Medals to Musicians, Bandsmen & Bandmasters
Horace John BARTRAM

What attracted me to Bandmaster Bartram's pair of medals was not only the fact that they are
both named to him as a Band Sergt & Bandmaster – very very seldom does one see campaign
medals awarded to Bandsmen due to the fact that normally when a Reg't went into active service
their band did not attend with them, or if they did attend, not as bandsmen.

But what really attracted me was the fact that Bartram was a Bandmaster during that golden pre
WWI age of Military Bands.  The fact that Bartram became a Bandmaster attests to the fact that
he knew what he was doing, was able to do it well,  & had to be an exceptional musician - just to
be selected for bandmaster training in those days was the pinnacle of effort for a bandsman.  The
Military bands in the pre radio, pre silver screen, pre war period, were probably the finest in the
British Empire.  They were staffed by excellent musicians that were not only exceptional
performers on their major instruments, but were quite versatile and able to perform quite well on
other instruments or as vocalists as well.  Many had learned & honed their musical skills in
vaudeville, the theatre, & music halls prior to entering the Army or Navy bands.

Then of course, in those pre war days the Military band repertoire consisted of the orchestral
standards & favouritesof the day - operatic airs, intermezzos, overtures, arias, waltzes, suites  of
all sorts, as well as the popular music (music hall music) of the day.  Anyone who knows the music
of this period will appreciate the fact that the instrumental parts for some of this music is quite
challenging & in some cases requires virtuoso playing. I know - I have tried to play some of those
old pieces & have tried some of them with bands I have conducted in the past!  The music of that
era was a challenge to a competent player!  To those musicians, bandsman & bandmasters of
those days long gone, I salute with great respect!!!

So here is Bandmaster Bartram's story, or what I know of it......

Bandmaster Horace John BARTRAM Highland Light Infantry
Born Newport Monmouth, 21  Apl, 1872, entered the 2nd Batt'n  Duke of Cornwall's Lt. Inf'y at
Devonport  on 21 Aug 1886, as a Band Boy aged 14 yrs 4 months.  At that time he was only 4' 7"
with Brown eyes & hair & a dark complexion. He   was awarded a 2nd class Education certificate on 13
Dec '86, & was awarded 1 pence diem Good Conduct pay from 21 Aug '88. Musician

Bartram subsequently attended Kneller Hall (Army School of Music at Twickenham) from 4 Dec '89 &
was posted with his Regt to Dublin in Dec '91.

He was promoted to Musician on 6 Mar '92, & Lance Corporal on 1 Dec '92 & raised to 2 pence per
diem Good Conduct pay.  He was awarded a First Class Education certificate on 22 May '93, & was
promoted to Band Sergeant on 11 July '97. He re-engaged "to complete 21 years with the colours"
on 18 Apl '98. His Regt served on Home Service until being posted to South Africa for the Boer War
on 5 Nov '99. The Reg't was transported to S.A. on "SS Formosa". He served in So. Africa for 202
days.  In April of '00 he entered hospital at Norval's Point & subsequently at Newpoort & Wynburg for
4 weeks to undergo treatment for enteric fever. He was subsequently posted home on 26 May '00.

During his Home service he married Elsie Emma Sullivan on 29 Sep '02 at Aldershot.

He was selected to attend the Bandmaster course at Kneller Hall, graduating on 27 Nov '02 & being
warranted as Bandmaster (WO1) that day.  He was posted as Bandmaster to the Highland Light
Infantry on 6 Dec '02. He went with the 1st Batt'n H.L.I. when the Regt was posted for duty to Egypt
on 1 Feb '03 & was "granted Service Pay 1st class" as of that date.

Concerning his Band & concerts whilst the HLI Band was stationed in Egypt, the "Orchestral Times"
gives the following:

Jan '04 - The old saying that 'music hath charms' was fully borne out on Monday 7th Dec '03, for at
the opening of the New Lawn Tennis courts at Khartoum by Lady Wingate, when a choice programme
of music was rendered by the Band of the 1st Highland Light Infantry, under the conductorship of Mr.
H.J. Bartram , the Bandmaster.  The music was highly appreciated by the
numerous guests and government officials, but not more so by them than a large crowd of
Soudanese Arabs who collected at a respectful distance and listened to the music with marked
attention. None of them were seen to move or speak while the Band was playing.

No date  - "At a recent concert given by the Band of the 1st Highland Light Infantry, under the
conductorship of Bandmaster H.J. Bartram, our correspondent writes: a program of excellent musical
selections were performed, among the selections was heard:
Overture Capriccio Italien by Tschaikovsky, Mascagni's beautiful Intermezzo from Cavalleria Rusticana,
Overture Light Cavalry by von Suppe, Entry of the Gladiators by Fucik, selections from Bohemian
Girl,  La Gioconda,  & the valse from Coppelia by Delibes."

