Pullen, William John Samuel (DNB00)

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PULLEN, WILLIAM JOHN SAMUEL (1813–1887), vice-admiral, born in 1813, after serving for some years in the navy, quitted it in 1836, and accepted the post of assistant-surveyor under the South Australian Company. Returning to the navy, he passed his examination on 20 July 1844, and was appointed to the Columbia, surveying ship on the coast of North America, with Captain Peter Frederick Shortland [q. v.] He was promoted to be lieutenant on 9 Nov. 1846, but continued in the Columbia till she was paid off in 1848. He was then appointed to the Plover with Captain Thomas Moore for a voyage to the Pacific and the Arctic through Behring Straits [see Hooper, William Hulme]. In the summer of 1849 he and Hooper were ordered by Captain (afterwards Sir Henry) Kellett [q. v.] of the Herald to search the coast from Point Barrow to the mouth of the Mackenzie. After wintering on the Mackenzie, at Fort Simpson, he, with Hooper, in the following summer searched the coast as far as Cape Bathurst; thence returning together, they wintered at Fort Simpson, travelled overland to New York, and arrived in England in October 1851. He had, during his absence, been promoted to the rank of commander, on 24 Jan. 1850; and in February 1852 was appointed to the North Star for service in the Franklin search expedition under the orders of Sir Edward Belcher [q. v.] The North Star spent the next two winters at Beechey Island, and returned to England in October 1854, bringing back also Kellett and the crew of the Resolute. In the following January Pullen was appointed to the Falcon, attached to the fleet in the Baltic during the summer of 1855. On 10 May 1856 he was advanced to post rank, and in September 1857 was appointed to the Cyclops paddle-wheel steamer on the East India station. In 1858 he conducted the soundings of the Red Sea with a view to laying the telegraph cable from Suez to Aden, and through 1859 and 1860 was employed on the survey of the south and east coasts of Ceylon. The Cyclops returned to England early in 1861, and from 1863 to 1865 Pullen was stationed at Bermuda, where he carried out a detailed survey of the group. From 1867 to 1869 he commanded the Revenge, coastguard ship at Pembroke, and on 1 April 1870 was placed on the retired list under the provisions of Mr. Childers's scheme. He became a rear-admiral on 11 June 1874; vice-admiral on 1 Feb. 1879; was granted a Greenwich Hospital pension on 19 Feb. 1886, and died in January 1887.

[Times, 19 Jan. 1887; Hooper's Tents of the Tuski; Belcher's Last of the Arctic Voyages; m'Dougall's Voyage of the Resolute; Dawson's Mem. of Hydrogr. ii. 117.]

J. K. L.