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Reginald Herbert Bullingham’s birth was registered in Neath during the second quarter of 1900. He was the son of Leonard Daniel Bullingham and Blanche Bullingham of Aberavon in Glamorganshire, South Wales and had two full-blood sisters; Florence Irene Bullingham and Beatrice Bullingham and a half-blood sister; Mabel A. Jenkins (nee Smith) who was 8 years older than he was

In 1901 the family were living at 1 Mountain Row, Aberavon, Port Talbot and his father was working as a journeyman bread baker but by 1911 they had moved to 7 Alexandra Street and his father was now working as a corporation labourer for the council.

Pre-war Reginald worked as a Tin Worker at the Mansel Works and was a member of the local fire brigade in which his father was a lieutenant. He was a well known sprinter and in 1913 represented the Welsh schools in International football and also played in the Aberavon schools league.

He attested into the Territorial Force at Port Talbot one month before his eighteenth birthday on 17th March 1917 and joined the Army Reserve the following day.

The medical officer described Reginald as standing 5ft 4.75in tall, weighing 132lbs with a 36in chest when fully extended.

Reginald originally supplied his father’s name as his next of kin but, for reasons unknown, this was subsequently crossed out and changed to his mother’s name. The address being 10 Gwendoline Street, Aberavon. South Wales. He also allotted 12/6 from his pay to be sent home to his mother.

Reginald was mobilised in September 1917 and joined the 48th Training Reserve at Cardiff for 3 months before being posted into the 4th Battalion of the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment with the number 41798 in mid-December 1917.

He was admitted to Kinmel Camp Military Hospital, near Rhyl, between 12th February and 5th March 1918 with tonsillitis but made a quick recovery and returned to the Battalion.

Reginald sailed for France from Folkestone to Boulogne on 30th April 1918 and joined the 25th Infantry Base Depot for familiarisation training. The next month he was transferred to the 1/5th Battalion of the York & Lancs Regiment and given the number 46595 so didn’t actually serve with the Loyals overseas.

After an action on 19th September 1918 Lance Corporal Bullingham was listed as being wounded and was taken by field ambulance to the 57th Casualty Clearing Station and on to No. 12 Stationary Hospital in Rouen. A telegram was sent back to his family on 3rd October to say that Reginald had been ‘dangerously wounded’ and the following day another telegram was sent to say he had died from what was gunshot wounds to his face and right arm.

Leonard wrote on behalf of Reginald’s mother to acknowledge the telegrams and asked that any information about Reginald’s personal effects be communicated to her as she was very anxious about them.

 

His personal effects were sent to his parents in April 1919 and contained 2 identity discs, letters, cards, a wallet, a watch (damaged), belt, photos and religious books. These were received and again acknowledged by his father on Blanche’s behalf.

Reginald’s war gratuity was split between his mother and a Miss Mary Taylor (relationship unknown). His family would later take receipt of a British War Medal and Allied Victory Medal in addition to a memorial plaque and scroll bearing Reginald’s name and in recognition of his sacrifice.

Reginald was buried in St. Pol British Cemetery where his father would later request that the CWGC engrave the following words onto his headstone;

THY WILL BE DONE

Rank: Lance Corporal
Service No: 46595
Date of Death: 04/10/1918
Age: 19
Regiment/Service: York and Lancaster Regiment, 1st/5th Bn.
Cemetery: ST. POL BRITISH CEMETERY, ST. POL-SUR-TERNOISE

 

Additional Information

On 17th December 1920 a Richard Scott, 2 Meadow Lane, Blackburn, late 1/5 Y&L wrote to Infantry Records;

Sir,

Having Lost the address of my late chum R. Bullingham of the 1/5 York & Lancs Regt. (D Company) and wishing to communicate with his parents, I should esteem it a great favour if you will furnish me with same. Stamped addressed envelope enclosed.

The Army obliged and sent Richard their address and we assume more details about Reginald’s death may have been contained within subsequent letters.

Paul McCormick
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Paul McCormick

Paul McCormick is the creator and administrator for the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment website. Since 2010 he has been researching the soldiers that served during the First World War and sharing their stories on his website. You can contact Paul through the website 'Contact Me' page or on Twitter and Facebook.
Paul McCormick
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