Tracing a WW1 soldier when I have virtually no information

#1
I want to learn about someone called A.A. Tullett who was in the front line trenches at Maricourt, Somme Valley in June 1916.

I have no further info than that - no rank (don’t even know if he was an officer or a soldier), no unit or any other details. Have I got any chance of finding out about him? How might I go about it?
 
#2
CWGC has 28 Tulletts who were WWI casualties, 3 with first initial A who died after your date as a datum point, but none casualties in 1916. Did your man survive the war?

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#3
I have no idea. He collected a specimen of a swallowtail butterfly in June 2016 at Maricourt, and that specimen is now held by the Natural History Museum. Beyond that nothing is known. I spent some time with the curator of the collection today, and he is keen to learn more about A.A.Tullett. I thought I’d seek assistance from the collective wisdom of Arrse.
 
#4
I think you've aced the needle/haystack interface! Somewhere in the world, between (to play it safe, 1871 and 1901), there was a male child born to the Tullett family of location unknown, who christened said sprog with names starting with A. Said sprog may have had an Imperial, Dominion or Commonwealth connection, or could have simply been a morally motivated 'foreign' volunteer. Good luck!
 
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#5
The Medal Index Cards (MIC) show no record of an 'AA Tullett'. Indeed, there's no hits at all for a Tullett with 'AA' as his initials.

However, that's not to say that he has simply vanished: many WWI records were lost during the Blitz.

I'll see if I can ping any AA Tullett.
 
#6
June 1916 is pre conscription, and an interest in lepidoptery would incline me to think he was probably an officer. Frontline trenches means he was more than likely an infanteer so you just need to find out which units were in the front line near Maricourt in June 1916 and find out if they had an officer by the name of Tullett. Piece of cake!
 

Trilby

Old-Salt
Book Reviewer
#7
"The New Naturalist: Butterflies*" (1943) contains the following reference: "One extraordinary record exists of the occurrence of S. pruni “ within twelve miles of Haselmer[e], Surrey. Larvae were beaten there from sloe in 1919 by Mr. A. A. Tullett, who bred six specimens, which were placed in the Joicey Collection (Talbot, 1920)." Presuming it it the same AA Tullett (and it would seem too much of a coincidence for it not to be) then he at least survived the war.

I have done a similar search to fourzerocharlie's, on Forces War Records and got not hits, including on similar surnames. I was wondering if he was a British Red Cross or YMCA worker, or perhaps a volunteer with the French Red Cross?

*Full text of "The New Naturalist Butterflies"
 

Trilby

Old-Salt
Book Reviewer
#8
It's my best guess that this is him:
Name: Austin Augustus TullettAge in 1911: 16Estimated birth year: abt 1895Relation to Head: SonGender: MaleBirth Place: Portsmouth, Hampshire, EnglandCivil Parish: FarehamSearch Photos:Search for 'Fareham' in the UK City, Town and Village Photos collectionCounty/Island: HampshireCountry: EnglandStreet address: 4 South Wallington, Fareham, HantsMarital status: SingleOccupation: Domestic Gardener

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#9
I have no idea. He collected a specimen of a swallowtail butterfly in June 2016 at Maricourt, and that specimen is now held by the Natural History Museum. Beyond that nothing is known. I spent some time with the curator of the collection today, and he is keen to learn more about A.A.Tullett. I thought I’d seek assistance from the collective wisdom of Arrse.
Definitely survived the war, then...

More seriously, following a similar path to Trilby takes you to he Bulletin of the Hill Museum. The Museum was the collection of JJ Joicey. And therein is a reference to Watrins (could be Watkins and poor OCR recognition) and Tullett, Dealears in British and Exotic Lepidoptera. Which in turn leads to a list of Fellows of the Entmological Society of London, one of whom is (presumably) the same Austin Augustus Tullett whom Trilby has found...
 

Trilby

Old-Salt
Book Reviewer
#10
This expands the reference above:

The Occurrence of Strymon pruni, L., in Surrey. — The larvae
of this species were beaten out from sloe in May, 1919, by Mr. A. A,
Tullett, F.EJ.S., of the staff of this Museum. Six specimens were
hatched and are in the " Joicey " collection. We believe this to be
the first record of S. pruni as occurring in Surrey. For obvious
reasons the locality cannot be given, but is within 12 miles of
Haslemere. — George Talbot, The Hill Museum, Witley, Surrey.
January 26.

