Driver Douglas Barrett-Lennard

Service number 1879
Birth Date 1894-05-27
Birth Place Australia: Western Australia, Perth, St Leonards
Death Date 1915-07-17
Death Place Ottoman Empire: Turkey, Dardanelles, Gallipoli
Final Rank Driver
Service Australian Imperial Force
  • 3rd Australian Field Artillery Brigade
  • 3rd Australian Field Artillery Brigade
Conflict/Operation First World War, 1914-1918

Douglas Barrett-Lennard was born on 27 May 1894 at St. Leonard’s near Guildford, Western Australia. He attended Guildford Grammar School and was a member of the school cadets during his time there. Barrett-Lennard was working as a farmer when he enlisted with the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) on 23 September 1914. The 20-year-old was assigned the service number 1879 and the rank of driver and was allotted to the 3rd Field Artillery Brigade (FAB). On 31 October 1914 he embarked from Fremantle for Egypt aboard the troopship HMAT Medic.

During the troopship journey to Egypt, Barrett-Lennard took to studying for the military exam he believed lay ahead. Cognisant of his youth and inexperience, he resolved to try his hardest in any case, eager to join the action and prove himself. After arriving in Egypt, Barrett-Lennard was assigned to the 8th Battery of the 3rd FAB and spent his days in camp, training and sightseeing. While in Cairo one night he shared a dance with a young French woman, although he admitted in a letter to his mother that he spoke terrible French and was clumsy on his feet. By early May 1915, Barrett-Lennard and the 8th Battery were at Gallipoli. A letter to his mother on 13 May 1915 details that the battery was exhausted and fatigued after having been in action for ten straight days, under constant shellfire and suffering significant casualties.

Barrett-Lennard would send one last letter to his father on 17 July 1915, writing of “the big move” he and the battery were about to participate in and that he “would not miss this show for anything.” Later that day he was mortally wounded when the shield of the gun he was manning was hit by a Turkish shell. Barrett-Lennard was 21 years old. Letters from his friends and commanding officers to his parents detailed that, despite in great agony and slowly dying from his wounds, he demanded that those others wounded be treated before him. They also wrote of his bravery, courage and popularity with his fellow soldiers and commanding officers alike. Douglas Barrett-Lennard is buried at Shell Green Cemetery, Gallipoli, Turkey.



Date of birth 27 May 1894
Date of enlistment 23 September 1914
Date of embarkation 31 October 1914
Date of death 17 July 1915