13 Jul 2009

BARTLETT Arthur Reuben Robert

Private 10497 2nd Battalion Honourable Artillery Company
Killed in Action, Friday 26th October 1917
Hooge Crater Cemetery, Ieper, Belgium - Grave XII.L.8

Arthur Bartlett was born in London, the son of Arthur Robert and Emily Bartlett of 124 Trafalgar Road, off the Old Kent Road. His family had been in Sussex for many generations, and he was baptised at St. James the Less, Lancing, on 6th June 1897. At that time, his grandfather Robert Bartlett, was the sub-postmaster at Lancing, where he lived with his wife Esther, and Arthur spent a lot of time in the village, both with the Bartletts, and also with his maternal grandmother, Mary Greenyer. His service record held at The National Archives shows that he enlisted on the 27th February 1917 at Armoury House, London; his home address was 2 North Road, Lancing, where he worked as a railway clerk.
By late October 1917, as part of 22nd Brigade, the battalion was south of Ypres, near Vierstraat. The regimental history tells that on the day that Arthur Bartlett died they were struggling to relieve two battalions through waist deep mud and machine gun fire. Many of the Honourable Artillery Company were employed as stretcher bearers, attempting to rescue wounded men lying in water-filled shell holes. A newspaper report in the Worthing Gazette of 28th November 1917 shows that Arthur Bartlett was one of those men:

STRETCHER BEARER KILLED - Among the deaths that have been officially notified within the past few days is that of Private Arthur Reuben Robert Bartlett, a member of the Honourable Artillery Company, and son of Mr. and Mrs. A. R. Bartlett of the Post Office, North Road. He joined the Army in February of the present year, and in May he was sent to the Western Front. Recently he was one of a stretcher bearer company who were working under very heavy fire, and he was killed by a piece of shell. Before he undertook military duty Private Bartlett was booking clerk at Lancing Railway Station, and was highly esteemed.

The only personal possessions that are recorded as having been returned to the family were two identity discs. The service record contains a receipt, dated 14th May 1922, for the British War Medal and Victory Medal, signed by Arthur Bartlett's father. He has added a comment to the bottom of the form which states:

I am very grateful to the King for his recent visit to the graves of the fallen soldiers sleeping in France and Belgium


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