The Roy Bartlett Collection of Awards to the R.N.A.S., R.F.C. and R.A.F.
Roy Bartlett (1947 - 2006)
Jamie, as he is known to his friends, was born in London on 5 June 1936. He was educated at Wellesley House, Broadstairs, and Uppingham School, Rutland, where fellow-collectors Kenneth Douglas-Morris and John Tamplin were former pupils.
He enlisted into the Gordon Highlanders for National Service in 1954 and was commissioned the following year. From October 1955 to August 19 56 he served with the regiment in Cyprus, subsequently being posted to 1st Bn, London Scottish, then transferring to the Intelligence Corps TA in February 1959 and the TA Reserve of Officers in August 1960. He was an officer in the Regular Army Reserve from April 1967 until June 1991.
In January 1957 Jamie joined Lloyd's brokers Sedgwick Collins, moving ro C.E. Golding & Co ten years later. He remained with the company through various takeovers and mergers, ultimately retiring from what had become Willis Corroon in December 1998. He was a member of Lloyd's from 1958 until 1991.
Originally a keen collector of English milled silver coins and British and New Zealand stamps, everything changed when, in January 1970, Jamie bought his first medal, a Waterloo to the 92nd Highlanders, for £45 from Spink's Numismatic Circular, having spotted it by accident among medals then offered at the back of that publication. He soon became hooked on medals and later that year joined the OMRS -shortly afterwards the coins and stamps were sold. Elected to the committee of the OMRS in 1974, he was appointed the Society's honorary librarian in 1978, a post he held until 1992. He twice served as OMRS president, from 1993-5 and 1995-7, ultimately retiring from the committee in October 2001.
In 1987 he was invited to join the Museum Development committee of the Cordons and became a trustee of the museum collection. In 2001, with the collection incorporated into the regimental trust, he joined the Museum management committee. For many years he has been on the committee of the London branch of the Cordons' regimental association.
Jamie's elder daughter, Nicola-Jane, retains the family involvement with the OMRS and, as a keen member herself, is a regular helper behind the Society's table at the annual Convention.
As long as medals are collected and cherished, the name of the late Roy Bartlett will stand testament to the generosity of those who are prepared to help families reunite awards that, for whatever reason, have been misappropriated. For it was he who, on learning of an appeal for help in tracing the service medals of Captain William Leefe Robinson, RFC, taken under false pretences by a confidence trickster from Robinson's old school, St Bees in Cumbria, in 1970, unhesitatingly sacrificed the medals, which he had bought in good faith in 1976 for £1,500. "As a caring collector," he said at the time, "I want them to be reunited with the VC."
The story had an even happier ending when the VC, medals and a small quantity of ephemera were auctioned in November 1988 to benefit A Medal for Life, the children's leukaemia charity trust set up by Robinson's niece, Regina Libin, who inherited the VC and medals from her Mother in 1955. They now reside in Lord Ashcroft's peerless private collection.
Roy Bartlett was born on 10 November 1947. His Father was a serviceman in the RAF and it was from him that Roy got his interest in medals. As a young man he studied horticulture with a view to working at Kew Gardens, but that wasn't to be and his working life was spent with a firm of pharmaceutical wholesalers near his home in Harold Hill, Romford. A passionate collector for well over 30 years, perhaps most active in the 1970s, his main forte was in awards related to the First and Second World Wars. A particular strength of his collection was his Air Efficiency groups, but a glance at the catalogue will show what a fine collection he put together. He died on 18 October 2006 at the early age of 58.