Baikie, George William
Private 15202, enlisted 29 August 1914 and went out to France with 11th DLI on 20 July 1915 (information from medal index card). As well as being awarded the three usual campaign medals, Baikie was also awarded a Silver War Badge, which indicates that he was discharged before the end of the war, probably as a result of being wounded.
George made a claim for a pension, and his pension records have survived. These confirm that he was discharged on 31 October 1916, though there is no indicationas to the exact cause. By trade he was a miner. However, on 1 August 1919, he re-enlisted into the DLI at Newcastle, for a period of 2 years as a volunteer. His medical showed him to be 5ft 4in, 140lbs, 36 in chest, fresh complexion and brown eyes and hair. He was allocated to 3 DLI depot with effect from 4 September 1919, with the regimental number 83484 (later 4439035). He did not serve overseas and was discharged again after 1 year and 20 days, on 20 August 1920. He was declared unfit for service, suffering from nephritis, and assessed as a 20% disability for six months. His character was described as very good.
The records show that George had married Catherine [Katherine] McNulty on 27 May 1911, the couple already having a child, Richard, born 5 March 1911 [GRO Ref Jan-Mar 1911, Tynemouth 10b 250, shows surname as McNulty]. No other children are mentioned in these papers, but there had been three others: Elsie E Baikie (Apr-Jun1912, Tynemouth 10b 672); George W (Oct-Dec 1913, Tynemouth 10 b 590) and Albert (Apr-Jun 1917, Tynemouth 10b 539). The family lived at Charlton Buildings, Seaton Terrace, Seaton Delaval.
George Baikie died aged 63 in 1954 (Apr-Jun 1954, Durham NW 1 a 519).
[ Early Census Data: According to the 1901 census, George William Baikie was the son of Daniel and Elizabeth Baikie. Daniel was a house joiner, originally from Scotland, and his wife was from Tweedmouth. Alhtough the family were then living in Seaton Delaval, Northumberland, George had been born in Sunderland (GRO Ref Jul-Sep 1890, Sunderland 10 a 651). There were several other children – Emma 9, Barbara 6, Lily 4, Margaret 2 and John aged 1. By 1911, the family were living in Tynemouth, including George, who was by now aged 20. Shortly after the 1911 census, George married.]
Private 16616, labourer from Gateshead, died of wounds, 13 January 1917, buried Grove Town Cemetery, Méaulte. C Company.
Bailey attested at Newcastle on Tyne on 25 August 1914, aged 27 yrs 136 days. Born St Mary’s, Gateshead, he was a labourer, 5ft 7in, 141lbs, 37in chest, fresh complexion, brown eyes and hair. His next of kin was his father, James. He was unmarried and his mother was allotted 8s 1d separation allowance and 3s 6d of pay (11s 7d in total). which she was allowed until 23 July 1917.
From the Depot Bailey was attached to 3 DLI on 26 August, from where he was transferred to 16 DLI on 26 October 1914. He went out to France to join 11 DLI as a Lance Corporal on 4 August 1915. However he was deprived of his stripe on 23 Jan 1916. [No reason given, no record in FGCM lists].
On 16 November 1915, he was admitted 60 FA with dental caries, sent first to 7 CCS and by 20 November to No 4 Stationary Hospital, St Omer, where he stayed until returned to duty on 8 December 1915. On 21 September 1916 he reported to 1 NZ FA with myalgia and was sent on to No 9 General Hospital on 3 October 1916. [This may have been in England, since on 21 October 1916 he was forfeited 7 days pay at No 35 Infantry Base Depot, Etaples – no reason given, not in FGCM – was it for malingering?]. On 26 October Bailey rejoined his unit, C Company. He was admitted 10 January 1917 to 60 FA with a gun shot wound to the abdomen and died at 34 CCS on 13 January 1917.
Papers relating to his medal awards at the end of the war show that by then his father had died and his mother, Margaret Alice Bailey, was living at 31 Back Monk Street, Gateshead. There were three brothers (John, William and Albert) and two sisters (Mary and Sarah).
