William Hiram Mullen

Private William Mullen

1st Battalion, AIF

Service Number: 5312

Born: 1890, Emu Plains NSW

Died: 22 July 1916, France

William Hiram Mullen was born in 1890 at Emu Plains, the son of Samuel and Isabella (nee Campbell) Mullen. After leaving school, Mullen worked for the NSW Government Railways for 4 years and at the time of enlistment was working at Morts Graving Dock as a marine engineer. Under duress from his father, Mullen married a pregnant Matilda Graham in 1913 and a son Roy was born soon afterwards. He was not prepared to live with her and soon left Penrith for Hobart. While there he met and married Ivy Leary in May 1914. A son Max was born to them. While he was in Tasmania Mullen attempted to join the AIF but was
rejected. Meanwhile in Penrith, he was charged with desertion and returned to Penrith where he was convicted of wife desertion and bigamy and served some time in Parramatta Gaol.

Mullen enlisted on 4 December 1915 and was allocated to E Company, 1st Battalion. He left Australia with Gordon Martin aboard the HMAT Makarini on 1 April 1916. On 9 May 1916, he was bound for the Western Front.

The 1st Battalion took part in the Battle of the Somme which commenced on 1July 1916 and were involved in the Battle of Pozieres in late July. It was during this battle that Mullen was killed. According to Private John Field, when going over the top of the parapet, Mullen was hit on the forehead by a piece of shell and killed instantly. He was buried in the vicinity of Pozieres. Matilda, Ivy and his parents all applied for his medals. However, they were awarded to Matilda for her son Roy. During the war she was living in Glencoe, High Street Penrith, and later Lemongrove.

Memorial Details:

  • Villers-Bretonneux, France
  • Honor Roll, War Memorial, Emu Plains
  • Honor Roll, Emu Plains Public School

Sources:

National Archives of Australia: B2455: MULLEN WILLIAM HIRAM

Australian War Memorial Roll of Honor

Red Cross Wounded and Missing

TROVE:

Nepean Times 26 August 1916, p4, Col. 3

Nepean Times 2 September 1916, p4, Col. 3