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Born in the June quarter of 1894 in Preston, Joseph Barton was the eldest child of John William and Alice Ann Barton (nee Calvey). John William Barton the son of confectioner Richard Barton married Alice Ann Calvey the daughter of Daniel Calvey an umbrella maker in St. Thomas`s Church in Preston on the 12th May 1894. Joseph had five sisters and three brothers but sadly, three died in infancy;

  • Joseph (1894)*
  • Helena Maria (1895)
  • Edwin (1897-1897)
  • Mary Lillian (1899)
  • Clara Victoria (1900)
  • Mary Olive (1902-1903)
  • Richard (1903)
  • John (1906)
  • Alice (1908-1908)

In 1901 the Barton family lived at 10 Elcho Street in Preston where Joseph`s father was employed as a confectioner. By 1911 the family having increased in size had moved to 8 Muncaster Road in Preston. John William Barton was now a foreman bread baker and Joseph had followed his father into the bread making business and was an apprentice bread baker.

Unfortunately Joseph`s service papers have been lost but later information informs us that he enlisted on the 1st May 1916 prior to which he had been working at Mr Thomas Harrison`s bakery at Hermon Street in Preston. Joseph was allocated the service number 24134 and at some point was sent to France with a batch of reinforcements.. After another week or two of training in France he was posted to the 1st Battalion as a machine gunner.

Sadly, Joseph Barton was posted as missing on the 26th September 1916 when the 1st Battalion was in action on the Somme.

1st Battalion War Diary entry; 26th September 1916

IN FRONT OF EAUCOURT L`ABBAYE. 23:00hrs. In conjunction with the 2nd Royal Sussex Regiment and 50 Division on our left, the Battalion was ordered to attack the trench running from FLERS LINE to the CRESCENT in front of EAUCOURT L`ABBAYE. Dispositions `C and D` Companies in two lines of two platoons each at 50 x distance followed by `B` Company in one line of ½ platoon. `A` Company moving up to the jumping off trench. Owing to extremely dark conditions, direction was lost and the attack failed.

The 1st Battalion lost 57 men during this failed attack.

After Joseph`s parents had been notified that their son was missing, they had the following photograph published in the Preston Guardian.24134 Private Joseph Barton 1st Battalion

Several months would have passed before the Military Authorities for official purposes would confirm that Joseph Barton had died on or since the 26th September 1916.

As Joseph`s body was never found and therefore he has no known burial place his name was recorded along with thousands of others on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing on the Somme.

24134 Private Joseph Barton 1st Battalion 1

This Memorial matchbox cover is currently on display in the Museum of Lancashire in Preston.

Rank: Private
Service No: 24134
Date of Death: 26/09/1916
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 1st Bn.

Janet Davis
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