Posted 22 July 2006 - 06:11 PM
Just a bit more for you:
Fulke was enlisted in the 1st Light Horse of the Australian Imperial Force on 28 Apr 1915 and then “for service abroad” on 25 Sep 1915. He stated his next of kin as his wife, Mary Kathleen, giving her address as Buyama, Victoria Road, Bellevue Hill. This cover for the service record also shows he was awarded the 1914/1915 Star no 196, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal, although other records would show that these did not arrive with Mary until 1922. There is an exchange of letters on this matter.
He proceeded to join the BEF in Marseilles on 13 Jun 1916, having transferred from Alexandria a week earlier. He was taken on strength by 4DBD, but this seemed to be only for a short duration, as he was moved to Belgium for attachment to Admin Headquarters and thence to 2nd Division Headquarters. He was discharged on 10 Nov 1916, although the release was not signed “in the field” until 11 Mar 1917. A short letter states that he joined the 6th Inniskilling Dragoons as a First Lieutenant immediately on his resignation.
Fulke joined the 6th Inniskilling Dragoons, part of the 7th Cavalry Brigade, on his return to the UK. According to the proceedings of the Medical Board, dated 5 Nov 18, "That when in Action on 25-3-18 he was struck on the helmet by a large piece of shell which smashed his helmet. Two or three days later he was blown up by an explosion.
This officer cannot remember subsequent events. He is paralysed from the thighs downwards but is now regaining power over his urine and faeces. The left eye is swollen and discharging conjunctivitis, marked photophobia. There are tremors in the arms, bed sores over back and heels. Dr Campbell Thompson reports "I think he has some injury to the dorsal region of the cord". "Repatriated 12-10-18"
The Medical Case Sheet, which supported the Medical Board Opinion of 12 Dec 19, stated that he lived then at Rodber, Wincanton, Somerset. The sheet states "G.S.W March 22nd 1918 on the Somme. Hit on the head by a fragment of shell. Carried on, but was more or less unconscious for two days. Some time later was blown up in a shell explosion and remembers nothing more for fourteen days. He was told that he was found up to his neck in water by some Germans, who then took him prisoner. No open wounds. Was a prisoner in Germany from (board torn) 25/18 to Oct 31/18.
The history of the action is based on a record in the Regimental War Diary, which states that he was sent to the front line with a detachment of dragoons and 17th Lancers to join French troops defending a railway line near Abbecourt.
There is an account of an action by the 76th French Infantry Regiment, who were fighting the area, probably the action Fulke was involved in that day. Hardly the action of someone who was reluctant to fight, as suggested by another thread!