As we commemorate Anzac Day – I’m sharing some local stories to recognise and remember those who sacrificed so much, so we can enjoy what we have today.
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Nathaniel ‘Nat’ Barton was born at Wellington in 1894, the third son of Charles and Annie Barton. He spent most of his life growing up on their property, Nanima, close to Wellington, which his parents had bought in the same year he was born.
Although thirty years younger, Nat was a cousin of Andrew Barton ‘Banjo’ Paterson.
He attended Wellington Public School, and then boarded at The King’s School at Parramatta, where he became Head boy and a Sergeant in the Cadets.
He was in his first year of medical studies at Sydney University when the First World War broke out.
After volunteering for the Australian Imperial Force he arrived in Egypt, and then joined the fighting at Gallipoli in May 1915 with the 7th Light Horse Regiment, when he was promoted to Lieutenant.
He was recommended for an award following the Battle of Lone Pine, and was promoted to Captain in October 1915.
He was recommended for more awards and was promoted to Major in September 1916.
Nat was wounded a couple of times – at Gallipoli in 1915, requiring evacuation to Egypt – and again in 1918 at Amman, which resulted in him being sent home to rehabiliate.
Two of Nat’s brothers, Denis and Brian also served in the Light Horse…Denis was injured during the campaign and returned home in 1919, while Brian was sadly killed in action in December 1917.
Nat completed his studies in medicine and began working in Parkes as a Doctor.
He was the commanding officer of the militia 6th Light Horse Regiment at the outbreak of the Second World War.
In November 1940 he was commissioned into the Second Australian Imperial Force and appointed commanding officer of the new Field Ambulance as Lieutenant Colonel.
In 1944 he became the commanding officer of the Australian General Hospital at Adelaide.
Nat was awarded a Commander of the Order of the British Empire for his distinguished service to the war effort in New Guinea…other medals he received during his service include: the Australia service medal, the defence medal, the pacific star, the victory medal, and the British war medal.
After the war, Nat returned to Australia and settled in Wellington, where he established a successful private medical practice.
Sadly a widower from 1969, Nat died aged 91 years in 1985, and is buried in Wellington Cemetery.
Commemorating those who served, and remembering those who died.
Lest we forget.