The Bartlett Family

Driver Leonard Richard Bartlett 312030 of the Canadian Field Artillery, Canadian Expeditionary Force, 3rd Division, Ammunition Column died on 22nd February 1917 whilst being cared for at home in Berrio, North Hill, for pneumonia which was attributed to his army service.

Leonard's parents were John and Ann Bartlett of Middlewood who had nine children; John was a grocer. Six of the nine children emigrated to Canada, Australia and the USA. Leonard was 20 when he emigrated to Canada with his friend Henry Foott, also of North Hill, sailing on 7th May 1909. They travelled aboard the SS Empress of Britain from Liverpool to Quebec.

At the outbreak of the war Leonard was already serving with the 100th Winnipeg Grenadiers (Militia), and is seen here in that uniform. He enlisted with the new 78th Battalion of the 3rd Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) on 3rd August 1915. Large numbers of the Grenadiers were absorbed into the CEF when the new battalion was formed.

Four North Hill men - Leonard, his brother Sydney, Henry Foott, and Sydney Doney - joined the CEF in Winnipeg. They were photographed together in Canada. This photo was taken in Winnipeg, probably in the winter of 1915/1916. Leonard is wearing the cap badge of the Canadian Expeditionary Force. The others are wearing the cap badge of the Canadian Army Field Regiment.

On 4th March 1916 Leonard transferred to the artillery. His battalion arrived in France on 12th August 1916, becoming part of the 4th Canadian Division, 12th Canadian Infantry Brigade. The 3rd CEF took part in many of the actions on the Somme battlefield. In October they moved to the Arras area. It is possible that it was during this period that Leonard contracted pneumonia. This low-lying area is well known for its damp and foggy conditions; these may have exacerbated the poor health of some soldiers. Ammunition columns had to be dragged through appalling road conditions, as can be seen here, in the bitter weather of this period and it is easy to see that this could be a breaker of health, quite apart from the danger of shellfire.

As a driver in the artillery, Leonard would have been responsible for two horses and their harness. This role would have attracted men who had previous experience of horses, which Leonard would probably have acquired from his time on the farm at home. Drivers could also be called upon to act as gunners when required.

All the Canadian forces had satellite UK 'home' depots, obviating the need to take a long trip home for leave or short term hospital treatment. In Leonard's case he had two homes, one in Berrio in North Hill and the other in Winnipeg, Canada. Towards the end of 1916 he contracted pneumonia whilst on active duty in France with the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) and was sent to an English hospital where he sufficiently recovered to return to his home in Berrio. A chill, accelerated by bronchitis and asthma, caused the return of the pneumonia from which he died, aged 27, on 23rd February 1917.

The newspaper report of Leonard's funeral:


The death of Driver Leonard Bartlett, Canadian Artillery, occurred at his home, Berrio, North Hill, on Thursday, last week. He was the third son of Mr and Mrs J C Bartlett and previous to the outbreak of war had resided in Canada for five years. Volunteering for the forces as soon as war commenced he joined the Canadian Field Artillery, came to England, and, after completing his training, he was sent to France. Towards the end he contracted pneumonia and was sent to an English hospital where he sufficiently recovered to return to his home about three weeks ago. A chill, accelerated by bronchitis and asthma, caused the return of the pneumonia to which he succumbed, at the age of 27, after a few days' illness.

The funeral took place, amid manifest tokens of sympathy at North Hill Parish Church on Monday, the Rector officiating. The circumstances were all the more sad on account of the illness of his mother, who was prevented from attending the funeral, and also the recent accident to Mr Bartlett, his father.

The mourners were: Mr J C Bartlett (father), Mrs Braund, Misses E and P Bartlett (sisters), Messrs G and R Bartlett (brothers), Pte Braund, RE (brother-in-law), Mr and Mrs W H Halls (uncle and aunt), Mrs Turner (aunt) Mr R Halls (cousin), Miss F Doney and Mr D Gilbert. The bearers - young men of the district - were: Messrs W Palmer jun, W Dingle, N Coad, J Colwill, G Knight, A Jewell. Among the numerous sympathisers present were: Messrs R Harris, Babb, Abbott, Adams, Bennett, Caunter, Lawry, Gribble, Lawrence, Kent Jasper, Wadge, Cole, Budge (Kingbear), Hoare, Knight, Doidge, Landrey, Lee, Downing (Coad's Green), Fuge, J Landrey, Colmer, Hart, G G Davey, C Jones, H Jones, H Stephens, D Cornish, Vincent, H Nicholls, J Budge, Pearn, Billings, S Williams, Hooper, Budge, J H Mitchell, P Reed and many others, including a large concourse of ladies. There were many beautiful floral tributes, including a harp with a broken string from father, mother, brothers and sisters; from uncle, auntie and Richard; from granny and auntie Ellen; from Florence; from all at West Berrio; from Mrs Steed and Elsie; from Mrs Snell, Gracie and Mrs Cottle; from D Gilbert and Lce-Corpl Atkins; from Mr, Mrs and Ruth Knight.

Leonard is remembered on the North Hill War Memorial, the Roll of Honour in St Torney's Church and in the Canadian Book of Remembrance.

He is buried in St Torney's churchyard and his gravestone bears this inscription which was placed there by his father, mother, sisters and brothers.

The pictures on this page have been supplied by Roy Brawn who contacted us to help with our War Memorial project.

The images at the top of the page show (L-R): Leonard Bartlett; recruitment poster for the CEF; The flag of the Dominion of Canada; British War Medal (WW1), issued to Canadian Forces