WW1 Casualty: Private 14747 Daniel Cullen -
Private 14747 Daniel Cullen
Prescot Reporter 11/08/1916
||9th Bn, Royal Welsh Fusiliers
|Date of Death
||Age at Death
Pier and Face 4A
|CWGC Family Details (if shown)
||Son of Thomas and Annie Cullen, of 9, Bretherton Rd., Prescot, Lancs
||1901 census -
Daniel Cullen was 11 years old and lived at 9, Stone Street with his parents Thomas and Annie, sister Maggie (16) and brother Jack (14),
||Birth Registered Q1/1890, Prescot, 8b, 688
|SDGW – Where Born
||Killed In Action
||Theatre of War
||France & Flanders
||Note substantial discrepancy between age from CWGC and Census & Birth records, suggesting CWGC is in error. This is confirmed by the report (below) which says that he had worked at the colliery for 10 years
|Research Ref. No.
Daniel Cullen enlisted into the army on 4th September 1914.
After his arrival in France in early September 1915, Pte Cullen's unit was involved in the Battle of Loos, starting on 25th of that month. They suffered heavily from machine gun fire and were withdrawn very quickly.
They moved to the quieter area of Festubert and Neuve Chapelle, remaining there throughout the winter of 1915 in treacherous conditions, with the trenches at tomes being breast deep in water.
Their trench routine continued until the April of 1916, when they were withdrawn from the line in order to train for the Somme campaign.
On the infamous first day of the Somme, they were in reserve, awaiting orders to advance on Thiepval which was expected to fall early in the attack. This did not happen, however, and by the morning of the 2nd July, they had only just reached the large crater left by the massive mine explosions of the previous day.
They attacked later that day, leaving their lines at 4:00 pm and gained their objectives, despite heavy losses. The following day, they were taken out of the line for three days, coming back to assault the La Boisselle-Contalmaison Road.
For the last week of July, they were involved in the battle of Mametz Wood, trying to capture High Wood from the South. This action took a heavy toll on the Battalion, with 3 officers and 42 Other Ranks killed, 109 officers and 240 Other Ranks wounded.
The Prescot Reporter of 11th August 1916 reported his death.
“Prior to enlisting he worked for ten years at St Helens Collieries. His eldest brother, of the same Regiment, is a prisoner in Germany and his younger brother is serving with the R.W.F. in France.
The news of his death on active service is contained in the following letter from an officer – ‘I must introduce myself to you as the Officer in charge of the Machine Gun Section to which your son was attached. He has been fighting like a good soldier, as you know, for a long time out here and has done thoroughly all through our latest advance, but while we were in reserve doing nothing but keeping in readiness to move up if wanted, we were very heavily shelled. The men stood this ordeal in a remarkable manner. All were calm and cool. One cannot say enough for their bravery and it is hoped that those at home will be as brave should they have to bear any personal grief. It was during your shelling that your son and two of his pals were killed instantly by a shell dropping right amongst them. We buried them just where they died and placed a cross above their heads, plainly marked with their names and regiment. I deeply regret having to break this news, and I hope that you will accept my deepest sympathy. He was an excellent, well-trained soldier and one whom one could put every trust in. We feel the loss a great deal. Yours sincerely, J.C. Bromhall’ “
The two men who were killed with Private Cullen were Private Isaiah Jones, aged 29, and Private Ernest Tomlinson, 25, both from Staffordshire. The grave in which the three men were buried was lost in subsequent fighting and all three are now remembered on the Thiepval Memorial to the missing of the Somme.
The officer who write to Daniel Cullen’s family was Major John Coventry Bromhall, M.C. and Bar, a native of London. He was subsequently killed in action on 7th August 1918, aged 35.
The Parish Magazine of 27th October 1916 stated “Since the October magazine was published in which the names of 47 of our heroic dead were recorded, 7 more have fallen in the long battle of the Somme. The list then followed, including “Pte. Daniel Cullen of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers”.
Daniel Cullen’s Medal Index Card shows his arrival in France on 5th September 1915. His medal entitlement was the 1914-1915 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal.
Daniel Cullen's inscription on the Thiepval Memorial.
Picture taken Monday 21st February 2011