Jan 15, 2015

Reginald Percy Bartram [1880 - 1917]

Reginald Percy BARTRAM 
was born in Richmond, Victoria, Australia in 1880 
to George Andrew BARTRAM and Isabella SHANDS.

Reginald enlisted in the AIF 
on 25 August 1916 at Royal Park.
service # 6955
8th Battalion, 23rd Reinforcement
He embarked from Melbourne on board 
HMAT A20 Hororata on 23 Nov 1916

Reginald Percy Bartram
was killed in action in 
The Battle of Broodseinde at 
Passchendaele, Ypres, Belgium
on Thursday October 4 1917

As a boy, Reginald attended St James Grammar School in Melbourne and his occupation at the time of enlistment was that of a compositor.

He married Lucy Mary BOUGHTON (sometimes spelt as BROUGHTON) on 11 Jan 1905 at the Presbyterian Church in Richmond.

a little about Lucy.....

Lucy was born in December 1881 in Worcestershire, England, her parents being Ellen WYATT and William Blockley BOUGHTON, a surgeon. She married Reginald BARTRAM in 1905 when she was 23 years of age and bore him three sons:

Ernest in 1906, Reginald in 1908 and then William in 1910.

Now at this point I am unsure of why Lucy was admitted to the Mont Park Asylum in 1910 or maybe soon after the birth of William. Perhaps she suffered from Post Natal Depression?

as noted in a letter from Reginald BARTRAM to the Army Base Records in Melbourne on December 6 1916,  she had been at Mont Park for 7 years and there is a query as to where she died in 1964 at Ararat. Was she a patient of the Ararat Asylum too?

We also know that Reginald Bartram placed two of his sons in the Melbourne Orphan Asylum prior to his departure for overseas duty. The youngest child - William - died in 1925 and is buried at the Old Cheltenham Cemetery. I am still doing research on the two older boys, Ernest and Reginald.

According to one letter sent to the War Office in 1918 by Reginald's sister, Evelyn Constance DINGEY (nee BARTRAM) it suggests that she has the care of all three of them.

(as seen in images below)

and later in his Army Records it is noted that he has changed his 'next of kin' to his sister - Evelyn Constance Bartram

It is hard to imagine what these two young boys would have gone through ...... mother in the Asylum and had been for at least 7 years, their paternal grandmother had recently died, their father heading off to war and they were being placed in an orphanage - and to them, unloved and unwanted. So incredibly sad.  Yet the above letter suggests otherwise.

But I do wonder what happened to them and 
where they ended up?

even the memorial notice in the Argus Newspaper in 1919 "suggests" that the three boys were with Evelyn and her husband - William Dingley - at that time.
"dearly loved daddy of Ernest, Reggie and Willie"

In one letter from the AIF to Lucy (wife of Reginald) states the effects of Reginald's being disc, belt, photo case, letters, note book, cards,book of views, badges, testament were dispatched per the Barunga on 20th Jun 1918 in case number 1106.

But sadly, especially for his sons - on 15 Jul 1918 - the Barunga was
hit by a torpedo from a German submarine 150 miles south west of the Scilly Isles and Reginald's personal effects were 'lost at sea'.

The Barunga was on its way to Australia with 800 sick and wounded on board and was torpedoed at 4.30 pm on 15 July 1918.

Destroyers which had been some miles away were quickly on the scene to pick up survivors and returned them to Plymouth. All hands were saved before Barunga subsequently sank.

SS Barunga was formerly the German-Australian liner Sumatra of Hamburg, captured at Sydney, NSW, at the outbreak of war. She was requisitioned by the Australian Government and during the period 1915 -1918 was used to transport troops and or produce in various areas.

OCTOBER 1917....

The battle in which Reginald was killed, was bloody and fierce and many an article can be found on the web of the Battle's of Broodseinde and Passchendaele.

The very day Reginald was killed, the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Australian Divisions captured Broodseinde Ridge on
4 October 1917. 

It was a vital victory. But, then it began to rain. 

Five days later the 2nd Australian Division suffered heavily in a further attack in the mud. Finally, on 12 October, another attack, involving the 3rd Division assisted by the 4th, was made against the village of Passchendaele atop the main ridge. In the face of heavy fire, the men fought in the mire while struggling to keep up with their artillery barrages. Ground was taken but it could not be held. In wretched conditions, with casualties mounting at an appalling rate, the Australians had to fall back. 

