Donald Barten











Donald Barten


On 30 December 1916, Donald applied for a temporary commission. The major commanding his battalion recommended him, saying he would make a good officer, being well educated and having suitable experience. He was interviewed for a course at cadet school, was accepted, and on 8 January 1917 was sent home to join an Officer Cadet Unit. He was appointed to a temporary commission and was sent to Gailes Camp, near Irvine, Ayrshire, Scotland for training, on 8 March.

Donald Barten in officer's uniform - 1

Donald in his officer's khaki service dress uniform. This photograph is likely to have been taken in early 1917, as the rank insignia are found on the cuffs. Later in the year, insignia took the form of 'pips' on the shoulder straps. This is the only photograph of Donald in which the cuff insignia are visible

Donald Barten in officer's uniform - 2

Donald was a very popular member of the family.

Between January and August 1917 he visited, and was photographed with, various of his relatives.

Donald Barten with Digby Barnard's children
Donald with Arthur, Dorris and Ethel, children of his cousin Digby Barnard
Donald with his sister Nellie
Donald with his sister Nellie

Each visit may have been the last time Donald saw the members of his family.
Donald Barten returned to France in August 1917, as a Second Lieutenant, joining 8th Bn Royal Fusiliers at the Depot at Etaples on 14 August. He arrived in the field on 18 August.

Between August and November 1917, the battalion had spells both at and behind the front line. When away from the front, most of the time was occupied by training.

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