Mr. Bulling was previously a volunteer with the Wiltshire Army Cadet Force, for over 21 years. He rang Wiltshire ACF HQ in Devizes to let us know he has found some films and books from the period he was volunteering, that he thought we may like to have. He proudly told our Admin Officer, Lisa Beatson he was 97 years old, so the items he had may be of historical interest.
One of our CFAVs, SSI Neil Ashley who is the closest thing we have to a County Historian, jumped at the opportunity to go and meet Mr. Bulling.
Mr. Bulling was born on the 26th of August 1926 in military accommodation in Bulford Camp. His father was a career soldier serving in the RASC for 35 years and 6 months, commencing during WW1 and including service in France in 1940 and the evacuation from Dunkirk.
He has vivid memories of the local area as a child. Including witnessing two German bombing raids, one on Beacon Hill near Bulford where there was a military storage Depot. During one of these raids, he witnessed strafing with bullets, hitting the road close by.
He was also first on the scene of an accidental explosion in the local area. Children had been playing on an old Tank used for PIAT practice (Projector Infantry Anti-Tank). The child, who was an evacuee from London, had been trying to unscrew a PIAT Round and it blew up in his hands. Mr Bulling flagged down a passing car to take him to the hospital but sadly he later died and is buried in the local Cemetery.
He was a cadet himself before becoming an adult. He remembered seeing a boy in uniform one day and telling him he would be in trouble if the army caught him. The boy informed him that it was ok, as children could now join the cadets. He went to a local recruiting point for cadets, but he got on the wrong bus. He had intended to join the ATC but ended up going to the local ACF Detachment.
He subsequently joined as an adult after failing his medical when conscripted in 1944.