PULLEN, Alfred

1st World War
Date of Birth
Date Attested
Attested at
Woodstock, Ontario
Regimental Number
Date of Death
Age at Death
38 years 4 months
Biographical Summary

DIVISIONAL UNIT:        2nd Canadian Infantry Division
                                             6th Infantry Brigade
                                             27th Battalion  -  City of Winnipeg
                                             Canadian Infantry Corps
SERVICE NO:                   400806          127728
RESIDENCE:                    Wingham - Ontario
DATE OF BIRTH:            March 31, 1879
                                             Wingham - Turnberry Township – County of Huron - Ontario
DATE OF DEATH:           August 21, 1917                   38 years     4 months
MEMORIAL:                    Vimy Memorial – Vimy -
                                             Pas de Calais – France
WIFE:                                 Mrs. Mary Eliza Pullen – Wingham - Ontario
Occupation:                        Labourer                               Religion:     Church of England
Enlistment:                         April 6, 1915 – London             36 years     1 month
                                             March 27, 1916 – Woodstock   37 years 
When he first enlisted he appears to have gone to England but he was struck off strength from the 33rd Battalion as medically unfit at Shorncliffe - Kent on March 9, 1916. He had a weakness in his left knee caused by a previous injury 7 years before when the knee was crushed by a trolley causing a compound fracture. It appears he then left England and immediately went to Woodstock and enlisted again.
Private Pullen departed Halifax on the S.S. Olympic and arrived in Liverpool on April 11, 1916. He then transferred to the 44th Battalion based at Bramshott on May 28th then moved again to the 51st Battalion on May 30th. The Standing Medical Board he appeared in front of states that Private Pullen has had no drill since enlisting and says he that in 6 weeks following training he will be ready for duty. He is attached to the 11th Reserve Battalion on September 17, 1916 and then transfers to the 27th Battalion, goes into France and joins his unit in the field on November 6, 1916. 
At this point in the battle for Hill 70, the enemy had given way and the Canadian Command wanted to improve its position by attacking and capturing the northern edges of Lens. Ths attack was to cover the length of the city and take place at night. The 27th & 29th Battalions would attack from the north with other units attacking from the south. This attack would be taking place in the rubble and they knew the enemy would be waiting.
The attack began with the Battalions crossing 600 yards to Cinnebar Trench. The 27th reached their objective with heavy losses but was not able to clear the enemy from the ruins because of a lack of manpower. The Battalion on the right had failed to advance and the 27th Battalion was very vulnerable at this point. They then had to fall back to their original positions.
Private Pullen spent a year experiencing heavy fighting and was killed in action with his unit north west of Lens.
The Battalion was on the front line at Chicory Trench, the weather was fair with winds from the south. About 3 am the enemy artillery became very active as if they were expecting something to happen. The Division / Brigade barrage came down at 4:35 am and it was very heavy and well placed. “B” Company in the centre after heavy fighting was held up enemy concrete strong-point. “A & C” Companies were able to get through but with severe casualties. The 50th Battalion on the left did not get up and the 29th Battalion on the right made their objective but were not able to establish themselves. “C” Company was then sent up to support “B” in the centre and “A” on the right and one Company of the 29th was called upon to replace them in support. Several hand to hand fighting took place all day. Every time the enemy tried to counter-attack he was thrown back on the Battalion front but he did succeed in getting a foot-fold on the front of the 29th Battalion. “C” Company on the left had to withdraw to keep in touch. “A” Company was given orders to withdraw at dark.
During this day of severe, heavy and bitter fighting 35 men were killed including Private Pullen, 248 men were wounded and 14 men were missing.