Source: http://www.archive.org/stream/entomologistsre03burrgoog/entomologistsre03burrgoog_djvu.txt
 

Trilby

Old-Salt
Book Reviewer
#11
The military records on Ancestry are not rich in Austin Tulletts, I think this is the best bet:
Name: Austin TullettMilitary Year: 1914-1920Rank: SergeantMedal Awarded: British War Medal and Victory MedalRegiment or Corps: Queen's (Royal West Surrey) RegimentRegimental Number: G/1714Previous Units: 7th. RWS. G/1714 Sgt

If the 7th Queen's were at Maricourt, you've found your man.

ETA: Yes, it was:
http://www.queensroyalsurreys.org.u...eens/7Bn_Queens_1916/7Bn_Queens_1916_06.shtml
 

Grownup_Rafbrat

LE
Book Reviewer
#12
Arrse Is brilliant!
 
#13
Arrse is more than brilliant! I am always amazed by the collective know-how and knowledge of members. And their willingness to help.

Thanks to all who have contributed, I am most grateful to you for your interest and your willingness to investigate and to share your knowledge.

This is the specimen by the way, one of 13 million held in the bowels of the Natural History Museum.
C1AC56AF-3041-4B7D-AFD6-A600863333ED.jpeg
 

Trilby

Old-Salt
Book Reviewer
#14
Entitled 1914-15 Star, BWM, VM, Silver War Badge.

Enlisted September 1914, entered France theatre July 1915, discharged as physically unfit (probably due to sickness) October 1917.

First Name:
A
Surname:
Tullett
Age:
26
Information:
Particulars furnished: Hounslow, 26/10/1917. Badge and certificate issued: Hounslow, 09/11/1917.
Rank:
Sergeant
Service Number:
G/1714
Service From Date:
05/09/1914
Service To Date:
25/10/1917
Silver War Badge Number:
263906
War Office Ref. Number:
E69/1
Reason for Discharge:
[392 XVI] Army Order II b
Overseas:
Yes.
Service:
British Army
Primary Unit:
Queen's (Royal West Surrey Regiment)
Secondary Unit:
Depot (Why is this important?)
Archive Reference:
SWB/3043
 
#18
Silver War Badge means he was invalided out after being wounded - They gave you a badge to wear to stop ladies in big hats giving you a white feather for not being in uniform. I have my great grandfathers SWB - he got in the way of a shell splinter in '17 - not so much the bullet with his name on as a bit of hot metal marked 'to whom it may concern'
 

Trilby

Old-Salt
Book Reviewer
#19
He appears to have been born around October 1894 in Portsea. By 1911, as noted above, he was a gardener. Your contacts at the NHM will be able to interpret it better but the sources about Lepidoptery(sp?) online seem to suggest he was interested in butterflies before the war. Enlisting in September 1914, he must have been a capable man, as the 1914-15 Star roll shows he went overseas as Sergeant, having been in the army less than a year. In or around July 1919 Austin A Tullett married Nellie D Wood in Blean in Kent. In 1931 Nellie Dorothy Tullett petitioned for divorce, however she and Austin were still living together, by now at 5 Boashurst Rd. N. Wall, Fareham, Hampshire, in 1939. His occupation was Government Clerk.

A A Tullett died in Gosport around April 1967.
 
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Trilby

Old-Salt
Book Reviewer
#20
Silver War Badge means he was invalided out after being wounded - They gave you a badge to wear to stop ladies in big hats giving you a white feather for not being in uniform. I have my great grandfathers SWB - he got in the way of a shell splinter in '17 - not so much the bullet with his name on as a bit of hot metal marked 'to whom it may concern'
That is what many people understand, however it was also awarded to those who had been discharged owing to sickness.In fact, for a man who fell sick in the UK and was discharged without going overseas, it could be the only sign that they had 'done their bit'. I wish I had any WW1 medals or similar for my family - sadly they have all disappeared.
 

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