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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.

barkerjoseph

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).

barker-sm2barker-sm1

Rank: Private
Service No: 202188
Date of Death: 02/07/1917
Age: 23
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 2nd/4th Bn.
Cemetery: RUE-PETILLON MILITARY CEMETERY, FLEURBAIX

This article has been kindly researched by Janet Davis

Janet Davis

Janet Davis has been researching her family history for many years and through this she discovered many relatives who served in WW1. This interest then led Janet to do many walking the battlefield tours with her husband. In April 2013 she discovered this website and volunteered to help. Janet believes that there are lots of stories still to be told, most of them very sad but at the same time they are a fascinating insight into the men, their families, what they did and where they came from.
Janet Davis

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