When David Barty of Newport Victoria enlisted, he was 37 years old and a father of three boys – Alex, Melville and Keith. This small group of postcards span from the time he sailed on HMAT A72 ‘Beltana’ in November 1915 to his return in May 1919. Written mostly to his boys, there is always a directive to give ‘mum’ (his wife Florence) a kiss. With the limited space on the back of a single card not much can be said, but no doubt there was a sense of excitement as each card arrived in the letter box of their single front home in Newport.
David enlisted into the 30th Battalion and was promoted to sergeant before leaving Australia, but on arriving in Egypt he was transferred to the 5th Pioneer Battalion as part of the whole re-building of the 1st AIF post-Gallipoli. In mid-1916 his unit arrived in France and David remained with them serving as Regimental Quarter-Master and returning to Australia as a Warrant Officer Class One.