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­Joseph Barker was born in 1894 in Myerscough, near Garstang, Lancashire. He was the son of William Robert and Mary Barker (nee Whittaker).

At the time of the 1911 census, William Robert Barker together with his wife Mary and four of their other children, William (b.1889), Elizabeth Irwin (b.1896), George Thomas (b.1899) and James Cottam (b.1901) were living at Holly House, Myerscough, meanwhile Joseph was working as a farm labourer and living with the family of farmer Richard Bownass at Nook Farm, Kirkland, near Garstang.

On the 11th March 1916, Joseph went to Preston to enlist and on his service papers he stated his preference was to be posted into the Army Veterinary Corps. This was not to be, and he was posted into ‘A’ Company of the 2/4th Battalion, the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment. Joseph was allocated the service number 5071 which would later change to 202188.

At his medical examination Joseph was recorded as weighing 155lbs, having a 37 inch chest and being 5`8” tall. He confirmed his occupation was a Cowman.

At 07:30 hrs on 7th February 1917, the 2/4th Battalion marched from Blackdown Camp to Frimley Railway Station. From here they entrained for Southampton, the strength being 32 Officers and 926 non-commissioned officers and men, Private Joseph Barker being one of them.

On the 2nd July 1917, Private Joseph Barker died from wounds he received on the previous night as the following newspaper article explains.


Private Joseph Barker was awarded the British War and Victory Medals and is buried with honour at the Rue- Petillon Military Cemetery, Fleurbaix, France. He is remembered on the Bilsborrow War Memorial (below).


Rank: Private
Service No: 202188
Date of Death: 02/07/1917
Age: 23
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 2nd/4th Bn.

This article has been kindly researched by Janet Davis

Janet Davis
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