Richard Walter Mullins

 

Captain; 10th (Service) Battalion, York and Lancaster Regiment

Killed in action: 1st July 1916, Somme

Richard Walter Mullins was born in Timaru on the south island of New Zealand in early 1893. He was sent to Wales to attend Llandaff Cathedral School and Malvern College, in which he served in the Officer Training Corps. He was adopted by his aunt and uncle, John and Bessie Mullins, and lived with them in Rosapenna on Lisvane Road, working as a commercial clerk.

He enlisted in the Army in 1914, joining as a private soldier in the Welsh Regiment. He served with the 11th Welsh at the Battle of Loos in 1915, where his excellent performance saw him promoted first to 2nd Lieutenant and then to Captain. Because officers raised from the ranks were not permitted to serve within the same unit from which they had been drawn, he was transferred to the 10th Battalion, York and Lancaster Regiment.

On the morning of the 1st July 1916, Captain Mullins and his battalion climbed out of their trenches near the village of Fricourt on the Somme. He was killed as he led them towards the German lines, gunned down in the machine-gun fire that claimed so many British lives that day. He was just 23. His commanding officer commented that “he died very much as he wanted to, on the field of battle.”

Richard Walter Mullins is buried in Gordon Dump Cemetery on the Somme and commemorated on both memorials inside St Isan’s Church. His aunt and uncle also donated a memorial window in his name to the church, which can be seen in the north wall.