Joseph Barnett

First Name: 
Joseph
Last Name: 
Barnett
Date of Birth: 
Tuesday, October 21, 1884
Mother's Name: 
Bridgett Barnett nee Murphy
Father's Name: 
James Barnett
Date Enlisted: 
Saturday, September 11, 1915
Rank at Enlistment: 
Private
Rank at Discharge: 
Private
Unit: 
54th Battalion
Company: 
B
Service: 
Infantry
Awards: 
British War Medal
Victory Medal
Details: 

Joseph Barnett (Service No 4732) was born in Wigan, England and arrived in Australia with his parents on 23rd January 1887.  He was the first of two brothers to enlist.

At enlistment Joseph was single, 31 years old, worked as a miner and lived in Helensburgh, N.S.W.

He embarked from Sydney on HMAT A15 Star of England with 2nd Battalion, 15th Reinforcements on 8th March 1916.  After arriving in Egypt he was transferred to  54th Battalion, B Company.

Joseph arrived in France on 29th June 1916.  B Company, 54th Battalion was one of the attacking units at Fromelles and while initially successful they were soon overwhelmed and Joseph was taken prisoner.  He was listed as missing after the battle but it was later established that he had been taken prisoner.

Joseph spent the rest of the war in Germany and Holland.

He arrived back in England on 14th December 1918.

A letter from Joseph to his parents was printed in the South Coast Times on 28th February 1919. In it Joseph describes how, after the Armistice, the Germans kept him working and with other prisoners-of-war, Joseph just walked away and made their way to England on foot. He also talks of trying to meet his brother James who was also a prisoner.

He was returned to Australia in February 1919 and discharged on 19th May 1919.

Joseph died at Leichhardt, N.S.W. in 1943.

Joseph's brother James also served.

Sources: 
NAA: B2455, BARNETT J

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