Hedley Elbert CULLEN

CULLEN, Hedley Elbert

Service Number: Officer
Enlisted: 1 December 1914, Adelaide, South Australia
Last Rank: Second Lieutenant
Last Unit: 10th Infantry Battalion
Born: Terowie, South Australia, 8 August 1894
Home Town: Terowie, Goyder, South Australia
Schooling: Terowie Public School
Occupation: Merchant
Died: Died of Wounds (GSW abdomen), Gallipoli, Turkey, 10 August 1915, aged 21 years
Cemetery: No known grave - "Known Unto God"
Memorials: Adelaide National War Memorial, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Lone Pine Memorial to the Missing, Terowie Institute Honour Board, Terowie Public School Honor Roll, Terowie War Memorial, Unley Arch of Remembrance, Unley Town Hall WW1 Honour Board
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World War 1 Service

1 Dec 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Adelaide, South Australia
19 Feb 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Second Lieutenant, Officer, 10th Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
19 Feb 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, Second Lieutenant, Officer, 10th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Runic, Melbourne
25 Apr 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Second Lieutenant, 10th Infantry Battalion, ANZAC / Gallipoli
10 Aug 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Second Lieutenant, 10th Infantry Battalion, The August Offensive - Lone Pine, Suvla Bay, Sari Bair, The Nek and Hill 60 - Gallipoli

Sniped by a Turk

The Advertiser Thursday 07 October 1915 page 10

A letter explaining how their son, Lieutenant Hedley Cullen, lost his life, has been received by Mr. and Mrs. William Cullen, of Hawthorn, from the officer (name censored), commanding No. 1 Mule Transport of the Australian Army Corps. Lieutenant Cullen was second in command of the transport. He (name censored) says:-'What happened was this. I was in the mule lines at an outpost of which had placed your son in charge. At about 4.30 p.m. on August 9, one of my men rushed in breathlessly and said, 'Cullen, sahib, is wounded.' I went to him at once and found him lying in the open about 200 yards from the lines, having been shot by a sniper. Two A.S.C. men were trying to pull him in under cover. This was quickly done. He was in great pain. I thought we should get a doctor to give him some morphia, and I prepared to fetch one,but he would not hear of it. He said, ' I want you to stay with me, I won't have you running any risks.' However, a Corporal Wilson, one of our interpreters, without waiting for orders or permission crawled away and came back about ten minutes later with a doctor, who gave your son a good dose of morphia and re-dressed the wound. It was quite impossible to move him in daylight, as the whole country round was being sniped all the time, and it meant facing a space in the open which was commanded by machine guns. So we just had to lie down and wait till dark. Your son was quite conspicious, and talked a good deal about going home. The pain soon got less as the morphia began to take effect. He asked me to write to you, but not to say anything to cause you to worry. He was much concerned about the shock you would get on hearing he was wounded. In fact, he was thinking of other people all the time. Towards evening he began to feel a bit cold, and Corporal Wilson again, without a moment's hesitation ran the gauntlet of the sniper and fetched a blanket. In fetching over a blanket and the doctor he was fired at all the time. As soon as it was dark we carried your son to the ambulance pier about a mile. I stayed with him till 3 p.m., and then had to leave. But I left Corporal Wilson in charge to see him taken off to the hospital ship. Wilson told me next morning that he was delirious when he was taken away at midnight, but that he had not suffered any more pain. I have done my best to get news of him, but without success. Once a man leaves here wounded it is almost impossible for us who are left behind to get any further news. I was very sorry lo lose your son who was an excellent officer."

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Born 8 August 1894 Terowie, South Australia. (SA Birth Record  1842 - 1906 Book: 549 Page: 82 District: Bur.)

Father William CULLEN (b.25/8/1850 Fordwich, Kent England - d. 24/12/1934 ‎(Age 84)‎ Hawthorn SA)
m.6/5/1871 at Kooringa, South Australia
Mother Caroline Edith (nee RIGGS) b.3/5/1849 Bloxworth, Dorset, England - d. 2/10/1927 Hawthorn SA)
living at Victoria Terrace, Hawthorn, South Australia

1 of 13 children:
Sister    Caroline Eva Cullen b. 18/2/1872 & d. 7/9/1875 Kooringa, SA
Sister    Sarah Helen Cullen  b. 5/9/1873 Kooringa SA - d. 7/10/1927
Brother  William Andrew Cullen b. 6/4/1875 Kooringa SA - d. 26/11/1954
Brother  Wesley John Cullen b. 12/10/1876 Kooringa SA - d. 3/11/1947
Brother  Herbert Richard Cullen b. 8/11/1878 Kooringa SA - d. 22/10/1880
Brother  Bernard James Cullen b. 15/12/1880 Kooringa SA - d. 23/3/1962
Sister    Ivy Jane Cullen b. 25/1/1883 Terowie SA - d. 1958
Sister    Lillian Edith Cullen b. 2/3/1885 Terowie SA - d. 28/3/1965
Brother  Herbert Henry Cullen b.18/12/1886 Terowie SA - d. 16/10/1952
Sister    Rhonda Louise Cullen b. 23/1/1889 Frome SA - d. 1892 Terowie SA
Sister    Leslie Cullen b. 5/10/1890 - d. 1890 Terowie SA
Brother  Walter Cullen b. 1892 - d. 1892
HIMSELF  Hedley Elbert Cullen   b. 8/8/1894 - d. 10/8/1915

Next of kin in service:
3 cousins killed, 5 cousins returned

#184    Vernon Albert Walter RIGGS
#3888  Harold RIGGS

Previous service:
Four years - Senior Cadets - 74th Infantry
1 1/2 years as 2nd Lieutenant

Described on enlisting as 20 years; single; 6' tall; 12 stone; Protestant

 16/12/1914      Enlisted in Adelaide, South Australia

19/2/1915        Embarked from Port Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A54 Runic 
                       as a 2nd Lieutenant with 3rd reinforcements, 10th Infantry Battalion

11/6/1915        Attached to 1st Line Transport, pending transfer, Gallipoli Peninsula 

detached for duty with mule car corps and reported seriously wounded, Gallipoli

9/8/1915          bullet wound in abdomen, received in action by a sniper

10/8/1915        died of wounds received in action - on board HS Dongala (21 years & 2 days old)
                       as a 2nd Lieutenant, 10th Infantry Battalion
buried:             At Sea
by:                   Chaplain T Rees

No known grave

His name is commemorated at Lone Pine Memorial (Panel 32), Gallipoli, Turkey.

He is also commemorated in the Terowie Cemetery, South Australia

1914-15 Star (2943); British War medal (9482); Victory medal (9434);
Memorial Plaque and Memorial Scroll (355914)

Sourced and submitted by Julianne T Ryan.  8/4/2015.  Lest we forget.