Jump to content
Free downloads from TNA ×
The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Robert CULLEN - Royal Irish Horse


stephen p nunn

Recommended Posts

Evening all. I am researching the story of an Irish soldier - Robert Cullen of Tipperary. It looks like he was born in Tipperary and enlisted there. He served as a Private (9104) in the Royal Irish Regiment - the 7th (South Irish Horse) Battalion. He was killed in action on the 17/8/1918 and is buried in Westoutre British Cemetery. According to his medal card he was entitled to the pair and I have just bought his British War Medal. My wife and I are planning our next trip to Ypres and intend to go and pay our respects to him at Westoutre. Can any of you add to his story for us please?

Many thanks in anticipation.

Best regards.

SPN

Maldon.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Morning

This appears to be the WD for the period

Place

Date

Summary of Events and Information

Widdebroucq

Jul

Organising reinforcements into an Infantry Battalion

Oxelaere

Aug

from 7th onwards moved into line

19/20

2 men wounded

22

Lt RC Lloyd R. Irish Regt killed in action

Boeschepe

23

Heavily shelled 4 men killed, 3 wounded

24

Lt Col J Roche Kelly MC left the Batt

W of Wulverghem

Sep 1/2

Casualties incurred during an attack by the Batt:-
Killed- 2 Officers and 15 OR
Wounded- 3 Officers and 55 OR and 5 OR Missing

Honours and Awards, September 1918:-

Obviously had no use for a pencil sharpener !!

Regards,

Graeme

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you so very much Graeme. This is really helpful context. So he was in Oxelaere, which is Pas-de-Calais but doesn't look like the line to me? I wonder if Boeschepe is the line? Not even mention of any casualties on the 17th August?

Regards.

SPN

Maldon

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It looks as if this chap might have joined the 7th from another Battalion or Irish regiment?

Anyone any thoughts please?

Thanks.

SPN

Maldon

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Maldon

He probably started off in the South Irish Horse which converted to an infantry role in 1917. See LLT and here for more information.

Glen

Hi Glen - that's where my confusion comes from. From the SIH research site he is listed as a casualty of the 7th Battalion but not against the SIH?

Odd?

Regards.

SPN

Maldon

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Admin

The SIH became the 7th Bn on 1 Sept 1917 and so were, for practical purposes, disbanded. I don't know if they maintained a depot at home or something similar or just went into "deep freeze" until after the war. The fact SIH isn't on his MIC suggests a post Sept 1917 arrival into theatre.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The SIH became the 7th Bn on 1 Sept 1917 and so were, for practical purposes, disbanded. I don't know if they maintained a depot at home or something similar or just went into "deep freeze" until after the war. The fact SIH isn't on his MIC suggests a post Sept 1917 arrival into theatre.

Thanks Glen - so technically he wasn't SIH as such, rather was in the 7th Royal Irish and joined them (probably from no other regiment) post- 1/9/17?

regards.

SPN

Maldon

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So this is what I know so far - not much really. Any further thoughts or help much appreciated.

ROBERT CULLEN

Born in Tipperary

Enlisted in Tipperary.

Served as Private (9104) in the 7th (South Irish Horse) Battalion of the Royal Irish Regiment.

The South Irish Horse (SIH) became the 7th Battalion on 1/9/1917 and so were, for practical purposes, disbanded. The fact SIH isn't on his MIC suggests a post-September 1917 arrival into theatre.

In July 1918 the SIH was organising reinforcements into an Infantry Battalion.

On 7th August 1918 the SIH moved into the line in Oxelaere.

Died (Killed in Action) on 17th August 1918.

Buried at Westoutre British Cemetery.

Entitled to the “pair” – British and Victory medals (so no active service before 1916).

Best regards.

SPN

Maldon

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Admin

Try the Contact Me link on the SIH website perhaps? It can't hurt and if nothing else, I'm sure the owner may appreciate knowing the medals are not sitting in a drawer all forgotten but in safe hands and Mr Cullen is being remembered..

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Try the Contact Me link on the SIH website perhaps? It can't hurt and if nothing else, I'm sure the owner may appreciate knowing the medals are not sitting in a drawer all forgotten but in safe hands and Mr Cullen is being remembered..

Hi - yes, sent an email yesterday and awaiting a reply.

Best regards.

SPN

Maldon

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Have now also emailed the Tipperary Family History people.

I am still trying to clarify a couple of extra things:

1). I assume Robert would have worn the general Royal Irish cap badge, rather than the SIH one?

2). What he/the battalion were doing in Widdebroucq, Oxelaere and Boeschepe? Where would he have been KIA because none of this looks like front line?

Best regards.

SPN

Maldon

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Many thanks SPOF - that makes more sense. So neither Oxelaere or Boeschepe were front line but they were in the line somewhere between those dates and places.

Thank you.

Regards.

SPN

Maldon

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Evening all - so the latest position re. my Tipperary lad is:

ROBERT CULLEN

Born in Tipperary

Enlisted in Tipperary.

Served as Private (9104) in the 7th (South Irish Horse) Battalion of the Royal Irish Regiment.

The South Irish Horse (SIH) became the 7th Battalion on 1/9/1917 and so were, for practical purposes, disbanded. The fact SIH isn't on his MIC suggests a post-September 1917 arrival into theatre.

In July 1918 the SIH was organising reinforcements into an Infantry Battalion at Oxelaere.

On 7th August 1918 the SIH moved into the line (until the 23rd August when they went to Boeschepe).

Died (Killed in Action) on 17th August 1918.

Buried at Westoutre British Cemetery.

Entitled to the “pair” – British and Victory medals (so no active service before 1916).

There is a Robert Cullen in the 1911 Census. Born c. 1889, a general labourer who lived with his family at 69 Bohercrow Street. However, there is another different one in the 1901 Census. Frustrating that I can't pin him down yet or where he was when he was KIA with the 7th Battalion?

Regards.

SPN

Maldon

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It looks as if there were 4 men from the 7th Battalion killed on the 17/8/1918, all buried in Westoutre. Does anyone know where they were in action that day please?

Thank you.

SPN

Maldon

Link to comment
Share on other sites

just planning a journey to go and pay my respects to Robert Cullen. Thinking of driving to Widdebroucq where he probably joined the 7th Battalion. Then on to Oxelaere where reinforcements were organised. Then to Boeschepe where we know the Battalion retired after front line action. Robert was dead by then so on to Westoutre where he is buried. Looking at the map all but Westoutre are in France. Given the cemetery is in Belgium (but very close to Boeschepe) it is still not clear to me where he (and three other men) would have been killed on the 17/8/18?

Any thoughts out there please?

Thanks.

SPN

Maldon.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks to Forum pals I now know that Robert Cullen was in the Line in the Locre area, "on the right of the United States army". The 7th Battalion of the Royal Irish regiment moved from the support line to the front line probably on the 16/8/1918. Robert was killed on the 17/8/1918 (along with 3 other men from the Battalion). So sadly it looks like Robert probably joined the 7th on re-formation on the 26/6/18 and was killed less than 2 months later.

I still can't positively identify him, but he might have been the man of the same name who lived in Tipperary with his blind father, mother and 2 sisters in 1911.

We will go and pay our respects to him next week.

Best regards.

SPN

Maldon.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here is Robert's grave. We visited on Tuesday to pay our respects.

Best regards.

SPN

Maldon.

post-43629-0-25124500-1397804401_thumb.j

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This was on the wall of our hotel in Ypres.

SPN

Maldon

post-43629-0-29556700-1397812807_thumb.j

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...