Roy, the son of John and Matilda Bartlett, was born in 1895 at Little Plain near Inverell. He was a twenty year old single man, working as a Blacksmith at Delungra when he enlisted at Inverell in January 1916. As he was under age, his parents signed his attestation forms giving their consent for overseas service.
Roy joined the Second Contingent of The Kurrajongs who left Inverell together on 29 February 1916. He became a member of the 33rd Battalion, which trained at Armidale and Rutherford prior to leaving Australia. After coming home on final leave and attending a farewell function at which he was presented with a silver match box, Roy became ill in camp and was admitted to the Coast Hospital in Sydney. This delayed his departure until September when he left with the 2nd Reinforcements on HMAT A15 Port Sydney.
After arriving in England further training took place at Salisbury Plain until he was sent to France in December 1916. During May the following year he was invalided back to England with knee problems, rejoining his unit in July. Roy was promoted to Lance Corporal in September 1917. The following April he was gassed and admitted to hospital for treatment, returning to his unit in June. He attended a Bombing School in August and was again promoted in September when he was made Corporal.
About this time Roy wrote home to his parents saying‘.. the fighting was very stubborn but the Aussies succeeded in driving the enemy out and capturing many machine guns and prisoners. I with eleven others of the company took over 200 prisoners … near Peronne.’ (Inverell Times, 1 November 1918) This was probably the Battle of Mont St Quentin.
Corporal Roy Bartlett returned home in 1919 and lived at the property ‘Lecoin’, which he drew in a Government Ballot. Roy died in 1958 and was buried at Delungra. His name is recorded on the new Delungra Memorial gate honor roll.
Photo: courtesy IDFHG