The Soldier's Details

First Name:
Albert Barnett
Nick Name:
Regimental #:
'A' Company, No. 4 Platoon
Place of Birth:
Bunbury, Western Australia
Father's Name:
Albert Barnett Facey
Mothers's Name:
Evelyn Mary Facey (nee Gibson)
Church of England
Pre-war Occupation:
Market Gardener and Truck Driver
Kranji War Cemetery, Collective Grave, Plot 30, Row A, Grave 9-13, Age 23
Cause of Death:
Killed in Action.
Place of Death:
Cemetery Hill, Buona Vista
Date of Death:
Chinese Cemetery Hill, map reference 784112

General Description

Barney Facey enlisted AIF 23 July 1940 and later joined 2/4h’s ‘A’ Company 4th Platoon as a Driver under Commanding Officer Lt. McAffery.
Barney Facey was with A Coy No. 4 Platoon
Albert Facey was wounded in his back by shrapnel and died a few minutes later at Cemetery Hill, Buona Vista on 15 February 1942.   Buried where killed with eight others in two separate graves, one grave with four bodies and the other with five bodies. The bodies were buried by denomination, one containing Roman Catholics and the other Protestants.
Albert, known as Barney, was the eldest son of Albert Barnett Facey, author of ‘A Fortunate Life’.  He was known to the family as Barney.  He was a popular young man whose death was sadly felt.
(‘A Fortunate life’ was an autobiography completed by Albert in 1977 when he was 83 years old.  The book was published two years later sold more than 800,000 copies but was no doubt read by more than that number.  The story also became a TV series.  Today it is an Australian literary classic.)
Barney’s father died in 11 February 1982 at Midland aged 88 years.  His book was published about the time of his death.
While his family were aware that Barney was missing in action, his death was not confirmed until May 1945.  Facey stated in his memoirs that although he and his wife had assumed their son had been killed, they had not given up hope. After that wait of over three years, his wife’s health deteriorated to such an extent that she suffered a major stroke. Two other sons, Joseph and George, also served in the Australian Army in World War II, both seeing action in New Guinea. They returned home safely at the end of 1945.’


Below:   While Barney was training with 2/4th in 1941, the RSL’s Listening Post included the following.

The family of Jim and Lacey Gibbs and Bert Facey worked towards creating the WW2 Memorial at Wanneroo, which lists the names of the three young men.  Please read further.








Albert Barnett (Barney) Facey born February 1919 was named after his father Albert Barnett Facey (Snr). Albert (Snr) was  born 1894 Victorian Goldfields married in Bunbury 1916 to Evelyn (Mary) Gibson born Bunbury 1987.
Mary Facey died in 1976.
Barney was the eldest of their seven children who included Barbara, Joseph, Shirley, Eric, George and Olive.
Below:  in 1949, Barney’s brother George and wife Pat, named their newborn son BARNEY ALBERT FACEY after his uncle who had been KIA Singapore 1942.


Albert (Snr) was youngest of seven children born to Joseph Thomas Facey and Mary Ann Carr, both born Castlemaine, Victorian Goldfields. The Lacey family moved to Kalgoorlie sometime after the birth of Albert (Snr) in 1894 and in 1896 his father Joseph Thomas Facey died of typhoid fever at Kalgoorlie, aged  40 years.  He was buried at Kalgoorlie Cemetery.
This left Albert (Snr’s) mother Mary Ann Facey (nee Carr) a widow with seven children, the youngest being Albert (Snr) about 2 years of age and the eldest, a son named after his father about 13 years.
  • Joseph Thomas Facey b. 1883 Victoria d. 1915 WW1
    Vern Garth Facey b. 1885 Victoria d. 1951 WA.
    Laura Adelaide Facey b. 1887 Victoria d. Victoria 1960.
    Eric George Facey b. 1888 Victoria d. 1953 WA.

    Myra Kean Facey b. 1892 Victoria d. 1911 WA.

    Roy Barker Facey b. 1892 Victoria d. 1915 WW1 

    Albert Barnett Facey b. 1894 d. 1982 WA.


    Above:  Notice of Mary Downie (formerly Facey) who died 1914.

