Cyril Montague Bartlett

Information about birth

Date of birth:
Place of birth:
Hampstead, Middlesex, England, United Kingdom

General information


Army information

New Zealand
New Zealand Expeditionary Force
Service number:
Enlistment date:
Enlistment place:
Trentham, Wellington, New Zealand
 —  Canterbury Regiment, 3rd Bn.  (Last known unit)

Information about death

Date of death:
Place of death:
Polygon Wood, Zonnebeke, Belgium
Cause of death:
Killed in action (K.I.A.)


Buttes New British Cemetery, Polygon Wood
Plot: IX
Row: AA
Grave: 14

Distinctions and medals 2

Points of interest 3

#1 Place of birth
#2 Enlistment place
#3 Place of death (approximate)

My story

Private Cyril Montague Bartlett was a red-haired Englishman, who emigrated to New Zealand at the beginning of the 20th century. He befriended the Ham family. Their son, Private William Arthur Ham (6/246), was reputedly the first New Zealand soldier killed in the First World War (February 5th, 1915. His father, William Ham Sr., died somewhat later. Bartlett married the widow Hester Ham (née Barnwell). In September 1916 he enlisted as well.

In October 1917, after spending a month at the school of instruction, private Bartlett joined his unit in the field. The New Zealand Division was situated in the Polygon Wood area after the end of the Third Battle of Ypres. They spent quite some time on wiring, repairing crumbling trenches and improving defences. The landscape was covered with waterlogged shell holes. The right of the New Zealand position was enfiladed from Polderhoek and a decision was made to capture the spur on which the ruins of Polderhoek Chateau and German pillboxes were situated.

After the unsuccessful attack on Polderhoek on 3 December, the various battalions took turns in the front lines and in reserve. On the night of 15/16th December, the 4th Brigade relieved the 2nd Brigade at the front lines. It is probable that private Bartlett died during this relief. He was buried at J.10.a.60.80., where the Buttes New British Cemetery, Polygon Wood is now situated. He has a special memorial grave, as he is one of the 35 casualties to be known or believed to be buried among the cemetery.

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