Wednesday, 3 August 2011

C Bullock

Christopher Bullock
Born 1888 Nr Fraddon, Cornwall  kia 4 October 1917 Nr Ypres
Private 32375 1st Battalion East Lancashire Regiment (formerly Middlesex Regiment, DCLI and Somerset LI)

Christopher was the fourth son of William Jeffery and Mary Jane Blake.  William worked as a tin miner and china clay worker.  His father had been a tin mine agent.  The family lived in a cottage near Blue Anchor at Fraddon.  Christopher had three older brothers, Arthur, Alfred and John and three sisters, Mabel, Alberta and Evelina.  

Christopher's records do not indicate when or where he enlisted or when he first went to France.  His medal index card does show that he was in several regiments.  His move from the Somersets to the East Lancashire Regiment is not too surprising; the 1st Somersets and 1st East Lancs were both part of 11th Brigade, 4th Division.  In addition, the Middlesex Regiment's 3/10th Battalion was in 10th Brigade, 4th Division.  

During 1917 4th Division were involved at the Battles of Arras and Third Ypres.  It seems likely that Christopher fell during the Battle of Broodseinde, a phase of Third Ypres.  General Haig intended that this action should capture the Gheluvelt Plateau, a natural barrier, in enemy hands, along the south eastern edge of the Ypres Salient which was thwarting his plans to break out of the Salient.  Haig had wrongly deduced that German morale was collapsing and planned to take advantage.  The attack was also rushed; it was originally planned for 6 October, but brought forward to 4 October.  

The attack was led by the I and II Anzac Corps and XVIII Corps.  4th Division (part of XIV Corps) were part of the supporting attack on the flank and were held up by a bog during their advance.  Heavy machine gun fire from the cover of Houlthulst Forest resulted in 1,700 casualties for XIV Corps, of which it seems likely that Christopher was one.

Christopher has no known grave and is remembered on the Tyne Cot Memorial.

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