Letts, Bertram Chiene

Letts, Bertram Chiene (Bertram)

Lieutenant

13th Casualty Clearing Station, Royal Army Medical Corps

Died of disease on Thursday 21 October 1915 (aged 31)

Buried:

Alexandria (Chatby) Military and War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt (Grave Q 534)

Commemorated:

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) War Memorial

Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) Book of Remembrance

Journey of Remembering Belfast Book of Honour

BIOGRAPHY

Bertram Chiene Letts (known as Bertram) was born on 5 July 1884 in the family home, Viewmount, Windsor Avenue, Belfast and he was the only child of Dr Edmund Albert Letts and Nancy (Annie) Elizabeth Letts (nee Gilmore) who were married on 25 September 1883 in Carrickfergus Church of Ireland Church.

Edmund Albert Letts (aged 31), who was born in Kent, was Professor of Chemistry at Queen’s College, later Queen’s University, Belfast and he was a son of Thomas Letts, a gentleman.  Annie Elizabeth Gilmore (aged 21) from Castle Rocklands, Carrickfergus was a daughter of Andrew Gilmore, a gentleman.  The groom’s and bride’s fathers were both deceased.

The Letts family lived in Viewmount, Windsor Avenue, Belfast and later in Shirley Lodge, Cultra, Co Down.

Bertram Chiene Letts attended Rossall Preparatory School, Fleetwood, Lancashire and Fettes College, Edinburgh before returning home to Cultra.  Bertram Letts studied medicine at Queen’s University from 12 November 1908 until 1913 when he obtained Medicinae Baccalaureus (MB, Bachelor of Medicine); Bachelor of Chemistry (BCh) and Bachelor of Obstetrics (BAO) qualifications.  He was appointed Junior House Surgeon at the Infirmary, Warrington.

Bertram Chiene Letts and Kathleen Mabel Whitlet, daughter of the late Lord Provost Whitlet of 9 Comely Bank, Perth, were married on 3 August 1915.

On 11 August 1915, Bertram Chiene Letts was gazetted Lieutenant in the Royal Army Medical Corps and was posted to the 13th Casualty Clearing Station where he contracted dysentery and died in Alexandria on 21 October 1915.

Lieutenant Bertram Chiene Letts was 31 when he died and he was buried in Alexandria (Chatby) Military and War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt.  Chatby is a district on the eastern side of the city of Alexandria and the cemetery (originally the Garrison Cemetery) was used for burials until April 1916 when a new cemetery was opened at Hadra. Thereafter, burials at Chatby were infrequent, although some graves were brought into the cemetery after the war from other burial grounds in the area.  There are more than 2,250 First World War burials in the cemetery.

There is an inscription on his CWGC headstone:

HUSBAND OF KATHLEEN M. LETTS

AND ONLY CHILD OF

PROFESSOR AND MRS LETTS, BELFAST

Lieutenant Bertram Chiene Letts’s father, Edmund, died in a cycling accident at Ventnor in the Isle of Wight on 19 February 1918 (aged 65) and he was buried in the Isle of Wight.

Lieutenant Bertram Chiene Letts is commemorated on the QUB War Memorial; in the QUB Book of Remembrance (Page 32) and in the Journey of Remembering Belfast Book of Honour (Page 338).