LIEUTENANT WALTER JOHN MCMULLIN
AUSTRALIAN FIELD ARTILLERY
4TH OCTOBER 1917 AGE 27
BURIED: VLAMERTINGHE NEW MILITARY CEMETERY, BELGIUM
My mother lived in Birmingham during the Second World War and the saying among her friends was, if the bomb has got your name on it it's got your name on it and that's all there is to it. In other words - it's the luck of the draw, or as Lieutenant McMullin's father put it, the luck of the game.
Four months before he died McMullin had narrowly escaped death and been awarded a Military Cross. The camouflage over one of his guns caught fire and could have exploded a large pile of ammunition had he and another lieutenant not risked their lives to extinguish the flames. On the 4 October, the opening day of the Battle of Broodseinde Ridge, he was not so lucky.
It's commonplace for letters of condolence to tell the bereaved that their son/husband was 'the best' , but it must mean something when the Brigade HQ War Diary for 4 October 1917 states: "The loss of Lieuts Bennett and McMullin is a big one to the Brigade. These officers have performed excellent service".
McMullin was a grazier from Brooklyn, Upper Rouchel, Aberdeen, New South Wales. He and his brother, Alfred Oswald McMullin, both enlisted on 29 August 1914 and embarked from Australia on 18 October 1914. Alfred survived the war and died in 1960.