The AIF Project

Rossitter Alfred BARRETT

Regimental number3031
Place of birthRozelle, Sydney, New South Wales
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationCompositor
Address'Rawine', William Street, Annandale, Sydney, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation19
Height5' 7.75"
Weight126 lbs
Next of kinFather, G Barrett, 'Rawine', William Street, Annandale, Sydney, New South Wales
Previous military serviceServed in the Compulsory Military Training scheme (Area 31).
Enlistment date12 August 1915
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll12 August 1915
Place of enlistmentHolsworthy, New South Wales
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name19th Battalion, 7th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/36/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A29 Suevic on 20 December 1915
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll55th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 20 July 1916
Place of death or woundingFromelles, France
Date of death20 July 1916
Age at death19
Age at death from cemetery records19
Place of burialFromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery (Plot I, Row F, Grave No 10), France
Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
160
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: George and Margaret BARRETT, 'Rawene', William Street, Annandale, New South Wales
Family/military connectionsBrother-in-law: 3086 Corporal Sydney EADS, 55th Bn, returned to Australia, 18 January 1919.
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Allotted to and proceeded to 55th Bn from 5th Training Bn, Zeitoun, 16 February 1916; joined 55th Bn, Tel el Kebir, 16 February 1916.

Found guilty, 22 March 1916, of failing to comply with an order of an NCO: awarded 7 days' confined to camp.

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 19 June 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 29 June 1916.

Reported missing, 20 July 1916.

Identity disc and pay book forward through Berne to Foreign Office, 27 September 1916. Previously reported missing, now to be reported killed in action, 20 July 1916, on the authority of the Assistant Adjutant General, ANZAC Section, 3rd Echelon, General Headquarters, British Expeditionary Force, 24 November 1916.

In a letter to Base Records, 18 June 1919, Mrs G. Barrett, Pte Barrett's mother, stated, 'I had a son missing in July the 19th. 1916, he was last seen getting over the parapet into the German lines and was seen no more'.

Translation of undated German report, 'Identity disc was handed over by Intelligence Officer with 6th Army Head Qrs. 17/8/16. Herewith is confirmed Death Card, Ref.111, according to which the Australian Prisoner of War R.A. Barrett, pte. [sic], Iden: disc 3031, 55th Btn., C or E., has died.'

On 20 October 1923, Mr George Walters, late 3rd Pioneers, wrote to Base Records on behalf of Private Barrett's mother and asked, 'if it is possible for you to procure for her a photograph of her sons (sic) grave in France. The late Pte Barrett was killed on July 19th 1916 in the Fleur Baix stunt and from information we have received, he was buried by the Germans near Fromelles; the name of the place given us is Boukham, but if my memory is correct the only place with a name like that in that sector is Beaucamps near Haubourdin.'

In a reply to this letter from Base Records on 20 October 1923, it was noted, 'in the absence of any official advice of registration it must be reluctantly concluded that success has not attended the efforts of the search parties, despite their earnest endeavours to recover and identify his [Pte Barrett] remains'.

Note on Red Cross File No 250605: Identity disc was handed in by [Central] Enquiry Officer [for War Losses & Graves] at Army Corps 6, on 17/8/16.'

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal

Originally listed as 'No Known Grave' and commemorated at V.C. Corner (Panel No 11), Australian Cemetery, Fromelles; subsequently (2010) identified, and interred in the Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery, France.
SourcesNAA: B2455, BARRETT Rossitter Alfred
Red Cross File No 250605

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