Whatever happened to Syd Pullen, 9th Battalion Royal Fusiliers?

Discussion in 'Searching for Someone & Military Genealogy' started by SteveDee, Sep 28, 2018.

  1. SteveDee

    SteveDee Well-Known Member

    One of the many things that puzzled me, when I started looking through my dad's WW2 stuff last year, was a letter written by dad to Syd Pullen. Initially I couldn't understand why he still had a letter that he had written.

    But when I found the evelope, I could see that poor Syd was "missing".

    Syd was one of those who was transfered from an HAA regiment when the army were desperate for more men to fight in the front line.

    Dad's letter was written on 3rd September 1944, so Syd probably died earlier in the year, possibly in one of the battles for Monte Cassino.

    So I'd like to find out more about Syd and the circumstances surrounding his death.

    From the way dad writes, it looks like they knew one anothers families. Dad grew up in Sherborne in Dorset, so I suspect Syd was from that area.

    Any scraps of information would be very welcome.

    If you want to read dad's letter, it is here:-
    Sergeant ACK-ACK: You've got post
    ...about a quarter of the way down the page
  2. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    How do you know he died??

    If you know he died have you searched CWGC??

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  3. bexley84

    bexley84 Well-Known Member

    Sadly: Casualty
    Fusilier PULLEN, SYDNEY
    Service Number 874860

    Died 16/09/1944

    Aged 22

    9th Bn.
    Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment)

    Son of Frederick Arthur and Louie Maud Pullen, of Sherborne, Dorsetshire.
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  4. Mr Jinks

    Mr Jinks Bit of a Cad

    The circumstances may be hard to establish because officially he is still `missing` commemorated on the Cassino Memorial.?

    Missing Men file via Andy perhaps?

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  5. SteveDee

    SteveDee Well-Known Member

    Wow, thanks all.

    TD: yes, sometimes I need a kick up the backside, so thanks. As my dad kept very few letters, I'd just figured this one was very important to him. And it looks like I was right. As a 22 year old country boy, dad would have been very upset to lose a friend.

    Richard: that's brilliant, his service number and parent names. Thanks.

    Kyle: Yep, I see Pvllen S on your photo, so I guess that's him.
  6. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Last edited: Sep 28, 2018
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  7. Guy Hudson

    Guy Hudson Looker-upper

    Syd enlisted in the R.A. in 1937, he was transferred to the Royal Fusiliers on the 11th July 1944.
    Screen Shot 2018-09-28 at 10.34.10.png
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  8. bexley84

    bexley84 Well-Known Member

    Thanks Steve - by Aug/Sept 1944. the 9th Royal Fusiliers had come with 56 (London) Div up to the Gothic Line - on 16th Sept they were near San Savino, east of San Marino.
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  9. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    England & Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1916-200
    Name: Sydney A F Pullen
    Registration Date: 1922
    Registration district: Sherborne
    Inferred County: Dorset
    Re-registration Year: 1922
    Mother's Maiden Name: Aplin
    Volume Number: 5a
    Page Number: 544

    Thats was the confusing part - had he died or not

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  10. harkness

    harkness Well-Known Member



    3 Lower Acreman Street, Sherborne U.D., Dorset
    Frederick (A) Pullen - 17 Dec 1898 - Plasterer
    Louie (M) Pullen - 03 Oct 1901 - Unpaid Domestic Duties
    Eric Pullen - 04 Jun 1925 - Drapers Shop Assistant
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  11. SteveDee

    SteveDee Well-Known Member

    You have to wonder how prepared Syd would have been when he was transferred from heavy artillery to the role of a foot soldier. Either way, he didn't last long (less than 10 weeks).

    He must have been a childhood friend of my dad, as they were born and raised within about a mile of each other, and apparently the same age (22).

    How lucky my dad was (...and me!) that he stayed with HAA and came out of the war in one piece?

    And how lucky are we post-war baby boomers to have missed WW2?
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  12. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member

    In Aug 44, the Eighth Army was very short of Infantry but knew that they would needs lots for their next big task - Operation OLIVE, the assault on the Gothic Line at Rimini.

    Bolstering the ranks of the infantry could only be achieved by taking from parts of the Army that was less of a priority.

    With absolutely no air threat - the Allies has air supremacy, the troops were found from the Heavy and Light Anti Aircraft Regts.

    By 16 Sep 44, 9 FUSILIERS, along with the rest of 167 Infantry Brigade had finally got beyond Croce and were heading north west towards Mulazzano with troops of 4 Inf Div on their right.


    Last edited: Sep 30, 2018
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  13. gmyles

    gmyles Senior Member

    Hi Steve

    As the war progressed the Allies had air superiority North Africa, Egypt and Italy which meant that Light and Heavy "ack ack" batteries were pretty redundant in 1944 and 1945 so a lot of them were disbanded and their gunners redeployed to whoever needed them.

    My dad was a REME driver in 94th HAA Regiment which was disbanded in Egypt in the middle of 1944. He was posted onto a Armoured Brigade workshop which ended up in Greece.

    Also in Greece was the 64th LAA which was now employed in the General Transport Role. 66th LAA were in Greece acting as Infantry with mortars.

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  14. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    Casualty list:

    Sorry just seen already posted
  15. SteveDee

    SteveDee Well-Known Member

    Thanks once again for all your input.

    A search of the West Sussex Library database reveals one book about the Gothic Line: "At War on the Gothic Line (fighting in Italy 1944-45)" by Christian Jennings, which I have now requested, and hope will widen my limited understanding of the battles in this area.
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  16. ClankyPencil

    ClankyPencil Senior Member

    There's not much about him in the Missing Personnel file
    WO 361-849 S Pullen (2).JPG WO 361-849 S Pullen (3).JPG WO 361-849 S Pullen.JPG

    There is another statement regarding Fus. A.A. Lemay (13058623) who appears on the same missing list posted above. It basically says he was seen last approx 0300hrs and was cut off by a German counter-attack
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  17. Gary Tankard

    Gary Tankard Well-Known Member

    For interest this is the list of RA personnel transferred to 9th Bn Royal Fusiliers in July 1944 while in North Africa. Quite a few of the other infantry battalions of 56 Division also have similar lists. You can also see numbers of RA officers being transferred at the same time.

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  18. Gary Tankard

    Gary Tankard Well-Known Member

    9 RF WD entries:

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  19. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Just for info
    UK, British Prisoners of War, 1939-1945
    Name: F J Bellis
    Rank: Fusilier
    Army Number: 14594244
    Regiment: The Royal Fusiliers
    POW Number: 138474
    Camp Type: Stalag
    Camp Number: 344
    Camp Location: Lambinowice, Poland

    Name: K J Ricketts
    Rank: Fusilier
    Army Number: 1468226
    Regiment: The Royal Fusiliers
    POW Number: 138313
    Camp Type: Stalag
    Camp Number: 344
    Camp Location: Lambinowice, Poland

    Name: A A Lemay
    Rank: Fusilier
    Army Number: 13058623
    Regiment: The Royal Fusiliers
    POW Number: 138532
    Camp Type: Stalag
    Camp Number: 344
    Camp Location: Lambinowice, Poland

  20. Stuart Avery

    Stuart Avery In my wagon & not a muleteer.

    Kyle, that is a brilliant photo. Is there anymore, & how did you come across it? I only ask, because I've been to the Cemetery twice, & tried to take photos of two different panels on two separate columns. Not the easiest thing to do. Probably something to do with me not being able to use a camera. I can think of another forum member who would be interested.. Anymore info would much appreciated..

    SteveDee, sorry for treading on your toes, but one did have to ask..


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