The AIF Project


Regimental number2562
Place of birthPernan, Livonia, Russia
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation19
Height5' 8.5"
Weight168 lbs
Next of kinMother, Mrs Arna Bartels, c/o Town Consul, Pernon, Livonia, Russia
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date16 June 1915
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll16 June 1915
Place of enlistmentLiverpool, New South Wales
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name3rd Battalion, 8th Reinforcement
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A54 Runic on 9 September 1915
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll3rd Battalion
FateKilled in Action 20 July 1916
Place of death or woundingPozieres, Somme Sector, France
Date of death20 July 1916
Age at death20
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsAustralian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux, France

Villers-Bretonneux is a village about 15 km east of Amiens. The Memorial stands on the high ground ('Hill 104') behind the Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery, Fouilloy, which is about 2 km north of Villers-Bretonneux on the east side of the road to Fouilloy.

The Australian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux is approached through the Military Cemetery, at the end of which is an open grass lawn which leads into a three-sided court. The two pavilions on the left and right are linked by the north and south walls to the back (east) wall, from which rises the focal point of the Memorial, a 105 foot tall tower, of fine ashlar. A staircase leads to an observation platform, 64 feet above the ground, from which further staircases lead to an observation room. This room contains a circular stone tablet with bronze pointers indicating the Somme villages whose names have become synonymous with battles of the Great War; other battle fields in France and Belgium in which Australians fought; and far beyond, Gallipoli and Canberra.

On the three walls, which are faced with Portland stone, are the names of 10,885 Australians who were killed in France and who have no known grave. The 'blocking course' above them bears the names of the Australian Battle Honours.

After the war an appeal in Australia raised £22,700, of which £12,500 came from Victorian school children, with the request that the majority of the funds be used to build a new school in Villers-Bretonneux. The boys' school opened in May 1927, and contains an inscription stating that the school was the gift of Victorian schoolchildren, twelve hundred of whose fathers are buried in the Villers-Bretonneux cemetery, with the names of many more recorded on the Memorial. Villers-Bretonneux is now twinned with Robinvale, Victoria, which has in its main square a memorial to the links between the two towns.

Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front

Embarked Alexandria to join the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, Gallipoli, 21 October 1915.

Wounded in action, Gallipoli, 8 December 1915 (gun shot wound, neck); admitted same day to 3rd Field Ambulance, and then transferred to 1st Australian Casualty Clearing Station; to HS 'Berdonian', 9 December 1915, and admitted to Mudros, 10 December 1915; transferred to Alexandria, 13 December 1915, and admitted to No 2 Australian General Hospital, Ghezireh. Transferred to Mena House Hospital, 16 December 1915; to Convalescent Camp, Helouan, 24 December 1915; discharged to Overseas Base,30 December 1915; transferred to unit, 3 January 1916.

Admitted to 1st Australian General Hospital, Heliopolis, 3 February 1916 (pneumonia); transferred to 3rd Auxiliary Hospital, Heliopolis, 11 February1916 (influenza); discharged to duty, 28 February 1916.

Found guilty, 18 March 1916, of (1) creating a disturbance; (2) using obscene language to his Superior Officer: awarded 7 days' Field Punishment No 2 and 7 days' confined to barracks.

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 22 March 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 28 March 1916.

Found guilty, 22 April 1916, of (1) disobeying a lawful command given by his Superior Officer; (2) resisting an escort; (3) using threatening language: awarded 10 days' Field Punishment No 2, and forfeited 18 days' pay.

Tried by Field General Court Martial, 15 June 1916, on charge of when on Active Service, conduct to the prejudice of good order & military discipline in that he at Divisional Bomb School, Sailly, on 7.6.16, said, in hearing of 2/Lieut John Leonard Lacey, 'All Officers & Non Commissioned Officers are Bastards' or words to that effect: found Guilty: awarded 1 year's imprisonment with hard labour; sentenced confirmed, but commuted to 6 months' imprisonment; forfeiture of pay: 6 monhs and 8 days.

Sentence further commuted to 3 months' Field Punishment No 1, 26 June 1916.

Committed to Divisional Detention Barracks, 30 June 1916.

Killed in action, France, 20 July 1916.

Form B103 states: 'Buried'.

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, BARTELS John

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