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  cap badgePrivate William Mullin

9th (Service) Battalion Cameronians (Scottish Rifles)
Service No: 17642

William Mullin grave

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Personal details

Family Information

Son of James and Alice Mullin. From the 1891 Census - Address - 63 Trafalgar Lane, Leith - James Mullin aged 44, Alice Mullin aged 43, James Mullin aged 20, Maryanne Mullin aged 18, Isabella Mullin aged 16, Hugh Mullin aged 9, William Mullin aged 5.

Born / Resided

Leith / 2 Kirk St, Coatbridge

Died

Killed in Action on the 06/07/1916 at the Battle of Albert (part of the Battles of the Somme)

Enlisted

Coatbridge

Employed

Tube Worker in the British Tube Works

Age

28

Buried / Remembered

Thiepval Memorial (Pier and Face 4 D), Somme, France

Cemetery / Memorial Information

The memorial commemorates more than 72,000 men of British and South African forces who died in the Somme sector before 20 March 1918 and have no known grave, the majority of whom died during the Somme offensive of 1916. On the high ground overlooking the Somme River in France, where some of the heaviest fighting of the First World War took place, stands the Thiepval Memorial. Towering over 45 metres in height, it dominates the landscape for miles around. It is the largest Commonwealth memorial to the missing in the world. On 1 July 1916, supported by a French attack to the south, 13 divisions of Commonwealth forces launched an offensive on a line from north of Gommecourt to Maricourt. Despite a preliminary bombardment lasting seven days, the German defences were barely touched and the attack met unexpectedly fierce resistance. Losses were catastrophic and with only minimal advances on the southern flank, the initial attack was a failure. In the following weeks, huge resources of manpower and equipment were deployed in an attempt to exploit the modest successes of the first day. However, the German Army resisted tenaciously and repeated attacks and counter attacks meant a major battle for every village, copse and farmhouse gained. At the end of September, Thiepval was finally captured. The village had been an original objective of 1 July.

Additional Information

The Battalion arrived at Boulogne on the 12/05/1915 and were part of the 27th Brigade, 9th (Scottish) Division when William fell. He arrived in France on the 02/10/1915. William was Killed in Action at the Battle of Albert, 1st – 13th July 1916 : In this opening phase, the French and British assault broke into and gradually moved beyond the first of the German defensive systems. For the British, the attack on the 1st July proved to be the worst day in the nation’s military history in terms of casualties sustained. It is the aspect of the battle that is most remembered and most written about, and for good reason – but to concentrate on the failures is to entirely miss the point of the Somme and why the battle developed into an epic period of the Great War. On the first day, British forces at the southern end of the British line made an impressive advance alongside the French Sixth Army, capturing the villages of Montauban and Mametz and breaking through the enemy’s defensive system. North of Mametz the attack was an almost unmitigated failure. The situation led to a redirection of effort, with the offensive north of the River Ancre effectively being closed down and all future focus being on the line south of Thiepval. There was a stiff fight for Trones Wood and costly, hastily planned and piecemeal attacks that eventually took La Boisselle, Contalmaison and Mametz Wood during the rest of the period up to the 13th July. This was part of the Battles of the Somme, 1st July – 18th November 1916 : A Franco-British offensive that was undertaken after Allied strategic conferences in late 1915, but which changed its nature due to the German attack against the French in the epic Battle of Verdun, which lasted from late February to November. Huge British losses on the first day and a series of fiercely-contested steps that became attritional in nature. For all armies on the Western Front it was becoming what the Germans would call “materialschlacht”: a war not of morale, will or even manpower, but of sheer industrial material might. The 15th September 1916 saw the first-ever use of tanks in the step known as the Battle of Flers-Courcelette. The British army in France is now approaching its maximum strength in numbers but is still developing in terms of tactics, technology, command and control. William is listed as MULLAN on the Memorial. He is also remembered on the Stewarts and Lloyds Roll of Honour (see photos) and in the St Augustine's Parish (book) Roll of Honour. See photos for William's Medal Index Card, his Army Register of Soldiers Effects, his Service Medal and Award Rolls x 2, his CWGC Grave Registration, his name on the Thiepval Memorial Panel List, his name on the Thiepval Memorial and the Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) Cap Badge.

Photos
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