The troops were finally exhausted and could do no more; by 15 November they handed over to the Canadians.

image above:
main image is of Reginald Percy Bartram

top right:
Machine gunners of the 4th Australian Division, Garter Point, 

Ypres, Belgium, 27 September 1917.

second from top:
Dead and wounded Australians and Germans 

in the railway cutting on Broodseinde Ridge, 
in the Ypres sector, Belgium, during the battle of Passchendaele.

lower right:
Broodseinde with four German shells exploding near the Australian trenches

The following image is of the Red Cross Missing in Action Cards from members of Reginald's Battalion in the hopes of identifying where he was buried.

*Bartram was killed by a shell which went right through him in Passchendaale.

*I was in the same advance. A shell exploded near casualty, killing him instantly.

*I did not see casualty killed, but I saw his body the same afternoon as I was going for water.

*He was at the Menin Road on 4th October, we attacked at daybreak. Bartram was laying in a shell hole on "no mans land".

above image
 Ieper, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium

 Panel 7 - 17 - 23 - 25 - 27 - 29 - 31

Bartram Reginald Percy
K.I.A Thursday, 4th October 1917
Son of George Andrew and Isabella Bartram;
husband of Lucy M. Bartram.
Native of Richmond, Victoria.

I have often thought that many a youngster when he was hit out there 
on the Passchendaele heights and he knew that the end had come,
must have thought to himself:

“well at least they’ll remember me in Australia”.

C.E.W. Bean

Charles Edwin Woodrow Bean 
(18 November 1879 – 30 August 1968), 
usually identified as C.E.W. Bean
was an Australian schoolmaster, judge's associate, barrister  
journalist, war correspondent and historian.
Bean is renowned as the editor of the 12-volume
Official History of Australia in the War of 1914-1918
. Bean wrote Volumes I to VI
himself, dealing with the 
Australian Imperial Force at Gallipoli, France and Belgium. 
Bean was instrumental in the establishment of the Australian War Memorial
and of the creation and popularisation of the ANZAC legend.

the three BARTRAM brothers were all killed in 1917

Reginald Percy BARTRAM d. 04 Oct 1917 Belgium

click on each of the brothers for the blog posting
and a cousin of "The Bartram Brothers"

- Leslie Norman Krause -
we will remember them

UPDATE: 7th October 2013:
with further research have located some information on the two surviving sons of Reginald Percy BARTRAM.

Ernest George BARTRAM was born in Brunswick in 1906. In May 1921, according to the letter from Evelyn Bartram, Ernie Bartram was 'traveling' at the time the Army wanted to pass on his fathers medals. So perhaps he did not receive his fathers medals.

In the Electoral Rolls of 1937, I located one Ernest George BARTRAM as residing at 64 Union St, Prahran. But this is NOT CONFIRMED as being the same person.

In the Electoral Rolls of 1980, I located one Ernest George BARTRAM as residing at 17 Langston St, Bendigo. But this is NOT CONFIRMED as being the same person.

no further information on Ernest George BARTRAM has come to hand.

Reginald Arthur BARTRAM was born in Brunswick in 1908. I have not had much success in locating any information on him, but on checking the Electoral Rolls of 1937 I see a person by the name of Reginald Arthur BARTRAM residing on his own at 6 Alison Rd, Caulfield West. Then In 1980 a person by this name is residing alone at 8 Laburnum St, Blackburn.

So went back to the 1949 Electoral Roll and see a Reginald Arthur BARTRAM residing with a person by the name of Marcelle Louise BARTRAM.  I checked on this person and note that she was born in Malvern on 26 Aug 1909 and died at Blackburn on 26th April 1974.

There is NO CONFIRMATION that the Reginald Arthur BARTRAM is the same as the one I am looking for.

Admittedly the name BARTRAM is not common, and I doubt there would be anyone else by this name in Victoria, Australia.
But until I can confirm it, will leave it here to be noted only.

with grateful thanks to Robert Matthews for the extra help and guidance!

and to the National Archives and the
Australian War Memorial
for the data that is on their websites that is
invaluable to all genealogists.

UPDATE 22nd July 2014:
Reginald Percy Bartram's name will be projected onto the exterior of the Hall of Memory at the AWM in Canberra on:

  • Thu 14 August, 2014 at 8:07 pm
  • Sat 27 September, 2014 at 10:41 pm
  • Wed 19 November, 2014 at 8:55 pm
  • Tue 13 January, 2015 at 8:39 pm
  • Sat 7 March, 2015 at 12:59 am
  • Wed 22 April, 2015 at 3:47 am
  • Tue 2 June, 2015 at 11:27 pm
  • Fri 10 July, 2015 at 6:04 am

These dates and times are estimates. The actual time of projection could change as a result of weather and other factors, so it is advisable to check closer to the date. In the rare event of a temporary loss of electrical power, the names scheduled for display in that period will not appear until the next time listed.


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