Private Robert Walter Gullen


Robert Walter Gullen (or Cullen) was born on 22 March 1884 at 28 Roches Street, Limerick, the sixth of twelve children of clerk (later bacon curing store manager) William Henry Gullen and his Liverpool-born wife Elizabeth Sommerville Gullen (née Levery). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living at Roches Street with his parents and six of his siblings and working as a manager in a printing works.

Gullen enlisted in the North Irish Horse on 24 May 1916 (regimental number unknown). He trained at the regiment's Antrim reserve camp until November 1916, when he and around 100 other North Irish Horsemen volunteered to transfer to the Royal Irish Rifles. The formal transfer took place on 7 December (Gullen was issued regimental number 40871), and on that day the men embarked for France. There they were posted to the 1st Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles, joining it on the Somme front on 12 December.

Gullen was wounded during Third Ypres (Passchendaele), between 31 July and 16 August.

On 8 June 1918 he was discharged, being 'no longer physically fit for war service' (paragraph 392 (xvi), King's Regulations), due to 'nephritis' (a disease of the kidneys). He was awarded a pension until May 1922, by which time the illness had passed.

After his discharge Gullen returned to work in the printing business. By 1924 he was living at 12 Cathedral Square, Waterford. On 19 April that year he married Grace Ada Johnstone at the Presbyterian Church at Rathgar, Dublin.

By 1952 Gullen was listed as a director of the Waterford printing firm Messrs N. Harvey & Co. Ltd. He died at his residence, Glenanore, Newrath, Waterford, on 11 February 1963.