Bartley John

Name of Researcher / Enw’r ymchwylydd: Keith Redfern Humphreys

Name / Enw: Bartley John

Regiment/Catrawd: South Wales Borderers, (“A” Coy. 4th Bn.)/ Cyffinwyr De Cymru

Service Rank and Number / Rheng gwasanaeth a rhif: Private 33639 / Preifat 33639

Military Cemetery/Memorial / Fynwent milwrol: Basra Memorial / Basra Memorial/Cofeb Basra

Ref No Grave or Memorial / Rhif cyfeirnod bedd: Panel 16 & 62 Grave unknown / nid yw ei fedd yn hysbys

Country of Cemetery or Memorial / Gwlad y fynwent neu gofeb: Iraq/Irac

Medals Awarded / Medalau a ddyfarnwyd: British War Medal & Victory Medal / Medal Rhyfel Prydeinig a Medal Buddugoliaeth

Date and Circumstances of Death / Dyddiad ac amgylchiadau marwolaeth:

John died 16th November, 1917, at the age of 23.

He had joined the South Wales Borderers as an infantry soldier in May 1916 and joined his battalion later that year. He was deployed to Mesopotamia where the British and Indian armies were fighting the Turkish army. Although they achieved initial success the fortunes of the British were to change as the Turkish army was reinforced by some 30,000 extra troops. The British and Indian armies struggled and ultimately surrendered at Kut-al-Amara on 30th April, 1917. It would seem that John was one of the 11,800 prisoners who left Kut-al-Amara with their captors on 6 May 1917. However, 4,250 died either on their way to captivity or in the camps that awaited them at the journey’s end. Kut-al-Amara was eventually retaken by the British but during the four years of fighting in the region, more than 31,000 men from the British and Indian armies had died in combat or from disease. John died 16th November, 1917, at the age of 23 and it seems he was initially buried at Surdgi How Hospital Cemetry, Turkey, but today his name is recorded at the memorial in Basra that commemorates more than 40,500 members of the Commonwealth forces who died in the operations in Mesopotamia from the Autumn of 1914 to 1921 and whose graves are not known.

Bu farw John 16eg Tachwedd, 1917, 23 mlwydd oed.

Ymunodd John â’r Cyffinwyr De Cymru yn filwr traed ym Mis Mai 1916. Ymunodd â’r bataliwn nes ymlaen a gafodd ei yrru i Mesoptamia lle yr oedd byddinoedd Prydain ac India yn brwydro yn erbyn y fyddin Twrci. Er iddyn nhw ennill rhai llwyddiant i ddechrau, byddai eu ffawd yn newid cyn bo hir oherwydd bod cynnydd mawr o 30,000 filwyr Twrciaid oeddent yn eu hwynebu. Roedd byddinoedd Prydain ac India yn stryglo yn erbyn cryfder y Twrciaid ag ildiwyd yn Kut-al-Amara 30ain Ebrill, 1917. Byddai’n ymddangos mai un o 11,800 o garcharorion oedd John a adawodd yno efo eu garcharwyr 6ed Mai 1917. Ar y ffordd o fano bu farw 4,250 naill ai ar eu ffordd i gaethiwed neu yn y gwersylloedd yn eu aros ynddyn ar ddiwedd y daith. Mi gafodd Kut-al-Amara ei ailsefyll yn y pen draw gan y milwyr Prydeinig ond yn ystod y pedair blynedd o ymladd yn y rhanbarth, bu farw mwy na 31,000 o ddynion o fyddinoedd Prydain ac India gan eu ymladd neu o glefyd. Bu farw John 16eg Tachwedd, 1917, a 23 oed ac mae’n ymddangos a gafodd John ei gladdu yn gyntaf yn Ysbyty Fynwent Surdgi How,Twrci, ond erbyn hyn, mae ei enw yn cael ei gofnodi ar y gofeb yn Basra. A mae’r gofeb yma yn coffáu mwy na 40,500 o aelodau o’r lluoedd y Gymanwlad a fu farw yn y gweithrediadau yn Mesopotamia rhwng hydref 1914 a 1921 ac nid yw eu beddau yn hysbys.

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John was born in Cilcain in 1893 and at the time of the 1901 census at the age of seven he was living with his father John and his mother Fanny at a house in Pentre, Cilcain. He had three younger siblings Thomas, Edith and Elizabeth. His father was described as a labourer and all spoke Welsh.

At the time of the 1911 census the family had increased following the birth of Jennie, Herbert and Andrew. By now John was aged 17 and living with his uncle and his family in Lincolnshire. His uncle was a butcher and it seems that John may have worked for his uncle Andrew Davies in the shop. The Pentre area of Cilcain lies at the edge of the village and members of the Bartley family still live in the village today.

Ganwyd John yng Nghilcain yn 1893 ac ar adeg y cyrfrifiad 1901 pan oedd yn 7 oed, roedd o’n byw efo ei dad John a’i fam Fanny mewn tŷ ym Mentre, Cilcain. Roedd tri phlentyn iau hefyd sef Thomas, Edith ag Elizabeth. Roedd ei dad yn gweithio fel llafurwr ac roedd pawb yn siarad Cymraeg.

Ar adeg cyfrifiad 1911 roedd y teulu wedi cynyddu yn dilyn genedigaeth Jennie, Herbert ac Andrew. Erbyn hyn roedd John yn 17 oed ac yn byw efo ei ewythr a’i deulu yn swydd Lincoln. Cigydd oedd ei ewythr ac mae’n ymddangos bod John yn gweithio iddo fo yn y siop. Mae ardal Pentre Cilcain ar ochr y pentre ar fford Loggerheads ac mae aelodau’r teulu Bartley yn dal i fyw yn y pentre heddiw.

John Bartley in uniform as a soldier of the South Wales Borderers

John Bartley in uniform as a soldier of the South Wales Borderers

 

John Bartley seated far left with his family in Cilcain before the war

John Bartley seated far left with his family in Cilcain before the war

 

Many thanks to Ralph and Mary Bartley for providing the photos

Diolch yn fawr i Ralph a Mary Bartley am ddarparu’r lluniau