Joseph Frank BARRETT DCM

BARRETT, Joseph Frank

Service Numbers: 1203, Commissioned Officer
Enlisted: 21 November 1914
Last Rank: Lieutenant
Last Unit: 51st Infantry Battalion (WW1)
Born: Bunbury, Western Australia, Australia, 12 November 1893
Home Town: Capel, Capel, Western Australia
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Timber Worker
Died: Killed In Action Counter Attack At Villers-Bretonneux, Villers Bretonneux, France, 24 April 1918, aged 24 years
Cemetery: No known grave - "Known Unto God"
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Capel War Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux Memorial (Australian National Memorial - France)
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World War 1 Service

21 Nov 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, 1203, 2nd Stationary Hospital (AIF)
14 Dec 1914: Involvement Private, 1203, 2nd Stationary Hospital (AIF), --- :embarkation_roll: roll_number: '23' embarkation_place: Fremantle embarkation_ship: HMAT Kyarra embarkation_ship_number: A55 public_note: ''
22 Apr 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, 1203, 2nd Stationary Hospital (AIF), ANZAC / Gallipoli, Mudros & Gallipoli
15 Aug 1916: Honoured Distinguished Conduct Medal, Battle for Pozières , 'For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He tended and dressed the wounded under heavy fire, setting a splendid example of courage and cheerfulness throughout.' Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 116 Date: 25 July 1917
22 Sep 1916: Transferred AIF WW1, Corporal, 13th Field Ambulance
27 Dec 1917: Transferred AIF WW1, Second Lieutenant, 51st Infantry Battalion (WW1)
24 Apr 1918: Involvement AIF WW1, Lieutenant, Commissioned Officer, 51st Infantry Battalion (WW1), Villers-Bretonneux, --- :awm_ww1_roll_of_honour_import: awm_service_number: awm_unit: 51 Battalion awm_rank: Second Lieutenant awm_died_date: 1918-04-24

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Biography contributed by Steve Larkins

Joseph Barrett (1894-1918)


Joseph Barrett was born in Bunbury WA to Joseph and Elizabeth BARRETTand by the time the war broke out he was married to Emily and was a timber worker living in Capel, WA. 

He was an early enlistee for the Great War, having done so on 21 November 1914, being assigned to the 2nd Stationary Hospital.  He embarked with his unit on 14 December 1914 and served with it at Gallipoli.

He was transferred to the 51st Battalion in March 1916 as a Medical Corps attachment and subsequently transferred to the 13th Field Ambulance remaining attached to the 51st Battalion with which he served at Pozieres.

He was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for actions on 15th August 1916 working as a Medic with 13th Field Ambulance attached to the 51st Battalion..

Promoted Sergeant in April 1917.

In June 1917 he was subsequently selected for Officer training and on commissioning (29 November 1917) was posted back to the 51st Battalion. 

During the course of the 13th Brigade's operation to envelop Villers Bretonneux to the south of the town on 24/25 April 1918, Lieutenant Jospeh Barrett was leading 3 Platoon A Company of the 51st Battalion, and in an engagement on the right flank of his Battalion, was shot through the abdomen as he tried to neutralise an enemy machine gun post.  The enemy position was later withdrawn as the 52nd Battalion moved up to the south of the 51st rendering the German position untenable.

1.  Service record

2.  Official History of Australia in the War of 1914-18, Vol V C.E.W. Bean3rd Edition 1938 p593

3.  Australians on the Western Front Vol 1.  David W Cameron 2018 ISBN 978 0 14378 861 4 Penguin Random House Australia, p323


Compiled by Steve Larkins 17 Oct 2019