PRIVATE FRANK HULLEY
16TH JUNE 1918 AGE 19
BURIED: BOIS-GUILLAME COMMUNAL CEMETERY EXTENSION, FRANCE
Mrs Isabella Hulley quotes from a children's night-time prayer for her nineteen-year-old son's inscription:
Matthew, Mark, Luke and John
Bless the bed that I lie on.
Four corners to my bed,
Four angels round my head;
One to watch and one to pray
And two to bear my soul away.
Except that for Mrs Hulley there are six angels round her son's bed.
Frank Hulley's is one of the few service files to have survived to the present day. He was one of Alfred and Isabella Hulley's five children. The family lived in Gresford near Wrexham in Denbighshire where Alfred Hulley was a coal miner, a hewer. At the time of his enlistment, in April 1917, Frank too was working at the colliery, as an above ground worker.
Hulley served with the 7th Battalion Border Regiment in France from 28 October 1917. He was wounded on 8 June 1918. It would appear that he was one of the casualties of a German barrage that occurred just as the battalion were being relieved on the night of the 7th/8th.
On 16 June 1918, 'Attestone' Preston received the following telegram from Proelicus Ave:
"Gen Hos Rouen telegraphs 16 June died 16 6 18 35164 Pte F Hulley 7 Border Regt gsw comp fract rt femur"
GSW stands for gunshot wounds, the letters being applied to shrapnel wounds too. Hulley also had a compound fracture of his right femur. 'Attestone' would have passed on the news to Hullley's parents simply telling them that their son had died of wounds without giving them the details, which they might have already received when first informed that he's been wounded. Private Hulley had taken eight days to die.