Service Number: 1970
Enlisted: 8 September 1915, Adelaide, South Australia
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 48th Infantry Battalion
Born: Adelaide, South Australia, 3 September 1897
Home Town: Adelaide, South Australia
Schooling: Marryatville State School and Norwood High School
Occupation: Coach Trimmer
Died: Killed in Action, France, West Maitland, Maitland, New South Wales, Australia, 6 August 1916, aged 18 years
Cemetery: Courcelette British Cemetery
Courcelette British Cemetery, Picardie, France, Rutherford Cemetery, Rutherford, New South Wales, Australia, Villers-Bretonneux Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux, Picardie, France
Memorials: Adelaide National War Memorial, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Norwood War Memorial
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World War 1 Service

8 Sep 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, 1970, 32nd Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1,

--- :embarkation_roll: roll_number: '17' embarkation_place: Adelaide embarkation_ship: HMAT Miltiades embarkation_ship_number: A28 public_note: ''

8 Sep 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Adelaide, South Australia
7 Feb 1916: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, 1970, 32nd Infantry Battalion, HMAT Miltiades, Adelaide
6 Aug 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, 1970, 48th Infantry Battalion, Battle for Pozières , --- :awm_ww1_roll_of_honour_import: awm_service_number: 1970 awm_unit: 48 Battalion awm_rank: Private awm_died_date: 1916-08-06

Help us honour Edwin Louis Bartholomaeus's service by contributing information, stories, and images so that they can be preserved for future generations.


Edwin Louis Bartholomaeus was the son of Grace Bartholomaeus nee Walker, of 45, East Parade, Kensington, South Australia, and the late William Bartholomaeus. Born on the 3rd of September 1897 in Adelaide, Edwin was the youngest in a family of six.

Edwin attended Marryatville State School and Norwood High School, joining compulsory school cadets during that time. In school cadets, teenage boys learnt military and leadership skills, similar to scouts in modern times. Australian Army (school) Cadets was modeled on the Australian army.

He worked at a company called Clarke Brothers for two years, as part of his apprenticeship. Clarke brothers constructed carriages and coaches (a form of horse transport) and were featured in Adelaide newspapers, such as the Advertiser, in 1911. Edwin’s was employed as a coach trimmer. He was responsible for the maintenance of the linings and trimmings in the interior of coaches.

In his family of six, Edwin had three brothers, Hubert Alexander, Stanley Bertram and Leslie Norman, who all fought for Australia in the war. All the brothers survived the war apart from Edwin.

Hubert Alexander was one year older than Edwin Louis and also enlisted and embarked before him in 1914. Hubert fought in the 10th Battalion in Gallipoli and in France, and then returned to Adelaide in late 1917. During his time at WW1, Hubert received two 48-hour detentions for sleeping while on duty, all in the same week. He was also wounded in action, in his last year. He suffered a gunshot wound to his left ankle, but survived it. In 1939, he enlisted in WW2, though there is no readable information on his time there, other then that he was discharged not killed, as he died in 1962, at the age of 67, the cause of death being unknown.

Stanley Bertram is a mystery, as there is barely any information on his life, before, during and after war. All that is known is that he was in the 32nd Battalion, was recorded effective abroad and stayed overseas after the war was over, but nothing is known in-between these events, as his records have not yet been opened to the public.

The last brother, Leslie Norman, was the oldest (that we know of) out of the four brothers. Leslie enlisted in 1912 and was a part of the Royal Australian Navy on the HMA ‘Fantome’ and other ships. He also served in WW2, enlisting at the same time as his younger brother Hubert. Leslie’s service and enlistment records are not available online, though he did return to Adelaide after WW2 during 1948. 

On the 8th of September 1915, Edwin enlisted for war, at the age of 18. He spent that Christmas in Adelaide, before he left for Zeitoun (Cairo), Egypt to join his battalion in training. He was originally in the 32nd Battalion, but was transferred to the 48th before he left Adelaide. Edwin was taken on strength to march in Serapeum, Egypt, at the rank of Corporal, though was demoted to the rank of Private soon after, possibly because of the arrival of fitter and more experienced soldiers.

In the middle of the year 1916, Edwin travelled to Marseilles on the boat, H.M.T. Caledonia. After arriving in Marseilles, he travelled to the French Flanders, where he was billeted with other ANZAC soldiers. Edwin missed events such as the German’s shelling the shelters of the ANZAC’s, killing or wounding 74 men. From Marseilles, they were taken to Pozières, another French city.

This was where the ANZAC’s experienced one of the heaviest artillery barrages of WWI, fighting the Germans who had many resources like guns, bombs and other military weapons. The ANZACs were fighting to defend French ground that Germany had previously captured. Our soldiers attacked Germany twice, three (or so) days at a time. Edwin was involved in both, being killed in the second attack, on the Western Front, on the 6th of August 1916. Proof that this was one of the ANZAC’s heaviest artillery barrages of WWI is the amount of lives that were lost. 5,400 soldiers from the 48th Battalion were killed and much more wounded. For the 48th battalion in particular, this was their first and biggest major battle, but in the end Germany was forced out of Pozières by the ANZACs.

As there are no hospital records for Edwin Louis, we assume he was dead when his body was found. The weapon that killed him is not known.

Edwin received two medals in his time at war. The Victory Medal and the British War Medal. The Victory was given to any soldiers that fought for Britain, from the 5th of August 1914 to the 11th of November 1918. The British War Medal was awarded to men who fought for Britain for 28 days, during the same time period mentioned for the Victory Medal, for 28 days. This medal was especially given to men who were killed before the completion of their 28 days. Even women were eligible for both of these medals.

Today, Edwin Louis Bartholomaeus is buried in Picardie, France, at the Courcelette British Cemetery and his name is written on panel 145 in the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.



·      Australian War Memorial 2003, Anzac Spirit, Encyclopedia, Canberra, accessed 1 March 2016, <https://www.awm.gov.au/encyclopedia/anzac/spirit/>.

·      Australian War Memorial n.d., 48th Australian Infantry Battalion, War History, Canberra, accessed 1 March 2016, <https://www.awm.gov.au/unit/U51488/>.

·      National Archives of Australia n.d., Record Search: Bartholomaeus Edwin Louis, Australian Government, Canberra, accessed 1 March 2016, <http://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/NameSearch/Interface/ItemDetail.aspx?Barcode=3053755>.

·      The AIF Project n.d., Edwin Louis BARTHOLOMAEUS, UNSW Australia, accessed 1 March 2016, <https://aif.adfa.edu.au/showPerson?pid=15196>.

·      Commonwealth War Graves Commission n.d., Find War Dead: Bartholomaeus Edwin Louis, Australian Government, accessed 1 March 2016, <http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead.aspx>.

·      RSL Vitrual War Memorial n.d., BARTHOLOMAEUS, Edwin Louis, Returned Service League, Australia, accessed 1 March 2016, <https://rslvirtualwarmemorial.org.au/explore/people/182384>.