James’ younger brother, Henry Waterson Bailey, also died in the war, aged 31, on 24 August 1917, from wounds serving with 10 DLI, A Company. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial. [Note: His service records have survived. He enlisted 25 November 1915, trained with 17 DLI, served with 15 DLI initially, but was hospitalised at Bath in England with enteritis in 1916. He returned to France in March 1917 and was attached to 10 DLI.]
In 1901, the family lived at 8 Hymers Court, Gateshead, at which time the father was a Cement Works Labourer, James was a bricklayer’s labourer and his younger brother Henry was an errand boy.
Private 22659, Harold Bainbridge was a farm labourer from Hornby, Great Smeaton, near Northallerton. He was reported killed in action, 30 November 1917, and is commemorated on the Cambrai Memorial, Louverval.
He was aged 20 yrs 1 month when he attested at Richmond on 23 December 1914. He had been born in Stockton on Tees. He was 5ft 7½in tall, 37in chest. His next of kin was his grandfather Robert Ramsay. As he was unmarried, he arranged no allotment of pay.
He was attached to DLI Depot from 23 December 1914, before transfer to 17 DLI at Rugeley on 6 January 1915. From there he was transferred to 11 DLI in France on 17 August 1915.
He was admitted to 38CCS with German measles on 26 Feb 1917, and returned to his unit on 9 March 1917. He was killed in action, at Cambrai on 30 Nov 1917.
His army pay book was recovered intact, but there was no will. A note to the War Office from his cousin Frederick Bainbridge of 23 Louisa Street, Darlington ,showed that there had been a will deposited with F. J. Latimer, Solicitors, Darlington, leaving his effects to his three cousins: Frederick Bainbridge, Annie Stairman of 62 Gurney St, Darlington and Ella Avery of 1 King Street, Darlington. A recipt shows that Annie Stairman signed for the Victory Medal.
Birth record confirmed Stockton 10 a 41, Jan-Mar 1895. In 1911 Harold Bainbridge, aged 16, was working as a farm labourer and living at an address in Hornby, near Great Smeaton. No record has been found in the 1901 census, when he would have been aged 6.
His cousin Frederick appears in the 1901 census living in the family home at 62 Gurney Street, Darlington, along with the two sisters mentioned above, as well as a younger brother. Spenceley Bainbridge was killed in action at Gallipoli on 16 November 1915 serving with the 2nd Royal Fusiliers (G/16494) and is commemorated on the Helles Memorial. His father and mother were William and Meggie Bainbridge, his father aged 40 as a general cartman. Tracking back it is possible to identify a brother, John Bainbridge, b 1858, who became a railway clerk. But no further records for this John Bainbridge have been discovered. Harold’s origins remain a mystery until a birth certificate is obtained.
Private 15348 Jonathan Bainbridge was born in Etherley, Co Durham. He attested 28 August 1914, aged 21 yrs 10 mths, coal miner. His father was John Bainbridge of Morley, Bishop Auckland, his mother had died in 1905 and he had a brother and three sisters. He was 5ft 6½in tall with a 35½in chest, blue eyes and fair hair.
He had something of a chequered career in the army. He was attached to 11 DLI from the beginning but during training at Pirbright he twice found himself in trouble. He overstayed his Christmas pass and on 1 Jan 1915 was awarded 5 days confined to barracks. Later in the month he was witnessed by Lt Hopkinson ‘when on active service committing a nuisance against the hut’ and for being so caught short was given another 7 days CB.
He was an early casualty when 11 DLI was put into the trenches, suffering a gun shot wound to the thigh and being admitted to 61st FA on 13 October 1915. By the 16th he was at Base Hospital at Wimereux, where it was adjudged that he had a ‘Blighty’ and he was sent back to England via the SS Anglia, and then on to the Depot. During his period back in England he managed to go absent from 29 Nov 1915 to 6 December 1915, but by 22 December was at the Pioneer depot in Reading. On 5 January 1916 he was despatched back to France via Etaples, arriving with his unit on 16 January 1916.
