The Bartram Boys: lost during 1917
With the continual heavy battles and the entire AIF involved, 1917 was the worst year of the war for Australian casualties. It is not surprising therefore to find numerous relatives or even sets of brothers all killed in a relatively short period. A few come quickly to mind; the Howell-Price brothers, the Hobbs brothers, the Seabrooks and the Single family boys.
As I've been trawling through The Reveille, a New South Wales veterans' journal that began in 1927, I'm always drawn to the sections titled 'Family Quotas' where they list families that lost several members during the war. It never ceases to amaze me how many families suffered multiple and compounding bereavements.
In the July 1930 edition I came across another case, the Bartram family of Richmond Victoria. Four brothers served in the AIF and three were killed, all in 1917.
- Private Arnold Roy Bartram (60th Infantry Battalion)
- Sergeant Raymond Everard Bartram (46th Infantry Battalion)
- Lance Corporal Reginald Percy Bartram (37th Infantry Battlion)
The sons of George and Isabella Bartram, Arnold was just 22 when he died of wounds at Second Bullecourt on 13 May 1917. Raymond was 23 when he was killed in action at Messines Ridge on 7 June 1917. Reginald, by far the eldest was almost 37 years old when he was killed on the Broodseinde Ridge between Ypres and Passchendaele on 4 October 1917.
There was however a fourth brother, Cyril the second eldest, who served with 58th Battalion. Due to chronic illness including influenza, Cyril was sent home in mid 1917 as medically unfit.