CWG: Private William Bartin

Private William Bartin

William Bartin was born in the Somerset village of Montacute in the summer of 1893 and was the oldest of four children to Georgina Bartin. Georgina married George Gaylard in 1895 and, while the 1901 and 1911 censuses record William Gaylard as George’s son, later documentation suggests that George may not have been his father. George was a carter and labourer on a farm, and when he left school, William followed suit.

By the time of the 1911 census, most of the family were working – William was listed as a groom and gardener, while his mother and the oldest of his three sisters were employed as seamstresses.

Little specific information remains of William’s military career. He enlisted as a Private in the Somerset Light Infantry under his mother’s maiden name (and his birth name), Bartin. A local newspaper after he passed provides some information:

[He] enlisted in 1914, was badly wounded and for seven months was treated in the Bethnal Green Hospital, and then sent to the Southern General Hospital, Plymouth, where for 17 months he was treated for lung trouble. He was discharged in 1917 and has been practically ever since under treatment by the Ministry of Pensions. Much sympathy is felt with the bereaved widow and child.

Western Chronicle: Friday 19th November 1920

There are no details of William’s wife or child, albeit that his pension record refuses payment to them as he married after being discharged from the army.

There are similarly no details about the cause of his death, although, based on the newspaper report, it seems likely to have resulted from the lung condition that dogged the last few years of his life.

Private William Bartin died on 17th November 1920, at the age of 27 years old. He was laid to rest in the graveyard of St Catherine’s Church in his home village of Montacute.

George Gaylard had passed away in July 1919, at the age of 47. The Western Chronicle noted that:

There mourners were as follows: Mrs G Gaylard (widow), Mr WC Bartin (step-son), Misses Lucy, Florence and Edith Gaylard (daughters)…

Western Chronicle: Friday 25th July 1919

It was tragic for Georgina to lose both her husband and son within 18 months; it is also sad to note that George’s father – also called George – was still alive, and outlived both his son and step-son.

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