Bartlett family

Florence Emily Fortune Bartlett was a nurse during World War I, working with the American Red Cross, and Y.M.C.A. based in Plymouth, Devon, England.

She lost her husband, Thomas in 1920 during the flu epidemic. The couple's son Allan also died of flu in 1926.

In her obituary, a Telegram staffer recalled an incident “typical of her staunchness”. Upon receiving news that her son Ernest had been lost at sea, she : 

sat for a minute, looking straight at the person who had told her.Then she spoke.  “Don’t you think we should have a cup of tea?”
A month later a report came to the Telegram that miraculously, Lt. Cmdr. E.H. Bartlett RCNVR had survived a ship sinking and was a prisoner of war. The same staff member took this happy news to his mother.
Mrs. Bartlett listened to it, sat still for a minute, then spoke without tear or tremble.
“Let’s have a cup of tea,” she said.

Ernest Henry Bartlett enrolled in the navy in England in the 1920s but influenza kept him from serving. Once in Canada he found work on a Great Lakes freighter before illness forced him to resign. He eventually found work as a journalist with the Toronto Telegram from 1924 to 1969, where he was the local expert on naval issues.  He became the paper’s travel editor in 1962.

Ernest enlisted as a public relations officer and war correspondent with the Canadian navy in WWII.  He filed news reports on the war effort in the Pacific and Atlantic.

On 14 August 1943, the motor torpedo boat that Bartlett was aboard was shelled in the Straits of Messina between Sicily and Calabria. He and his shipmates were captured and sent to a German POW camp in Marlag und Milag Nord. The camp was liberated 2 May 1946.

Jack Fortune Bartlett was also a war correspondent with the Toronto Telegram and the Galt Reporter in Cambridge, ON. During the war, he served with the Highland Light Infantry and was wounded in Holland. He later wrote a history of the Highland Light Infantry.

This is a letter he received from an admirer named Vera.


Richard Lear Bartlett served overseas in the 14th Canadian Army Tank Regiment.

← Previous Page Next Page →