Lives Lived and Lives Lost - Portsmouth and the Great War


Frederick Pulman 

Grave of Frederick Pulman

Even though 100 years have past since the outbreak of the Great War there are still some whose sacrifice is not officially recognised. Such instances require careful consideration, but in the case of Frederick Pulman there seems to be sufficient evidence to justify further investigation.
The case for recognition began when Frederick was listed among the dead on the WW1 Memorial at Southern Grammar School. A memorial booklet published a few years later gave the only details of his war service yet available. In it was written:-
'In 1907 F. Pulman, as a candidate from this School, was successful in passing the examination for Dockyard Apprentices. A month after the declaration of war he enlisted in the Royal Engineers at Portsmouth, serving first in the 1/8th (Hants) Electric Light Company, and then in the 506th (Hants) Field Company. Volunteering for active service he proceeded overseas in October, 1915, with the latter unit, serving successively in France, Egypt, and the Balkans. Tropical sickness overtook him at Salonica in 1916, and the following year he was invalided home in a very weak condition. He never after enjoyed good health and died on the 17th February, 1919, aged 26. He lies buried in Kingston Cemetery.'
The 1911 census confirms that Frederick was then a Shipwright's Apprentice in the dockyard. In this he was following his father Samuel who was born in Devon in 1861 and seems to have moved to Portsmouth in the 1880s, living initially at 49 Raglan Street and later at 18 Orchard Road. Samuel and his wife Eliza had eleven children in all with ten surviving infancy. Frederick was probably the sixth child.
Apart from appearing in the school booklet, the name of Pulman F. is also inscribed on the Cenotaph in Guildhall Square. This most probably refers to Frederick as the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) website has no listing for anyone by that name with an obvious Portsmouth connection. He is not listed in the 'National Roll of the Great War'.
Further Information
The photograph reproduced is from the memorial booklet published by Southern Grammar School. The reference for the grave in Kingston Cemetery is Lights 9.23.