This would be a challenging time for Mary then living in Perth.    Mary Ann died in 1914 aged 51 years.
Below:  In 1907 Mary Ann (now remarried Downie) advertises for her daughter Myra Facey.
Albert (Snr’s) sister Myra Facey died 30 January 1911 aged 18 years at Coolgardie.  Myra was buried at Karrakatta. Mary Ann Facey remarried to Arthur Thomas Downie about 1907 or earlier.  Mary Anne (nee Facey) Downie  however gave birth to a daughter Mollie Maude Downie born in 1901 Kalgoorlie (Mollie later married Simpson.  She died in 1951 Perth, aged 49 years.)  In 1906 Jack Downie was born in Roebourne.
Mary Facey’s mother Emma Jane Carr who died in 1932 outlived her daughter.   It was Albert (Snr’s) Grandmother Emma Carr who became carer of her daughter’s children, as their mother Mary Facey deserted them (according to Albert Snr’s writing).  Albert (Snr) was out working at about 8 years of age undertaking a variety of manual jobs.  He taught himself to read and write when he was older.  At 18 years he was an accomplished bushman and boxer.  When Albert (Snr) enlisted for WW1 in 4 January 1915 he recorded Arthur Thomas Downie (his stepfather) of 1244 Hay Street, West Perth as his NOK.
Emma Carr was mother of seven daughters most of whom remained living in Victoria.  Emma’s husband died in 1901, Victoria and we know she then moved to WA to assist with Mary Facey’s family.  A daughter of Emma’s whose name was Elizabeth Carr married in Victoria to George William Facey who is younger brother to Albert (Snr’s) father Joseph Thomas Facey, i.e.two Carr sisters married two Facey brothers.
When WW1 broke out, Albert (Snr) and two of his older brothers enlisted. His eldest brother Joseph Thomas Facey (Jnr) and probably better known as Joe, had already served in the Boer War where he had been seriously injured and survived. Joe joined the Bridgetown 10th Light Horse and enlisted for WW1.
Above: Vernon is older brother to Albert Snr.  Vernon died WA 1951.
Tragically Joe was KIA at Anzac Cove.  He had been a high-spirited young boy as seen below.

Above:  should read J.T. Facey.  Joe Facey died September 1915, a few months after his younger brother Roy.


‘Service No: 396
Lance Corporal
10th Light Horse
Born: Castlemaine, Victoria
Son of Joseph & Mary Ann FACEY
NOK listed as Sister: Laura A. FACEY
Of Campbells Creek, Castlemaine, Victoria
Occupation prior to enlisting: Laborer
Enlisted: 1 October 1914 at Guildford, Western Australia
Embarkation: 17 February 1915 from Fremantle per ‘Surada’
Age: 33 years
Served in Egypt & Gallipoli
Killed in Action: 14 September 1915
Buried: Embarkation Pier Cemetery, Gallipoli, Turkey
Plot 1, Row A, Grave 10’
Western Mail Friday 5 November 1915 page 23


A Government Industrial School was established in 1893 at Claisebrook, and moved to Subiaco in 1897. It was originally for girls, and was then used for older children and for the ‘temporary reception’ of children awaiting other placements. By 1902 it was called the ‘Government Industrial School and Receiving Depot’ and by 1907 it was known as the ‘Government Receiving Depot’.
Above information from Find & Connect,


Above: June 1908.  It is now several years after he served in Boer War, and Joe Facey remains quite a larrikin.


The above notice is from Mrs J. Carr – Albert (Snr’s) grandmother Emma Jame Carr who took over ‘mothering’ of her grandchilden.
Roy Facey was married with a young son when he was KIA at Dardenelles in June 1915 aged 25 years.
Albert (Snr) enlisted 4 January 1915 aged 20 years also with 11th Battalion, 4th Reinforcements.  He was 6 feet tall and his Service No. 1536.  Albert (Snr) was invalided back to Australia in 1915.  He met his wife-to-be while recuperating.



After the war, Albert (Snr) acquired a War Service Farm at Wickepin where several of Barney’s siblings were born.  The family settled into the community and the 1925 Electoral Roll records show Evelyn and Albert (Snr) at ‘Oak View’, Norman’s Lake (near Wickepin).   Albert (Snr) was involved in cricket, football and continued his participation with boxing and other community events.  It is believed the Facey family lived at Wickepin from 1922 to 1934.



With the depression the Facey family were forced to leave their Wickepin farm and return to city life where Albert (Snr) gained employment with the Tramways.  Again he became involved with the community.  He was Tramways Union representative for other members and began an interest in local council.



Albert (Snr) was to be elected to several Road Boards including Osborne and Wanneroo.

When Barney enlisted in July 1940 he was working with his father at Osborne Park where they were establishing a market garden and Barney was working as a truck driver.  Barney became a Driver with ‘A’ Company.  He was 23 years of age when he was KIA at Cemetery Hill, Buona Vista, Singapore.
Barney’s name is included on the WW2 War Memorial at Wanneroo with two other 2/4th boys, brothers Jim and Lacey Gibbs.
It is strange that in three generations of the Facey family that two eldest sons named after their fathers, died at war.   Joseph Thomas in WW1 and Albert ‘Barney’ Barnett in WW2.
Barney’s uncle Roy Barker Facey who died with 11th Battalion Dardenelles in June 1915, named his first born child/son Roy Barker Lydiard Facey.


BELOW:  from Joe Beattie Collection.  Joe’s words inform us Barney was a mate of his.