He had a period of home leave, from 7 to 17 May 1917 and again in February 1918. He was late back from that latter, forfeited 2 days pay and was given 7 days FP2 (2 March 1918).
He was reported missing 23 March 1918, during the German Offensive and after a search up to 27 June 1918 was finally adjudged to be dead. He is commemorated on the Pozières Memorial.
Baker, John Thomas
Corporal 25771, from Felling, killed in action, 23 February 1916, buried at Essex Farm Cemetery, Boezinge.
The service records for Baker have not survived. During February 1916, the battalion was based at Elverdinghe in Flanders. They were engaged in a variety of general tasks typical of Pioneers, mostly to do with communications: tramways, duckboards in trenches, trench improvements and ‘burying cables for Signals Company’. During the period 19-21 February there were several gas alerts. There was constant bombardment by mortars and shelling, mostly in retaliation to the bombardment of the German lines by British artillery. The British lines in this sector were overlooked by the Pilckem Ridge and all work had to be done at night. During the days up to 23 February, when baker was killed, the Division was extending its lines to the right, occasioning yet more work by the Pioneers in extending the communications network. This would have been visible to the Germans, who would have taken advantage of the disruption to further harass the British troops. Baker was probably killed in this way.
Second Lieutenant William Banks died of wounds while prisoner of war, 6 April 1918, and is buried in Roye New British Cemetery. His service records are at the National Archives (Reference: WO 339/112493).
William Banks was born 9 May 1883 in West Hartlepool. His father was a retired Police Inspector and Banks attended Darlington Grammar School. He married Elizabeth (Betsy) Braham in Middlesbrough in early 1915 (GRO Ref Middlesbrough Jan-Mar 1915 9 d 963). Their daughter Kathleen was born 9 April 1916 in Darlington. The family lived at 118 Salisbury Terrace, Darlington when he enlisted. He worked as a Stores Accountant. He was 5ft 8½in tall, weighed 11st 1lb, with a chest expansion 33 to 35 inches and good eyesight. He was called up as Private 10062 from Army Reserve Class B on 2 December 1915 and spent the first twelve months of his service in the UK with the OTC, though at what rank and in what capacity the surviving papers do not confirm. He was aged 32 years and 7 months. From 1 December 1916 he went into officer training himself, appointed A Company, Inns of Court OTC 22 February 1917, and being commissioned 29 May 1917.
Banks’ first overseas posting was to 14 DLI, arriving 29 July 1917 via Boulogne and Étaples. He joined his unit 18 August 1917 and was stationed first in the Loos area, before being sent to Cambrai towards the end of November. The battalion distinguished themselves during the latter battle, despite heavy losses, particularly during the defence against the German counter-attack in which Captain Arthur Moore Lascelles was killed. He was home on leave again from 19 December 1917 to 2 January 1918. Almost immediately 14 DLI, badly depleted at Cambrai, was wound up as part of the re-organisation of the army and he was transferred to 11 DLI on 6 February 1918 with 118 other ranks and six officers.
Banks was a victim of the German Spring Offensive in March 1918. He was reported missing on 24 March 1918. There were a number of confused stories getting back to the family. Both the widow and her sister sent letters to the War Office reporting that they had been told by an officer of 11 DLI that Banks had been taken prisoner, but escaped only to be killed in the British lines the following day (widow, 25 July 1918; Edith Banks 29 July 1918). The Divisional History (pp 244-6) records that at about 6.45 pm, the Germans were reported to be working round the right of their line and it was decided to withdraw from their positions near Tugny. Banks was sent to the assistance of some men from 36th Division and was never seen again. Private 71015 T Brent (stretcher bearer, 11 DLI) provided a first hand account of what happened in a letter written 3 June 1918 from hospital in Boulogne.
