Thomas (Leslie) (Les or Tom) BARTLETT

BARTLETT, Thomas (Leslie)

Service Number: 5115
Enlisted: 4 January 1916, Lithgow, N.S.W.
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 54th Infantry Battalion
Born: Locksley, New South Wales, 7 May 1897
Home Town: Tarana Quarry, Bathurst Regional, New South Wales
Schooling: Tarana Public School, New South Wales
Occupation: Horsedriver
Died: Bathurst, New South Wales, 4 July 1956, aged 59 years, cause of death not yet discovered
Cemetery: Not yet discovered
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World War 1 Service

4 Jan 1916: Enlisted AIF WW1, SN 5115, Lithgow, N.S.W.
5 Jun 1916: Involvement Private, SN 5115, 17th Infantry Battalion
5 Jun 1916: Embarked Private, SN 5115, 17th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Kyarra, Sydney
12 Oct 1916: Transferred AIF WW1, Private, 54th Infantry Battalion, TOS France
25 May 1917: Wounded AIF WW1, Private, SN 5115, 54th Infantry Battalion, WIA GSW Right Chest - severe
31 Aug 1917: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 5115, 54th Infantry Battalion
16 Oct 1917: Wounded AIF WW1, Private, SN 5115, 54th Infantry Battalion, WIA (2nd occasion) Gas
10 Mar 1918: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 5115, 54th Infantry Battalion, RTA per 'Durham Castle,' change Capetown, 'Orontes,' disembarked Sydney 12-05-1918
14 Jun 1918: Discharged AIF WW1, Private, SN 5115, 54th Infantry Battalion, Discharged Medically Unfit

Help us honour Thomas (Leslie) Bartlett's service by contributing information, stories, and images so that they can be preserved for future generations.

Biography contributed by Karen Standen

Thomas Bartlett was born, Leslie Thomas Bartlett (NSW B 15049/1897). He was the sixth son of Nathaniel Bartlett and Annie Bartlett (nee Mullins). While he was commonly known as 'Les,' he chose to enlist as Thomas. This was done with the knowledge of his family as his mother, Annie, gave her written consent for her son 'Thomas Bartlett' to enlist on the 1st January 1916. Three days later, Tom enlisted in Lithgow, signing his name as 'Tome Bartlett.' 

Whatever the reason behind the name change, when Annie made an appeal through the Sydney Mail newspaper in 1918 for information relating to another son, Will, who was reported missing and wounded, she provided photographs of her four boys and for the first time, the names they were actually known by. In Tom's case, the photograph was captioned, "Pte. Les Bartlett, Gassed and Wounded."

When Tom was invalided back to Australia, his return was reported in a number of newspapers under both names, Tom or Les. While this created confusion, it is nothing compared to the story of his younger brother, Allan. 

Tom, or Les, and his three brothers are honoured on the Tarana War Memorial. Tom is recorded as, "Bartlett, L."