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Person Details
21 Jul 1880
Newton Croft, Mansfield
Parents: Thomas and Elizabeth Bull, both had died before the war started. Wife: Bertha, nee Buxton, married 1/9/1902. Children: Henry Leslie, born 14/12/1903, Ernest Harold, born 10/04/1905, Dorothy Mary, born 24/05/1907, Cyril Arthur, born 19/01/1909, Marjorie Annie, born 1911. The family lived at 84 Smith Street, Mansfield, Nottinghamshire.
Prior to joining up, Ernest Bull was a Master Grocer for the Co-op in Southwell & Edwinstowe, Nottinghamshire.
03 Sep 1916
36
761589 - CWGC Website
28335
Sergeant
1/7th Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment)
The 17th Sherwood Foresters were formed on the 1st of June 1915 at the order of the Mayor. The Battalion moved to Witley in Surrey for final training in October 1915 and proceeded to France on the 6th of March 1916, landing at Le Havre, and were held near Blaringhem. On the 30th June 1916 they were in action in an attack near Richebourg l'Avoue with the Sussex battalions and suffered heavy casualties. They were in action during the Battles of the Somme, including, the Battle of Thiepval Ridge where Sgt Bull was killed while attacking the German stronghold of Schwaben Redoubt, near the town of Thiepval, Northern France. His remains were never found or could not be identified. His name is on the Thiepval Memorial on panel 10C
At 6.30am on the 3rd of September 1916, Sgt Bull and his men advanced uphill from their trenches along the northern edge of Thiepval Wood towards the German lines near Schwaben Redoubt, Sgt Bull was wounded on one leg. He continued to advance but was then hit in the other leg when a shell exploded close to him and he fell into the mud. The machine gun fire & shelling from the Germans was greater than had been expected and so intense that his colleagues were unable to stop to go to his aid so he was left lying in No Mans Land while the battle went on around him between the Allied and German lines. Later that day, owing to the continued overwhelming fire from the German positions, the surviving British soldiers were recalled to their trenches to await the arrival of reinforcements. Some of the withdrawing troops had difficulty getting into the 6' deep trenches as they were full of dead bodied. Although Sgt Bull was still alive, no-one could help him and he was left behind. According to witness accounts, during the evening of the 3rd of September injured men could be heard by soldiers in nearby trenches calling out for help. As dusk fell, a German sniper opened fire on the wounded. When it became too dark for him to pick his targets the Germans released gas into 'No Mans Land'. The gas used was heavier than air so it settled in low-lying areas like trenches and craters. The green mist rolled slowly downhill towards the Allied lines. The gas caused severe burns to bare flesh and the lungs to fill with fluid so the victims in effect drown on dry land. By the following morning all the wounded soldiers in No Mans Land had fallen silent and they were believed to have died during the night either as a result of the sniper, their wounds, or from inhaling poisoned gas. Of the 650 men who went 'over the top' on the 3rd of September, 436 either died, were wounded, or were never found. In the second letter to Mrs Bull (below), testimony is provided by Pt 22261 Benjamin James DYER, 17th Bn Sherwood Foresters. He was killed in action on 8th November 1917, his remains were never found or identified. He is remembered on the wall of Tyne Cot Cemetery, Belgium and is recorded in this Roll of Honour.
Remembered on

Photos

  • Ernest Harry BULL -
  • 17th bn Sherwood Foresters.
    Sgt Bulls Platoon - 17th bn Sherwood Foresters.
  • Ernest Bull is shown on the next to back row, third in from the left
    Sgt EH Bull - Ernest Bull is shown on the next to back row, third in from the left
  • Sgt Ernest Harry Bull remembered on the Thiepval Memorial, Panel 10C.
Photo by Tony Stubbs
    Panel 10C, Thiepval Memorial - Sgt Ernest Harry Bull remembered on the Thiepval Memorial, Panel 10C. Photo by Tony Stubbs
  • Sgt Ernest Harry Bull remembered at St Lawrence's Church, Mansfield
    St Lawrence's Church, Mansfield - Sgt Ernest Harry Bull remembered at St Lawrence's Church, Mansfield
  • The wife of Sgt Bull
    Bertha Bull - The wife of Sgt Bull
  • Ernest, Bertha, Leslie, Harold, & Dorothy Bull taken in 1905
    Sgt Bulls Family - Ernest, Bertha, Leslie, Harold, & Dorothy Bull taken in 1905
  • The last letter from Ernest Bull to his wife Bertha.
Posted 10th July 1916
    Last Letter 1/3 - The last letter from Ernest Bull to his wife Bertha. Posted 10th July 1916
  • The last letter from Ernest Bull to his wife Bertha.
Posted 10th July 1916
    Last Letter 2/3 - The last letter from Ernest Bull to his wife Bertha. Posted 10th July 1916
  • The last letter from Ernest Bull to his wife Bertha.
Posted 10th July 1916
    Last Letter 3/3 - The last letter from Ernest Bull to his wife Bertha. Posted 10th July 1916
  • Details all those whos names appear on the Thiepval Memorial
    Grave Registration Register - Details all those whos names appear on the Thiepval Memorial
  • Sent to Mrs Bull by the Red Cross informing her that Sgt Bull was missing dated 5.1.17
    Initial Missing Letter - Sent to Mrs Bull by the Red Cross informing her that Sgt Bull was missing dated 5.1.17
  • Sent to Mrs Bull by the Red Cross giving brief circumstances of Sgt Bulls death dated 31.1.17
    Second Missing Letter - Sent to Mrs Bull by the Red Cross giving brief circumstances of Sgt Bulls death dated 31.1.17
  • Sent to Mrs Bull by the Red Cross giving brief circumstances of Sgt Bulls death dated 31.1.17
    Second Missing Letter P2 - Sent to Mrs Bull by the Red Cross giving brief circumstances of Sgt Bulls death dated 31.1.17
  • Sent to Mrs Bull by the War Department informing Mrs Bull of her Husbands death dated 20.7.17 (10months after he died)
    Death Letter - Sent to Mrs Bull by the War Department informing Mrs Bull of her Husbands death dated 20.7.17 (10months after he died)