Regiment or Ship: 5th Bn Royal Sussex Regiment
Service Number(s): 5/2619
Occupation: Printer (in 1911 census)
Date of Birth: 1891
Place of Birth: Canterbury, Kent
Date of Death: 09.05.1915
Place of Death: France Place of Burial / Memorials:
Bethune Town Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France.
Address: 24 Windsor Road, Bexhill
Photos and newspaper articles
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Parents: Stephen Joseph Barker, b. 1861 in Chartham, Kent, d. 1916, and Emily Barker (nee Earl), b. 1865 in Willesborough, Kent, d. 1903.
Frederick S. L. Barker, b. 1890 in Waltham, Kent.
George L. Barker, b. 1896 in Canterbury, Kent.
Edward L. Barker, b. 1899 in Canterbury, Kent.
Ernest L. Barker, b. 1901 in Canterbury, Kent.
In 1901 the family were living at 12 Caledon Terrace, Nunnery Fields, Canterbury. Stephen’s mother-in-law, Anne Earl, was living with them then and she was a widow. By 1911 the family had moved to the house next door, number 13.
Stephen worked as a Jobbing Gardener, as did his son Frederick, Alfred was a printer, and George was a House Boy (Domestic). The youngest two were at school.
First World War Experience
Alfred’s service records have not survived unfortunately but we do know that he enlisted on 18th February 1915 and went into the French Theatre of War. He sadly died of wounds on 9th May 1915 – a report from the Bexhill Chronicle dated 3rd July 1915 follows:
“The death is announced of Private A. Barker, of the 5th Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment. He was killed on May 9th. The casualty that occurred has been only verified recently. He was very seriously wounded, and lived only for a short time. He was closely connected with Hastings, and lived at Station Road and Windsor Road for the short time he was in Bexhill.”
He was awarded the British War Medal, the Victory Medal and the 15 Star.
His effects – from the records that have survived – show that he had a sum of £3.19s.6d. due to him from the Services. He left £1. 6s. 6d. to his brother, Frederick, and £2. 13s. 0d. to his mother, Emily.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission give Alfred’s date of death as 11th May but the newspaper reports above states that it was the 9th. As the Commission relies on family confirmation of details some long time after the events it is quite likely that the actual date of death was misremembered.
In the newspaper report above it says that Alfred had lived at Windsor Road for some time and it may be that the William Barker living at No. 24 was his uncle – but this cannot be verified.