Lance-Corporal 3049 Frederick Wilson Tullett, of D Company 2nd Battalion Worcestershire Regiment, was born in the Aston Manor district of Birmingham on Friday, March 30, 1894, the only child of Frank Wilson and Elizabeth Catherine Tullett (nèe Sanford).
The 1901 census shows Fred was six and living at No. 18 Prestbury Road, Aston Manor, with his parents. Frank, his father, was working as an insurance collector.
He enlisted in the Worcestershire Regiment in Birmingham on the Monday, February 19, 1912, just short of his 18th birthday.
Initially, he served with the 5th Battalion, where his basic training was undertaken. After that, he was posted to the 1st Battalion. Early in 1913, Fred was serving with the 2nd Battalion and had been promoted to Lance Corporal. On Monday, August 11, that same year Fred was married to Sarah Elizabeth Poole at Birmingham Register Office.
The first of their nine children, a girl christened Beatrice Ivy, was born on Friday, December 12, 1913, at 232 Summer Lane, Birmingham. Of the nine children born to Fred and Sarah, four would die in infancy.
A postcard sent by Fred to Sarah just before he departed for France was very brief and to the point. It read:
Dear Wife, This is my last good bye to you and Ivy. God bless and keep you safe. Your loving husband, Fred
Fred did return, but he wouldn't see his daughter Ivy again. She died from meningitis on the Tuesday, September 8, 1914 – a day on which the 2nd Worcesters were part of the pursuit of the German Army, following the end of the Retreat from Mons.
The enemy cavalry had launched a counter-attack and the battalion had been moved forward to the steep, thickly wooded banks of the Petit Morin.
A and B Companies found covered positions on the wooded slopes and took on the hostile machine-guns, while C and D Companies moved left to make a crossing
Fred was involved in many actions after that, including the Battle of the Aisne and Polygon Wood – but he suffered gunshot wounds to his left forearm at Gheluvelt.
He was discharged as ‘no longer physically fit for war service’ at Worcester on Friday, March 26, 1915, having served three years 36 days with the Colours.
Wounded: Private Frederick Tullett (above) and (right) is at the back on the left of this group of 2nd Worcesters wounded at Gheluvelt (Images reproduced with the kind permission of Peter Rose, his grandson, and www.worcestershireregiment.com)
He enlisted again on Wednesday, September 6, 1916, with B/47850 2nd Air M, Royal Flying Corps. But his Gheluvelt wound was still causing him problems and on Friday, December 29, 1915, he was discharged once more, having served for 115 days.
But he wasn't finished. On Wednesday, January 2, 1918, he enlisted again in the RFC (120245), transferring to the Royal Air Force on its formation on Monday, April 1, 1918. He served at HQ RAF India for a time in 1919 and was discharged from the RAF on Thursday, April 29, 1920.
Between the wars, for 16 years from 1922 to 1939, Fred was a postman with the GPO in Birmingham, but he still wasn't done with active service.
On Tuesday, October 6, 1942, he again enlisted in the RAF (VR) as AC2 1668323, and went on to serve for just under four years until his release on Wednesday, September 11, 1946, at the ripe old age of 52.
The next year, with their remaining family of four daughters and one son now all married, Fred and Sarah retired to a cottage called Cae Gwyn, in the village of Waenfawr, Caernarvonshire, in North Wales.
They returned to Birmingham to be closer to their family in their later years.
Sarah died in 1971, aged 78. Fred remarried in 1974 to Doris Faulkner, a widow, and died on Tuesday, January 11, 1983.
Doris died the following year.
INFORMATION SUPPLIED BY PETER ROSE, FREDERICK TULLETT'S GRANDSON