelwold’s Church Screen.