Lilian Bullen

From the list of elephant persons Family: Croan

Lilian Bullen
Profession circus director
Personal details
Born 1894 Botany in Australia
Dead 1965-01-04 Camperdown in Australia

Spouse(s) 1917 - 1965 Perc Bullen

Country Australia

Title owner 1922-1965
Location at Bullen's Circus in Australia

Biography details

Lilian Ethel Croan , circus director in Australia

Born 1894 in Australia dead 1965-01-04 in Australia .

Lilian was daughter of George Croan a labourer and his wife Emily Eleanor nee Wythes.

Alfred Bullen married his wife Lilian in 1917 at Holy Trinity Church at Dawes Point.

Beginning with a merry-go-round, and one elephant, Alfred and his brothers started a travelling circus carnival.

By 1922 the family had made enough money to organize their own circus. They travelled over dirt roads from one country town to the next in bumpy horse-drawn wagons. Their three sons Stafford, Kenneth and Gregory were born between 1925 and 1930 and followed the custom of travelling circus people.

In the early 1930s the “Bullen Bros Circus” travelled mostly in Qld with a show that included its own brass band and a menagerie. Perc the ringmaster, also juggled and trained the "big cats".
Lilian played the cornet, juggled, worked monkeys, dogs and horses, and with three young girls, appeared in a dancing troupe called “The Four Marzellas”.

When she retired from the ring "Tiger Lil" took over the administration and worked hard to ensure her family's success.

Lilian Bullen was divorced from Perc by the time she died of Cancer on 4 January 1965 in King George V hospital at Camperdown and is buried at Rookwood. She left over $170,000 to the Cancer Council of NSW.
A famous early Australian circus. By Lyn Forde


Total: 3 children

  1. Born: . Ken Bullen
  2. Born: . Greg Bullen
  3. Born: 1925. Dead: † 2001 Stafford Bullen

Reference list


Koehl, Dan, (2024). director Lilian Ethel Croan in Australia. Elephant Encyclopedia, available online retrieved 12 June 2024 at (archived at the Wayback machine)

Sources used for this article is among others:

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Categories director | circus | Bullen\'s Circus | Croan family | Born 1894 | Dead 1965 | People from Australia

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