Joseph BETRO


BETRO, Joseph

Service Number: 843
Enlisted: 3 December 1914, Adelaide, South Australia
Last Rank: Trooper
Last Unit: 9th Light Horse Regiment
Born: Broken Hill, New South Wales, Australia, 29 January 1895
Home Town: Broken Hill, Broken Hill Municipality, New South Wales
Schooling: Broken Hill Catholic School, New South Wales, Australia
Occupation: Mill hand/Miner
Died: Died of wounds, Wandsworth, England, United Kingdom, 26 October 1915, aged 20 years
Cemetery: Wandsworth (Earlsfield) Cemetery
Earlsfield Cemetery, London, England, United Kingdom
Memorials: Adelaide National War Memorial, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Broken Hill Barrier District No 12 M.U.I.O.O.F. Great War Roll of Honor, Broken Hill Barrier District Roll of Honour, Broken Hill War Memorial
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World War 1 Service

3 Dec 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 843, Adelaide, South Australia
1 Apr 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 843, 9th Light Horse Regiment, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
1 Apr 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 843, 9th Light Horse Regiment, HMAT Port Lincoln, Adelaide
22 May 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Trooper, SN 843, 9th Light Horse Regiment, 'ANZAC' / Gallipoli
28 Aug 1915: Wounded AIF WW1, Trooper, SN 843, 9th Light Horse Regiment, 'ANZAC' / Gallipoli, GSW (face)

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Trooper J. Betro died in the Wandsworth Hospital, London, on October 26 of wounds received during the fighting on the Gallipolli Peninsula. Trooper Betro enlisted in November, 1914, and left for the front in April, 1915. He was 20 years of age last January, and was born at Broken Hill, where his mother now resides. Prior to enlisting he worked at de Bavay's for five years. He was a member of the M.U., I.O.O.F., and the A.M.A. He was also a playing member of the Broken Hill II. Football Club, and was very well known in the city. There are three brothers — two fighting in the Dardanelles and one in camp in South Australia." - from the Adelaide Express & Telegraph 14 Dec 1915 (


Biography contributed by Evan Evans

The summary below was completed by Cathy Sedgwick – Facebook “WW1 Australian War Graves in England/UK/Scotland/Ireland 

Died on this date – 26th October…… Joseph Betro was born at Broken Hill, New South Wales on 29th January, 1895.

He enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force (A.I.F.) on 3rd December, 1914 at Oaklands, South Australia as a 19 year old, single, Mill Hand (from Embarkation Roll however the Roll of Honour information states Miner) from North Broken Hill, NSW.

Mrs L. Betro signed her consent in a letter dated 25th November, 1914, for her son – Joseph Betro to join the Expeditionary Forces to leave Australia as he was under the age of 21.

Private Joseph Betro, Service number 843, & his brother Private Henry Betro, Service number 1706, both embarked from Adelaide on HMAT Port Lincoln (A17) on 1st April, 1915 & then embarked from Melbourne on HMAT Wiltshire (A18) on 13th April, 1915.

On 22nd May, 1915 Private Joseph Betro proceeded to join M.E.F. (Mediterranean Expeditionary Force) at Gallipoli. He arrived from Alexandria on 27th May, 1915 & was taken on strength of 9th Light Horse Regiment.

He was admitted to Anzac Cove Hospital on 30th May, 1915 suffering from Gonorrhoea & was returned to duty on 3rd June, 1915.

The 9th Australian Light Horse Regiment was fortunate to be the reserve regiment for the Brigade's disastrous attack on the Nek on 7th August, 1915. They were marched down to the beach on 26th August, 1915 awaiting transport to Lemnos for leave after 3 months at Gallipoli but were subsequently redirected to support Lone Pine & suffered 50 per cent casualties attacking Hill 60 on 27th August. Exhausted and under-strength, the 9th then played a defensive role until it finally left the peninsula on 20 December 1915. (Information from AWM)

Private Joseph Betro was wounded on 28th August, 1915. He was admitted to 16th Casualty Clearing Station on 28th August, 1915 & embarked from Mudros on 29th August, 1915 for England on Hospital Ship Devanha.

According to information provided for the Roll of Honour by Joseph’s mother - Joseph’s brother - Henry was with Joseph at Gallipoli & spoke to him a few days before he received his wounds.

Medical Case Sheet for Private Joseph Betro:
Sept. 12 – “Wounded Aug. 25 at Dardanelles, No operation. GSW of face. Destruction of right orbit, right nasal bone, part of frontal malar & part of superior maxilla - a small portion of upper lid and none of the lower remaining, A pulsating mass showing in wound”
Sept 28 – “ Pulsating mass protruding further forward in orbit, the surface of which is discharging puss. remains of L. lid inflamed.”
Oct. 12 – “Patient feels quite comfortable – no pain – has lost his sense of smell….”
Oct. 15 – “Metallic fragments round left orbit & nasal side rt orbit.”
Oct. 19 – “___ spinal fluid has been escaping all day. The mass of brain tissue is much smaller. Patient has had very severe headache especially in the nape of the neck. Patient vomited frequently in the night. Patient feels very weak.”
Oct. 20 – “Patient had a fit in the night”
Oct. 22 – “Headache not so severe”
Oct. 26 – “Patient much worse. ….Pulse very weak & irregular. Unconscious & irrational. Has a discoloured & blistered patch on lower part of back. Is in H2O Bath.”

A Lettergram was sent to Mrs Betro on 22nd October, 1915 advising that her son – Pte J. Betro was dangerously ill at 3rd London General Hospital, Wandsworth, London.

Private Joseph Betro died at 7.45 pm on 26th October, 1915 in 3rd London General Hospital, Wandsworth from wounds received on active service at Gallipoli (gunshot wound to head).

He was buried in Wandsworth (Earlsfield) Cemetery, London, England where 34 other WW1 Australian War Graves are located.

[**Private Henry Betro was wounded in action in April, 1918 with a bullet wound to right hand. He was medically discharged due to Rheumatism on 15th April, 1919. He was entitled to 1914/15 Star, British War Medal & Victory Medal. Pte Henry Betro was returned to Australia on 30th January, 1919.]

(The above is a summary of my research. The full research can be found by following the link below)