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Regimental Museum (Brecon)

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The Men Who Died



Arthur was born in 1893 and baptised on Palm Sunday, June 4th, son of Thomas James Barratt and his wife Mary Anne.  His father was a butcher and the family lived at 21, The Struet, Brecon. Mary Anne died a few months after Arthur's birth, her fourth child.

In 1901 Arthur is living with his maternal Grandparents at Coed Farm, Llandefaelog Fach, whilst his father and the rest of the family were living at St David Street, Brecon with their maternal Aunt, Sarah Waters, with Thomas now a milk vendor.

By the time he is 19, Arthur is living and working in Abercynon, as an assistant draper in Thomas George's Emporium, but by 1914 he has decided to emigrate to Australia and travels from London (Tilbury), to Melbourne in October of that year. He is listed as a farm student on the passenger list on the ship Indrapura.

In 1915 he is living in Melbourne with his Uncle Edwin and working as a book-keeper. He enlists in the army in May 1915 and later that Summer he leaves Australia, probably for Gallipoli, before arriving in France in March 1916. The battalion moved to the Western Front, occupying the forward positions around Armentieres in northern France on 10 April 1916. In mid-July, the battalion was transferred to the Somme where they subsequently took part in the battles of Pozieres and Mouquet Farm, during which they suffered almost 90 per cent casualties. Arthur is initially listed as missing before finally being confirmed as killed in action.

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The memorial plaque in the Brecon Cathedral lists an address for Arthur and one of his brothers as The Griffin, in The Struet. It is here that his father was living at the time, having moved from St David Street, via 12, The Postern.

It is from this address that Arthur's father Thomas writes for news of his son in March 1918, having not heard anything since he went missing in July 1916. He receives his reply a few days later, confirming, via witness accounts, the death of his son. Arthur had apparently joined the machine gun section and soon after going over the top at Pozieres at 00.30am, he was hit by a shell and his body was never recovered.

Private Arthur Waters Barrett

Australian Infantry AIF 23rd Battalion, service no. 1668

Killed in action at Pozieres, Somme, France 29th July, 1916

aged 24

Commemorated on the Villers-Bretonneux Memorial,

Somme, Picardie, France