Richard Farley BULKELEY MC

BULKELEY, Richard Farley

Service Numbers: 1519, Commissioned Officer
Enlisted: 30 December 1914, Liverpool, New South Wales
Last Rank: Lieutenant
Last Unit: 3rd Infantry Battalion
Born: Wallerawang, New South Wales, Australia, 10 September 1888
Home Town: Wallerawang, Lithgow, New South Wales
Schooling: Parramatta King's School, New South Wales, Australia
Occupation: Land Surveyor
Died: Killed In Action, Pozières, France, 17 August 1916, aged 27 years
Cemetery: Courcelette British Cemetery
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Wallerawang War Memorial
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World War 1 Service

30 Dec 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, 1519, Liverpool, New South Wales
11 Feb 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, 1519, 3rd Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1, --- :embarkation_roll: roll_number: '7' embarkation_place: Sydney embarkation_ship: HMAT Seang Choon embarkation_ship_number: A49 public_note: ''
11 Feb 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, 1519, 3rd Infantry Battalion, HMAT Seang Choon, Sydney
25 Apr 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, 1519, 3rd Infantry Battalion, ANZAC / Gallipoli
7 Aug 1915: Wounded Private, 1519, 3rd Infantry Battalion, The August Offensive - Lone Pine, Suvla Bay, Sari Bair, The Nek and Hill 60 - Gallipoli, GSW
20 Nov 1915: Promoted AIF WW1, Lance Corporal, 3rd Infantry Battalion
3 Dec 1915: Promoted AIF WW1, Corporal, 3rd Infantry Battalion
28 Jan 1916: Promoted AIF WW1, Second Lieutenant, 3rd Infantry Battalion
29 Jun 1916: Promoted AIF WW1, Lieutenant, 3rd Infantry Battalion
23 Jul 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Lieutenant, 3rd Infantry Battalion, Battle for Pozières
17 Aug 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Lieutenant, Commissioned Officer, 3rd Infantry Battalion, Mouquet Farm, --- :awm_ww1_roll_of_honour_import: awm_service_number: awm_unit: 3 Battalion awm_rank: Lieutenant awm_died_date: 1916-08-17

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Biography contributed by Evan Evans

From Thierry Grier, Footsteps 1914-1918

Lieutenant Richard Farley BULKELEY MC -3rd bn australian infantry-courcelette cemetery-somme-france

Bulkeley enlisted at Liverpool Camp on 30 December 1914 and was allotted to the 3rd reinforcements to the 3rd Battalion. Following his initial training, he embarked from Sydney in February 1915 aboard the transport ship Seang Choon, bound for Egypt.

The stop in Egypt was brief. Shortly after he was taken on strength of the 3rd Battalion, his unit sailed for Lemnos in preparation for the Gallipoli campaign.

After the chaos of the landings, the Australians established their front line. On 19 May, Bulkeley was in the front line when a massed Ottoman counter-attack was launched. The attack was stopped with heavy Ottoman casualties.

Bulkeley’s next major action was the battle of Lone Pine. The fighting was intense and during the attack he was shot in the hand and evacuated to Egypt.

He had recovered by late October and in early November was sent back to Gallipoli. He arrived back at his battalion towards the end of the month and was immediately promoted to lance corporal. He was promoted to corporal two weeks later.

At the end of January 1916 Bulkeley was commissioned with the rank of second lieutenant.

The 3rd Battalion sailed for France at the end of March, arriving at Marseilles in early April. Later that month Bulkeley was sent to officers’ school of instruction.

He returned to the battalion in mid-June after successfully completing the course.

The battalion was involved in the attack on Pozieres. The following day Bulkeley would be awarded a Military Cross:

… for great gallantry in pushing forward ahead of our position into the village and capturing 13 prisoners. The information gained by him was most valuable. He inspired his men with utmost confidence and showed high personal bravery in in digging out men who were buried, under heavy shell fire.

General Sir William Birdwood wrote to Bulkeley on 17 August:

Dear Bulkeley, This is just a line to congratulate you very heartily upon the Military Cross, which you so thoroughly well-deserved for your gallantry and great bravery… during the attack on Pozieres.

Sadly, Bulkeley would never receive the letter. the 3rd Battalion was in the front line near Mouquet Farm and consolidating recent gains.

Bulkeley was out on the left flank conducting further surveying of the positions and was about to make his report when a number of shells from the barrage landed in the battalion positions. Bulkeley and several other men were killed instantly. The death of a very popular officer was a bitter blow for the battalion.

His body was carried out from the front line and he was laid to rest in Courcelette British Cemetery.

He was 27 years old.


Biography contributed by Elizabeth Allen

Richard Farley BULKELEY was born on 10th September, 1888 at Wallerawang, NSW

His parents were Richard Henry BULKELEY and Mary Eleanor BROWN who married in 1887 (registered in Lithgow NSW)