The AIF Project

Frank Howard BARTLEY

Regimental number4500
Place of birthMinlaton, South Australia
SchoolWay College, Wayville, South Australia
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationRailway employee
AddressAdelaide, South Australia
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation35
Height5' 8.5"
Weight138 lbs
Next of kinFather, George Bartley, Allison Street, St Leonard's, South Australia
Previous military serviceNil [Attestation Form: 'Royal Defence Forces 3 years, discharged, demobilised']
Enlistment date17 October 1916
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll17 October 1916
Place of enlistmentAdelaide, South Australia
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name32nd Battalion, 12th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/49/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Adelaide, South Australia, on board HMAT A35 Berrima on 16 December 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll32nd Battalion
FateKilled in Action 29 September 1918
Place of death or woundingEtricourt, France
Date of death29 September 1918
Age at death35
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
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: George Andrew and Elizabeth BARTLEY, 6 Alison Street, Glenelg, South Australia
Family/military connectionsBrother: 1237 Pte Maurice BARTLEY, 10th Bn, returned to Australia, 7 June 1919.
Other details

War service: Western Front

Embarked Adelaide, 16 December 1916; disembarked Devonport, England, 16 February 1917, and marched in to 8th Training Bn, Hurdcott.

Found guilty, 23 March 1917, of conduct to the prejudice of good order and Military Discipline in that he at Hurdcott urinated in a hut: awarded 28 days' Field Punishment No 2.

Proceeded overseas to France, 27 October 1917; taken on strength, 32nd Bn, in the field, 26 October 1917.

Killed in action, 29 September 1918.

Statement, Red Cross File No 0260805L, 3530 Pte W.E. CLARKE, 32nd Bn, 25 (?) September 1919: 'Informant states that Casualty was killed instantly by a shell near Bellicourt and he understands that he was buried where he fell.'

Second statement, 5004 Lance Corporal W.J. GIBBONS, 32nd Bn, 2 November 1919: 'L/Cpl. Lugg of the 32nd. Btn. could give you full details of the death and burial as he handled Bartley's paybook into Battalion Orderly and handed to me: I saw him burying Hartley's body in the open between Bellacourt and Room.'

Third statement, 2495 Pte P.S. STORR, HQ, 32nd Bn, 10 October 1918: 'I hand you herewith Identification Disc and Metal Cross which were taken from Hartley's body by one of the 31st Battalion Stretcher-bearers and handed to me. I saw him burying Bartley's body in the open between Bellacourt and Nouroy (?) on 30th Sept. 1918.'

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, BARTLEY Frank Howard
Red Cross File No 0260805L

Print format