201932 PTE. J. A. HULL, M.M., L.N.LAN.R.
John Aelred (sic) Hull was born in the third quarter of 1895 in Walton Le Dale. His father was George Hull, (b. 1864 in Backburn), a coal merchant and book seller. His mother was Mary Crook (b. 1870 in Walton Le Dale). George and Mary were married in 1892. They had six children, losing one in infancy. John was the oldest, followed by William (b. 1898), Wilfred (b. 1900), Joseph (b. 1906) and finally Mary (b. 1911). In 1911, the family was living at Hoghton Lane, Higher Walton, and John was a clerk working for his father’s coal merchant and book selling business.
John enlisted in 1915 probably around the time many other men from the Bamber Bridge area were joining the West Lancashire Brigades of the Royal Field Artillery, but John joined the infantry. He joined the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment and was assigned service number 4742 (later changed to 201932) and posted to 2/4 Battalion. 2/4Bn came under orders of 170th Brigade in 57th (2nd West Lancashire) Division. They landed in France on 8 February 1917 and spent most of that year in the defence of Armentières. John Hull’s award of the Military Medal was announced in the London Gazette on 28 September 1917, meaning the action he was engaged in would have taken place a couple of months before. The Regimental History gives details of a successful raid on enemy trenches on the night of 28-29 July 1917.
On the night of 28-29 July, “D” Company of the Battalion carried out a very successful raid on the enemy… The raiders left the first-line trench at 10.30pm and everything was proceeding according to plan when the left platoon came in contact with an enemy sentry group, when there was an immediate exchange of bombs, the platoon then charging with the bayonet. Of the German sentry group, one man was killed and the others fled. Hearing now that an attack had been opened on his bombing section, 2nd Lt Jump took his men back to its help, and en route encountered a party of the enemy 25 strong. This he at once engaged, killing six and wounding several others, while the remainder effected their escape.
Further skirmishes occurred later that night before the platoon was withdrawn, taking a number of prisoners with them from whom useful information was later extracted. The Regimental history reports that during the raid one officer and 37 other ranks were wounded and five were missing. CWGC records just one man from 2/4Bn as losing his life in the raid (201953 PTE. W. T. BURGESS).
John Hull survived the War but I don’t know what happened to him when he came home.