Born at Ballarat, Victoria on 16 April 1883, the eldest son of William
Tulloch, brewer (“Tulloch’s Breweries”) and Agnes née Wheeldon,
Tulloch was educated at Melbourne Church of England Boys’ Grammar (1897-99)
where he distinguished himself as a sportsman; in 1899 as a member of the
first eight-oared schoolboys' race that included Stanley Bruce (1883-1967), future prime
minister of Australia, he won the first school boat race rowed in Australia
defeating Geelong Grammar. Gaining experience under his father as a brewer,
Tulloch was later employed at “R. Mark’s & Co”, Maldon (1904-06) and
“Swallow Brewery”, Perth
(1907-09). At the time of his death he was employed with “Victoria Brewery”
in East Melbourne (1919-26).
At the outbreak of hostilities,
Tulloch was a commissioned officer with the citizen forces, and enlisted
with the rank of captain in late January 1915 with the Western
Australian-raised 11th Battalion. At the landing at Gallipoli, Tulloch’s
name will always live in the annals of Australia’s military history. With
orders inculcated into all officers and other ranks to advance, and when in
doubt, to keep advancing, on that fateful morning amid all the chaos and
confusion, Tulloch in command of ‘B’ Company found himself and about sixty
men on the south-west slope of Battleship Hill - his immediate objective and
some 1,000 yards beyond the settled line. Only one other group that morning
managed to gain their objective.
Finding the situation hopeless,
Tulloch ordered his men to retire some 500 yards having held the position
against all odds for half and hour. While sheltering near the edge of
Malone’s Gully he was badly wounded in the leg. He returned to Australia in
February 1916 to recuperate and did not return to his unit until October
1917; he was believed to have been gassed during the Second Battle of
Passchendaele. Returning to the unit in May 1918, he took part in all the
units’ operations until given temporary command of 12th Battalion in
September 1918. He was awarded the Military Cross on two separate
occasions, the first on 23 August 1918 near Chuignolles, when in charge of
two companies to capture Froissy Wood. He led his men with great dash under
heavy machine gun fire overcoming all resistance until he gained the
Likewise on 18 September, while
in charge of the left attacking company on the Hindenburg Outpost at
Hargicourt near Villeret, with two other men he led a spirited assault on
two machine gun posts killing the crew with his revolver and enemy stick
bombs capturing six prisoners. It was in this battle that Allied
intelligence revealed that the German soldier refused to fight against the
Australians. He was later promoted to command the 12th Battalion.
Returning home in August 1919,
Tulloch continued as a brewer and in 1921 was gazetted lieutenant-colonel,
22nd Battalion, Commonwealth Military Forces; he was also an original member
of Legacy. While head rowing coach of Melbourne Boys’ Grammar School
(1921-26), he was murdered early on the morning of 8 May 1926 and was
accorded a funeral with full military honours; thousands of mourners lined
the mile-long funeral procession along St. Kilda Road (“every section of
society was represented in the crowd...so still was the throng that the
rattle of breach bolts as the cartridges were driven home, was heard to its
farthest limits”). On 15 April 1908 in Perth, he married Lilian née
Temby (d 1962); they had no children.
Footnote: For the murder of Eric Tulloch see:
Outrage at Lauriston Hall.
(above) Eric Tulloch
(Reproduced with kind permission of
Melbourne Grammar School)
ADB Volume 12 1891-1939 (Smy-Z).
The Argus 10 & 11 May 1926, 30 June 1926.
The Truth 22 May 1926.
“Liber Melburniensis”, Centenary Edition
Blatchford, C., “Legacy: The Story of the
Melbourne Legacy Club” (1932).
Kiddle, J. (ed), “War Services of Old
Melburnians 1914-18” (1923).
Bean, C., “The Official History of Australia
in the War 1914-18”.
AWM “Biographical Cards for the Official
History 1914-18”, AWM140.
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