Albert Victor Pullan (Pullen)

KOYLIPrivate, 35260, 7th Battalion, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry attached 7th Rifle Brigade (formerly 4526 Durham Light Infantry), killed in action, 2nd April, 1918, aged 25

Born at Althorpe in 1893, Albert was the second son of Matthew and Sarah Ann Pullan (nee Gower). His mother was from Althorpe and his father from West Butterwick was a platelayer on the Grand Central Railway. In 1911 Albert was also working for the Railway Company as a labourer.

Albert appears to have had an interesting military career. The only records that survive record his first unit as the Durham Light Infantry but as he enlisted at Lincoln this seems a strange unit to join? Perhaps he also served with Lincolnshire’s before the DLI?

By early 1918 Albert had been transferred to the 7th (Service) Battalion King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry and when this unit was disbanded in February 1918 he appears to have joined the KOYLI Entrenching Battalion.

In March he was transferred once again being one of the 330 men from the KOYLI who were sent to reinforce the 7th (Service) Battalion Rifle Brigade who had suffered over 550 casualties in the defence of the St Quentin Canal against the German Spring Offensive, Operation Michael, on the Somme.

Albert and the other KOYLI men joined the 7th Rifle Brigade at Bacouel on 31st March. From Bacouel the ‘new’ 7th Rifle Brigade were taken by bus further west along the Somme where they were set to defend Damart Sector on the outskirts of Amiens. Still some way from the advancing German army the position was quiet during the day but around 5.30pm on the evening of 1st April a heavy artillery barrage began that and resulted in a number of casualty. All the men who died were from the former KOYLI and among them was Albert Pullan.

Albert has no known grave and is remembered on the Pozieres Memorial on the Somme.

Albert is commemorated on both Althorpe War Memorials although named as Pullen on the village memorial. He is also remembered with an inscription on his parent’s grave in St Oswald’s Churchyard.