‘One soldier’s story’ – Remembrance Sunday 2019

Major Charles Pulley
Major Charles Pulley

Among the Remembrance Sunday events taking place in Bedford today will be the service and wreath laying at Bedford School Chapel and Memorial Hall.

This year, the school will specifically remember the story of Old Bedfordian Major Charles Pulley, whose wartime unit diary was recently loaned to them by his family.

The diary has proved to be a touching, humbling and incredibly moving account of the first 11 months of the Great War which tragically led up to him being killed in action.

The First World War took the lives of an estimated 16 million soldiers and civilians and the Second World War took a staggering 60 million lives, and left countless others physically and psychologically wounded.

Individual stories from the battlefield resonate and help us to understand the realities of war. It is always touching to discover diaries and letters written by soldiers on the front line, and particularly poignant to read those written by the fallen.

These personal accounts illustrate the suffering caused by war, as well as keeping individual memories alive and ensuring that their sacrifice was not in vain.

Old Bedfordian Major Charles Pulley was fatally wounded just 11 months into the Great War.

Thanks to the generosity of Major Pulley’s family, his first-hand account of the First World War can be read by future generations.

You can read Harry McPhail’s portrayal of the diary on the Bedford School website, and his full diary can be read here, so that the memory of this courageous soldier can live on.

Additional reporting: Erica Roffe.