Monday, April 7, 2014

Alan Lindsay Bull (1918-1992) RAAF

This post is being updated with relevant developments, last update January 9th 2015, see end.
Originally from Bairnsdale, Victoria, Australia.

41 Squadron RAF, June-August 1941.

Sergeant Alan Lindsay Bull. RAAF.
41 Squadron. RAF. Photo July 27th 1941.

What is this post?

This post is written just to catch the attention of any family of Alan Bull, in the hope they may be interested in contacting me if Alan was their father or grandfather, uncle, or just a friend. However although I have been told that he did marry, a June Harding (elder daughter of Mr. and Mrs. E. C. Harding. Bairnsdale) in 1946, I do not know the extent of his descendants, if any.

Why am I interested?

I know from my late mother's papers that Alan was shot down over France in August 1941, and from there he corresponded with my  mother whilst he was a prisoner. They had been friends for a short time in 1941 when they were both posted at the same RAF base in England. I have photographs and other material that would almost certainly interest Alan Bull's descendants and which they may have never seen.

Mary Lavender Wallis (married name Aspdin) 1920-2010

Letter from Alan Bull in POW camp

Update. January 7th 2015

I was contacted by Andrew Brockett, of Neutral Bay, NSW, Australia, who is a collector of postal history, an interest that I share with him but do not pursue so enthusiastically nowadays. He had acquired a cover for his collection some time ago, a returned letter, and had only just got round to trying to research it. He was lucky. As soon as he Googled Alan Bull he found this post and so got in touch with me and I have been able to share with him all my material. He has kindly allowed me to post the cover in this blog, and you will see that it is from a letter posted on June 18 1941 by a Bairnsdale resident now established to be Alan's contemporary Albert Richard Kyle (b.1917) from Bairnsdale VIC, to Alan Bull in England. It never got to him as Alan had been shot down over France in August 1941. By the time it arrived in England he was a POW in Stalag IIIE in Kirchhain. The letter was returned to sender at 335 Main Street Bairnsdale, arriving back in late December 1941.

Letter cover from NR (or NA) Kyle of Bairnsdale NSW, sent to Alan Bull June 18 1941 and returned to sender

Letter cover from NR (or NA) Kyle of Bairnsdale NSW, sent to Alan Bull June 18 1941 and returned to sender

Albert Richard Kyle, the writer of the letter to Alan Bull,
from his WWII army attestation papers. January 1942.
Courtesy of National Archives of Australia

Update. January 9th 2015

Matters are moving along nicely, perhaps as someone kindly posted my search on a local Facebook page.  

What I must say at this stage is that Tim Bull M.P. is not connected, I had established that some time ago, and I should have mentioned it as I think he will be getting quite bored now with people sending him the link and obvious question. It does say one good thing about the local MP, at least he responds and does respond quickly to constituents!

The best progress is an email this morning  from Robyn Smith in Seymour VIC. I am not sure how she came to see my blog,but she writes to tell me that she is Alan Bull's niece (by marriage), and that Alan had a daughter and two grandsons. Now that sounds like the connection may be made, and I am excited that I may hear from them soon.

Photo received by my mother from Alan's mother Alice Bull, say  in 1942,
 showing her  with her daughter Evelyn* and son Alan, probably about 1938-9.
(* married name Alice Evelyn Birkensleigh d.April 18th 2004 ,
 late of  Maroochydore)


I am very grateful for assistance I have received so far from Steve Brew, historian of 41 Squadron and author of Blood, Sweat and Courage, 41 Squadron RAF, 1939-1942 and Blood Sweat and Valour covering 1942-1945 His great uncle Sergeant Pilot William A Brew was a close friend of Alan Bull, a fellow 41 Squadron pilot, also shot down, a fellow POW, a fellow escaper and fellow survivor. As Blood Sweat and Courage was actually published last, in December 2014, it includes a photograph of Alan Bull sent by me to the author.

I am also grateful to Andrew Brockett for allowing me to post the interesting returned letter cover from his collection, and many other email correspondents, Alan's cousins nephews and nieces etc, in Australia,  now too many to mention.

Contact me

Please contact me by email preferably at

Nigel S. Aspdin
19 Vernon Street
Derby DE1 1FT
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)1332-345342 *
Mobile Tel: +44 (0)7751-278376 *
* Please use voicemail if unavailable


Other search words connected to Alan Bull:
This colourless text below is intentionally left to be indexed by search engine web crawlers:

BIRKENSLEIGH - Alice Evelyn (Evelyn) on 18th April 2004, late of
Maroochydore. In her 85th Year. Beloved Wife of Bickley (Dec'd). Loved
Mother and Mother-in-Law of Alan and Sandra, and Max. Much loved Grandma
to Adrian, Tanya, Kylie, Natalie, Andrea, Ryan and Rhys. Senior G.G. to
Lachlan, Tyler and Noah. Fondly remembered by Jenni Phillips. Family and
Friends of Evelyn are invited to attend Her Funeral Service to be held
in the West Chapel of Northern Suburbs Crematorium on Friday 23rd April
2004 at 11.45am. T.J. ANDREWS FUNERAL SERVICES 180 Pacific Highway,
Hornsby Phone (02) 9477 3272
Publication Date: 21/04/04

SGT A.L. BULL (AUS. 400219)


POW. Stalag III. Stalag IIIe. Stalag IIIE. Stalag 3e. Stalag Luft III. Sagan. Żagań 

Searches of the internet suggest that Alan's father was named Robert Bull, living in
Chisholm, Victoria in 1949, Higgins Victoria 1963-1972.

Mother: Alice Evelyn Bull,

Bairnsdale High School

(Hey guys at Bairnsdale Secondary will be the first to have found this post on a search; send the link to your history teacher and friends and make it a project to track Alan Bull's descendants !!)
East Bairnsdale

Royal Australian Air Force

R.A.A.F.   RAAF.
Steve Brew
41 Sqn RAF
41 Squadron RAF


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