|Date of Birth||January 2, 1900|
|Place of Birth||Seacombe, Cheshire|
|Next of Kin||Parents John and Marian Bullen|
|Battalion||18th Welsh Regiment|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Enlisted|
|Place of Enlistment||Liverpool, England|
|Date of Enlistment||January 2, 1918|
|Age at Enlistment||18|
|Theatre of Service||Europe|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||August 6, 1968|
|Age at Death||68|
|Buried At||Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario|
Private John Crellin Bullen was the only son of John Bullen and Marian Crellin of Cheshire, England. His parents were both born in Liverpool and they were married there in 1889. They had two daughters, Mary Elizabeth (1890) and Grace Emily (1893). John, their third and youngest child, was born in January 1900 in Seacombe, Cheshire. At the time of the 1911 census the family was living in New Brighton, about 2 km north of Seacombe, and John’s father was working as a warehouse keeper.
John was 14 years old when the war started. He enlisted in the British army on 2 January 1918, his 18th birthday, signing up with the 18th Welsh (2nd Glamorgan) Regiment. Young men could enlist at age 18 but regulations required them to be 19 to serve in a front line unit. In April 1918 this was lowered to 18 years and six months, as long as the soldier had six months of training. The 18th Welsh Regiment suffered heavy casualties in France in May 1918 and it was sent back to England to rebuild. During that time it was based at North Walsham in the county of Norfolk. The unit absorbed another battalion and by June it was up to full strength. The recruits moved to Aldershot Camp in Hampshire and at the end of July the regiment was sent back to France. John served in France during the final months of the war and he was awarded the British War and Victory Medals. He was discharged on 31 December 1920 at Prees Heath in Shropshire.
John’s sister Grace worked as a supervisor in a munitions factory during the war. His sister Mary Bullen served as a nurse and she married one of her patients, Lance Corporal Private James Hugh Murray. John’s mother died in 1919 and his father in 1924. In the spring of 1926 John, Grace and Mary immigrated to Canada along with Mary’s husband, James, and their two children. They arrived in Montreal from Liverpool on 26 April on the SS Montrose and they settled in Kenora, Ontario where they had friends living.
John became a member of the Canadian Legion, Kenora branch and he served with the Veterans’ Home Guard during the Second World War. He worked as a mail carrier in Kenora for twenty years, retiring in 1956 due to ill health. He passed away at home on 6 August 1968, at age 68. He was survived by his niece Marian Murray of Kenora and his nephew John Murray of New Brunswick. John is buried in Angel Crest Block in Lake of the Woods Cemetery along with his sisters Grace and Mary and his brother-in-law James Murray.
By Becky Johnson
Photo at the top is the Victory Medal.