June Plunkett about her Great Uncle Bartholomew Plunkett (Bartle)

Bartholomew Plunkett
Bartle’s Grave in Roeselare | Photo: June Plunkett

Bartholomew Plunkett (Bartle) was born on 24 November 1885 in Clonsilla, Dublin. He had three older brothers and seven sisters. His brother George was my grandfather and was five years older than him. I only learnt of Bartle when I became interested in starting a family tree. The 1901 and 1911 census had come online and I learnt about my grandfather's family. My father died in 2002, so I could not ask him, if he knew anything about his uncle Bartle. I wouldn’t be surprised, if he didn’t know of him as I’m sure he would have told us all about having an uncle who fought in the war.

I discovered Bartle had died in the war, when I could find him living at home in Clonsilla in 1901, but could find no trace of him in the 1911 census. On a whim I decided to check the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website and I found him. It said he had died on 22 June 1915. On doing a bit more research I found his medal card and came across the beautiful memorial books that had the wonderful illustrations by Harry Clarke on them, which said that he had been a prisoner of war when he died from wounds. I was surprised how emotional I got when I discovered this and I made up my mind then and there to travel to Belgium to visit his grave in Roeselare. I brought my sister with me, and when we got to the grave the both of us were extremely sad as we realised it was probably the first time a relation of Bartle had visited his grave. He was 29 years of age when he died.

I have since found Bartle on the 1911 census for England. He is down as on a vessel bound for Ceylon and India, so I can only imagine the horrors he must have come across there before he was transferred to the western front three years later.

I have enclosed a picture of his grave and medal card.
Thank you so much,
June Plunkett

Bartholomew Plunkett (Bartle), Medallienkarte Bartle's Medal Card
"Index cards created by the Army Medal Office towards the end of the First World War. They record the medals that men and women who served in the First World War were entitled to claim. […] Most of the cards contain information about campaign medals, which were generally awarded to all those who served overseas. However, some of the cards record entitlement to gallantry and long service awards." (http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk)