Walter Tull (1888-1918) was of dual heritage, his mother was white British and his father was African-Caribbean. Tull was commissioned* as an officer in 1917 at a time when the army required officers to be of ‘pure European descent.’ This was an important challenge to a racist policy. For his army service he was recommended a Military Cross. This is his application for a temporary commission form, 1917, (Catalogue ref: WO 339/90293) Watch our ‘Unboxing the Archive‘ video about Tull on YouTube.
*A commissioned officer commands a military unit.
APPLICATION FOR APPOINTMENT TO A TEMPORARY COMMISSION IN THE REGULAR ARMY FOR THE PERIOD OF THE WAR
The candidate will complete the following particulars and obtain certificates below as to the character and educational qualification.
|1. Name in full (Surname
( Christian names
|Tull, Walter Daniel|
|2. Date of birth||April 28th 1888|
|3. Whether married||No|
|4. Whether of pure European descent||No|
|5. Whether a British subject by birth or naturalization. (State which, and if by naturalization attach a certificate from the Home Office||By Birth|
|6. Nationality by birth of father (if naturalized, state date).||West Indian|
|7. Permanent address||419, St. Vincent Street, Glasgow|
|8. Present address for correspondence||23rd Battalion Middlesex Regiment, “C” Company, B.E.F.[British Expeditionary Force]|
|9. Whether now serving, or previously served, in any other Government Department (Home, Indian, or Colonial). If so give particulars.||Now serving.
21 months in 17th Battalion Middlesex Regiment
2 months in 23rd Battalion [Middlesex Regiment]
|10. Whether able to ride||No.|
|11. Whether now serving, or previously served, in any branch of His Majesty’s Naval or Military Forces, or in the Officers Training Corps. If so state:-
(a). Regiment, Corps, or Contingent
(b). Date of appointment
(d). Date of retirement, resignation or discharge
(e). Circumstances of retirement, resignation or discharge
17th Battalion, Middlesex Regiment
December 21st 1914
Whether an application for a commission has been previously made, if so, on what date and for what branch of the service.