We often hear how young men lied about their age making themselves older so they are eligible to enlist in World War One and "do their bit". However, there were also those who made themselves younger, such as Trooper Bartrop.
Trooper Bartrop enlisted on the the 14 August 1914. He had been employed as a farmer for J.C. Roolleston of Te Kuiti. Originally born in Australia his father was Major George Frederick Bartrop and his brother Arthur Leigh La Baste Bartrop served in the Boer War leaving with the First New Zealand Contingent, he later went on to serve in the Intelligence Service in South Africa. With such military family connections Bartrop no doubt felt a strong sense of duty to enlist. He embarked with the Main Body on the 16 October 1914 attached to the Auckland Mounted Rifles and was posted to his unit on 28 July 1915. His war however was to be short lived and on the 8 August 1915 at Chunuk Bair, like many on that day, he was reported missing. Eventually a board of inquiry held at Sarpi Camp on Lemnos on 31 October 1915 reported him "Reasonable to suppose dead" . Trooper Bartrop is remembered on the Chunuk Bair memorial. He has no known grave.
I found an newspaper report in The Age, Melbourne which gave an account of Trooper Bartrop's death.
...died "a gallant soldier's death"... when all the officers of his company had been put out of action L. Bartrop gathered the men together and led a final charge and was shot on the top of a Turk parapet.
As I mentioned at the beginning Trooper Bartrop had given his age as 35 years when enlisting, however according to the Cenotaph database and the Commonwealth Graves Commission database he was actually 41 years old when he died making him too old to enlist in 1914.
Surely Trooper Bartrop was again one of many unknown heroes of the Great War.
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