Thursday, November 15, 2012

Lost at sea: Gunner James Henry Pullin, R.A.

Gunner James Henry Pullin (1918 - 1942) 
Lost at sea while a Prisoner of War 
Photograph: Courtesy of 'The Whitehaven News'  

For additional information click on 'Comments' below.


Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

Additional information

Some biographical details

Gunner James Henry Pullin, R.A. (1918 - 1942) was a Cumbrian soldier who served with the Royal Artillery during WW2. He was the son of William George Pullin and Dinah Pullin (née Sloan).

During WW2 Gunner Pullin's parents lived at 90 Valley View Road, Geeenbank, Whitehaven, Cumberland (now Cumbria). He was lost at sea on 14 November 1942 while a Prisoner of War. He had been taken prisoner during the fighting in Middle East (North Africa) and was being transported to a POW camp in Italy.

The vessel on which he was being transported was the S.S. Scillin, an Italian cargo ship. Her intended passage was from Tripoli (Libya) to Trapani (Sicily, Italy) when she was intercepted by a British submarine (HMS Sahib) off the Tunisian coast and sunk by a single torpedo.

The Scillin was massively overcrowded and many of the POWs had been placed in the hold. Given the combination of these two things, those POWs who were in the hold had virtually no chance of escape when the vessel was hit by the torpedo. Of the 814 Allied POWs on board, the Sahib was able to rescue 27 of them, along with a rather greater number from the Italian crew.

Initially posted as 'missing', Gunner James Pullin's family received confirmation of his death about 18 months later, in May 1944. In more recent times, his death would have been described as the result of "friendly fire". Earlier in the war, Gunner Pullin had served in France and had been evacuated from Dunkirk before being sent out to the Middle East.

Gunner James Henry Pullin is commemorated in the Borough of Whitehaven 'Book of Remembrance'. Gunner James Henry Pullin also had family connections with Cleator Moor and is commemorated by the Cleator Moor 'Roll of Honour'. In addition, James Pullin also had links with eastern Cumbria, having worked as a "Boots" at a hotel on the shores of Ullswater before the war.

CWGC citation
This is the Commonwealth War Graves Commission citation for Gunner James Henry Pullin, R.A.:

Rank: Gunner
Service No: 936850
Date of Death: 14/11/1942
Age: 24
Regiment/Service: Royal Artillery
97 (The Kent Yeomanry) Field Regt.
Panel Reference: Column 40.
Additional Information:
Son of William George and Dinah Pullin, of Whitehaven, Cumberland.

Dedication and family tribute

This article is dedicated to the memory of Gunner James Henry Pullin, R.A.:

"His journey was long,
His life was short,
Now he is asleep
At rest in the ocean deep".

He will always be remembered!"

The following 'In Memoriam' dedication in memory of James Henry Pullin was placed in the 'Family Notices' section of 'The Whitehaven News' in November 1944 by his sister and family of Cleator Moor, Cumberland:


Pullin -
In treasured and loving memory of Pte. James Henry, presumed killed in action, on November 14 1942, whilst serving in H.M. Forces in North Africa.

Often a lonely heartache,
Many a silent tear,
But always a loving memory,
Of one we loved so dear.

Always in the thoughts of his loving Sister and three children, 7 Leconfield Street, Cleator Moor".


Cumbria County Archives & Local History Centre
(Whitehaven Records Office)

'The Whitehaven News'

Wednesday, 21 November, 2012  

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