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Menin Gate, Ypres Menin Gate, Ypres
First Name: Albert Last Name: BULLEN
Date of Death: 12/03/1915 Lived/Born In: Merton
Rank: Private Unit: East Surrey2
Memorial Site: Menin Gate, Ypres

Current Information:

Age-24

43, Palestine Grove, Merton Abbey, Merton

2nd East Surrey, 85 Brigade, 28th Division, arrived in France in December 1914 and in February 1915 were temporarily attached to 3rd Division. The first half of March saw them in front line trenches 1 mile north of Wulverghem near Messines. On 12th March in conjunction with the battle being fought further south at New Chapelle, there was an attack on Spanbroek Molen by 7 Brigade, through the line held by 2nd East Surrey. The attack was supposed to take place in the morning but heavy mist delayed it until the afternoon. The attacking troops of 7 Brigade moved up to the trenches held by 2nd East Surrey which became very crowded. The Germans must have been aware of the attack because these trenches were hit by artillery and machine gun fire. British shell, falling short, also added to the carnage. Those not wounded were ordered to retire but in doing so they lost heavily. Fearing that one of the trenches might be rushed by the Germans the supports were ordered to reoccupy it. Only 3 of the party of 26 reached the trench unscathed. All in all it was an unfortunate day for 2nd East Surrey, who had nearly 100 casualties in an action in which they were not intended to participate. 

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