Jack Bartlett joined the Royal Marines in 1932 and entered into the School of Music. He was posted to the Royal Marine contingient on the cruiser HMS Leander when it was stationed in New Zealand in 1937, serving on the ship till 1942, when he reverted to the Royal Marines as a Band Corporal, returning to the School of Music, later serving in the cruiser HMS Bellona. In 1944 he resumed his New Zealand association, serving on the cruisers HMNZS' Achilles and Gambia. On reversion to the Royal Marines he served at their barracks at Chatham until he took his discharge in 1948.
- 1939-1945 Star - Recognises service in the Second World War. It was usually awarded for six months service in special operational areas. Those whose service was shortened by death, injury or capture or who were awarded a decoration or mentioned in despatches also qualified for the medal. Those who served a day or more in specified battles or invasions also qualified for this award. The ribbon has three equal vertical stripes of dark blue (symbolising Navy and Merchant Navy), red (symbolising Army) and light blue (representing Air Force).
- Atlantic Star - Awarded to personnel who served an additional 6 months in Home (United Kingdom), Atlantic or North Russian waters after first qualifying for the 1939-45 Star. The ribbon is water silk coloured blue, white and green. These colours symbolise service in the Atlantic Ocean, and in UK and North Russian waters.
- Africa Star - Awarded for service in North Africa between 10 June 1940 and 12 May 1943. The ribbon is pale buff in colour with a central vertical red stripe and narrower stripes, one dark blue and one light blue. The pale buff background symbolises the desert, the red stripe symbolises the Army, the dark blue stripe symbolises the Navy and Merchant Navy, while the light blue stripe symbolises the Air Force. New Zealand soldiers who were captured or killed in Greece or Crete in 1941 had qualified for this star before entering Greece. This was because they were based in Egypt on or after 10 June 1940, before being sent to Greece.
- Burma Star (Pacific Clasp) - Awarded for service in the Burma campaign from 11 December 1941 to 2 September 1945. It was also awarded for certain specified service in China and Malaya (16 February 1942 - 2 September 1945), Hong Kong (26 December 1941 - 2 September 1945) and Sumatra (24 March 1942 - 2 September 1945). The centre of the ribbon is red (representing the Commonwealth Forces) with outer stripes of dark blue (representing British Forces). The dark blue bands each have at their centres a stripe of bright orange (symbolising the sun). Those who served in these areas after 8 December 1941, but prior to the starting dates mentioned, or served in the Pacific between 8 December 1941 and 2 September 1945 received the Pacific Star. Those who qualified for both were awarded both of these awards were given the first star they qualified for, with a clasp in respect of the second star.
- The Defence Medal - Awarded to British military and civilian personnel for a range of service in the United Kingdom, and to British, British Commonwealth and British Colonial personnel who served outside their home countries in a non-operational area or in an area subject to threat such as air attack. The centre of the ribbon is flame coloured, and the edges are green, symbols of the enemy attacks on Great Britain. Two black stripes represent the blackout in Great Britain.
- War Medal - Awarded across the British Commonwealth to all fulltime members of the Armed Force for 28 days service between 3 September 1939 and 2 September 1945 irrespective of where they were serving. On one side is an effigy of King George VI. On the reverse is a lion trampling on a dragon symbolising the Axis powers. The ribbon is the red, white and blue of the (British) Union Flag.