Isaac Reay Britt
June 16, 2015
BRITT, Isaac Reay- – – – – SPC ?
DoB:– – 1892, Castlemaine, VIC
Father:– – Edmund Francis Britt, Park Road Maryborough, VIC
Mother:- – Mary Agnes, nee Reay
The College could find no record of the dates of his attendance at St Patrick’s. However, the biographical details provided by his mother for the Roll of Honour of Australia in the Memorial War Museum state that his school was St Patrick’s College, Ballarat.
Isaac Reay Britt was no known relation to Thomas Charles Herbert Britt (SPC ?) who also enlisted and was killed in action.
Service No:– 801
Rank:- – Private
Unit:– – 1st Battalion
Isaac Britt enlisted on 30 August 1914 at the age of 22. He stated his occupation as miner.
Private Britt embarked for active service overseas, arriving at the Gallipoli Peninsula on 2 May 1915. After the fighting that ensued, he was declared -‘Missing in Action’, but this was later amended to -‘Killed in Action’, after the proceedings of a Court of Enquiry.
PROCEEDINGS of a – COURT OF ENQUIRY
– assembled at – – TEL-EL-KEBIR
– on the 11th February 1916
– by order of- Officer commanding 1st Battalion AIF
– for the purpose of recording an opinion as to the whereabouts of NCOs and men marked -‘Missing’ on the Battalion Rolls.
The COURT having assembled pursuant to order, proceed to examine the Battalion and Company Records and such witnesses as were found that could give any information. The Court ascertained that except in a few instances no further information could be obtained other than that already given. The Court considered it reasonable to suppose that those who were marked -‘MISSING’ during the landing on the 25th April and the immediate operations following, have been KILLED IN ACTION and have recorded the opinion accordingly.
As regards those MISSING during the action of LONE PINE the Court thinks that there is little possibility of any of those men being alive yet it considers insufficient time has elapsed for a definite opinion to be recorded, especially as private information was received in one instance of one of those missing being a prisoner in Constantinople.’
Private Britt’s personal effects, a letter, brush, and cigarette case were returned to his mother.
In completing the form for the Roll of Honour of Australia in the Memorial War Museum, his mother noted that Isaac was:
-‘-¦ beloved by his Officers and men and comrades [illeg] for early promotion [illeg] by General Birdwood who considered he had lost his young life through his fearless bravery.
He was the nephew of Colonel V? F? Reay OBE, cousin to Sister Reay RLC?, also with Sapper Geo Mather MM.’
In July 1920 a newspaper report announced -‘the curious discovery’ of a cemetery constructed by the Turks during the earliest days on Gallipoli.
-‘It consisted of wholly unsuspected graves of Anzacs and a few British Navy men. The cemetery is 300 yards to the east of Lone Pine and overlooks Legge’s Valley. It was first located during Captain CEW Bean’s last Gallipoli tour, and hitherto had been regarded as purely a Turkish cemetery, as it was far beyond the Anzac lines -¦
The cemetery contains 50 bodies of the Anzac’s bravest men, who evidently participated in the most forward fighting immediately after the landing. The discs found in the graves enabled identification to be made in almost every case, and the discovery shows the fate of men who were hitherto regarded as missing’.
This newspaper clipping was sent by Mrs Mary Britt to the Army Base Records in an effort to suggest that her son’s body might have been one of those discovered. Sadly, there was no confirmation that this was the case.
Private Isaac Reay Britt is remembered at Baby 700 Cemetery, Anzac, on the Gallipoli Peninsula.