Sep '04 - Another Band that has attracted great attention in the Ebzekieh Gardens is that of the 1st
Highland Light Infantry, conducted by Mr. H.J. Bartram. Our correspondent writes: "It maybe
mentioned that these concerts take place weekly and Mr. Bartram has been obliged to respond to
undeniable encores on every occasion that his band has given a concert in the public gardens.  This
speaks well for his tact and discernment in choosing his programmes, for it must be remembered that
his audiences consist if representatives of almost every European nation, as well as Egyptians and
other Orientals."

The Reg't remained in Egypt until being posted to India on 24 Oct '04 via SS Sicilia. The Regt was
stationed initially at  Meerut from Nov '04, Chakrata from Apl to Oct  '05, Dianapore from Oct '05,
another city I am unable to decipher, then  Dinapore again from Nov '07.

Whilst in India Bandmaster Bartram rec'd his Army Long Service medal  1 Dec 1905.  On 11 Mar ‘07
he was "permitted to continue in service beyond 21 years" .

However this was not to be the case for Bandmaster Bartram, as on 14th Nov he suffered an
accident that nearly cost him his life. On that day he was shot in the chest with a 45 cal. Webley
revolver. The medical report does not specify exactly how the accident occurred but states that he
was "off duty" at the time of the accident, & it was not self - inflicted.

The medical report is quite detailed:

"Patient was shot with a .450 bullet from a Webley revolver. The Bullet entered 2 1/4" below & 1 ½"
to the right of the right nipple & shattered the 7th rib at that point. Right lung torn at it's lower edge
by the bullet which then apparently passed through the diaphragm into the liver. 3 operations for
drainage were performed. The right lung is now collapsed & a small quantity of sero-pus  is
discharged daily from the original wound. An attempt was made to close the chest & allow the lung to
expand, but the wound had to be re-opened for drainage. Patient is wasted, thin & weak, & could not
stand the hot weather in India." He was judged likely to have a permanent disability to be 75%
incapacitated, & was recommended: "For change to England"

A subsequent report stated: "Bullet entered the liver & appears to be in the posterior abdominal wall
internal to the Ant. Sup. spine  of the Ilium & has not been extracted. Present condition -
"Empyema,  draining through a wound about exterior axillary line where part of 8th rib was resected
on 28 Feb '08. Right lung collapsed. Requires dressing twice daily"

On 4 Mar prior to embarkation he was noted as: " Condition of chronic empyema. Bullet still in the
body near Rt A.S.S." On 5 Mar '08 he was embarked on board "H.T. Plassey" at Bombay for passage
to England.

The medical report during transit to England was reported as follows:
27 Mar '08: "Profuse suppuration from both wounds. Exfoliated portion of rib gives considerable pain
when dressing wound. Liver enlarged downwards. (Patient) takes food fairly well & is cheerful. Very
weak and anaemic." & upon discharge from ship: " Transferred to Netley (hospital). Wounds
discharging freely. Liver enlarged downwards. Very weak & anaemic."

He was upon arrival discharged to Netley Hospital & remained there for further treatment until
appearing before a P.M.O. Board where he was declared to be "found unfit for further service" &
"Discharged as an Invalid, Medically Unfit" on 21 Apl '08.  Exactly what treatment he received
whilst in hospital,  or what condition he was in when discharged from Netley hospital is not noted on
his SR.

However he was apparently quite fit for service during WWI as he enlisted in the Army Ordnance
Corps, Number 50 Company, Dover, on 1 May 1915. He entered.. " for  Home Service Only, for
promotion forthwith to the rank of Warrant Officer" He gives his address as: St Williams School in
Market, Wieghton; his age as 43 yrs 9 months {the months are incorrect - he had just turned 43},  
his occupation as Musician, & his former service as 21 years 245 days 1st Batt'n H.L.I. His height is
now 5' 9", & he is shown as being divorced from his first wife, & remarried Miss Clara May on 21 Oct
'10, with a total of three children - two (Alan Horace, born Oct '03 & Evelyn Ethel, born Oct '05) being
form his first marriage & one (Audry Joan born Sept '12) from his second.

He was attested on 1 May '15 & promoted to Warrant officer & Sub Conductor on 5 May '15. He did
not serve long in the A.O.C., being discharged on 6 Apl '16.  His cause of discharge was shown as:
"His services being no longer required as an Instructor",  & his Conduct was shown as "Exemplary", &
as a "good Musician".  I don't know exactly what he did in the A.O.C. but I would
guess that from the above notes it appears as if he was a Music instructor, perhaps for A.O.C.
Upon discharge he had completed 342 days service & gave his age as 43 years 11 months, & his
address as 43 St Lukes Rd, Maidstone.  He did not receive a BWM for WWI.

As of 1 April '19 he rec'd a pension of 45p per diem. He died in 1930.

Bandmaster Bartram's medals are named:
Here are some contemporary Photographs:

     taken circa 1906                         upon graduation from Kneller Hall in '02
2152  Band -
Sejt. H.J.

Army LS::   8100