“2nd Lt Banks was in my company, D, but in details. He was killed just at the side of Nesle, down by Ham, on March 23rd during a counter-attack we made. He was hit in the stomach and died a quarter of an hour later. We retired and he was left behind. I saw that he was dead before we left. I opened his tunic and found he had been shot on the right side of the abdomen. He was then alive. I remained with him about 1½ hours and gave him water. He was dead before I had to leave him. He said nothing except to ask who I was. The Germans later came over the ground where Lt Banks was dying.”
An official German report stated that he died by a shot wound to the head in Reserve Feld Lazarett at Ham and that he had been buried at Ham, Grave 86. This may indicate that Banks received a post-mortem shot to the head by a passing German soldier, or even a coup de grace having been found mortally wounded.
Despite these reports Lizzie Banks was still trying to get money from the War Office as late as 10 September 1919 and 31 October 1919, sending black-edged cards requesting payment of £80.11s.0d.
There is a significant amount of archive material relating to Banks at Durham CRO, reference D/DLI/7/819/1-4.
/1 Field Message Book [Army Book 153 and cover] issued to Cadet W Banks, 14th Officers Cadet Battalion, Netherfield, Berkhamsted, and used as a notebook during training.
Contents include how to maintain personal mess accounts (this is one of the first things taught) before moving on from 13 Feb 1917 to notes on trenches and their methods of construction. An example note: “Loopholes – only to be used for observation or sniping. Should be set diagonally. A loophole should have a section behind to prevent light showing through.” Further notes on communications trenches, slit trenches used for protection from heavy shelling and running off the communications trenches. Other notes included:
14 Feb 1917 – musketry practice, showing firing positions
15 Feb 1917 – march discipline
16 Feb 1917 – military law : e.g. “A NCO may arrest a man for direct disobedience, violence or insubordination, but the matter should be reported at once to the Company Commander or Adjutant by the NCO (unless a Lance Corporal or Acting Bombardier with less than 4 years service).”
19 Feb 1917 – support trenches, obstacles including the patterns for laying out wiring
20 Feb 1917 – administration including fines for drunkenness – 1st incident, nofine; 2nd incident 2/6; 3rd incident 5/- etc. King’s Regulations.
23 Feb 1917 – administration and accounting for pay as company commander
9 Mar 1917 – Lewis Guns: handling stoppages: Gas – delivering gas attacks.
13 Mar 1917 – Sanitation: “Each man should wash his body regularly. Feet must be kept clean. Hair must be kept short.
16 Mar 1917 – Summary of evidence for enquiries and courts martial
27 Mar 1917 – taught how to build trenches from page 8 of the Manual of Field Engineering: 1 pick and shovel per man if possible
There followed a series of notes on trench warfare including a section on Offensive Spirit in Trench Warfare which Banks heavily underlined and marked ‘N.B.’ There were notes on rations in France: “Companies send in their rations indents as in England. The scale of rations is fixed by the GOC. Set out in Field Service Pocket Book, p 168”
3 May 1917 – Casualties in Action ( Field Service Pocket Book p 199) with a diagrammatic description of the process:
– each Brigade has a bearer company from the Field Ambulance
– a line of regimental aid posts immediately to rear of line
– advanced dressing station behind them
– Field Ambulance units behind them
– Casualty Clearing Station behind them
– options to Convalescent depot, Stationary Hospital or Base Hospital as required
There were notes on structure: e.g. a platoon minimum strength was a 2 Lt and 28 other ranks to a maximum of 44 other ranks. Each section would have bombers, Lewis gun, riflemen and rifle bombers.
Banks’ own rifle scores are on the last page showing score of 10062
Items /2-4 are embroidered cards sent home with a message on No 2 ‘To Kathleen from her Dad 17/9/17 addressed to Miss K Banks, 9 Salisbury Terrace, Darlington.
Private 16622, platelayer aged 25, from Chester-le-Street, died of wounds, 24 December 1916, buried Grove Town Cemetery, Méaulte. A Company.
Private 16622 Bertie Barker was a platelayer, born St Margaret’s parish, Durham. At the time of his attestation at Chester le Street on 25 August 1914 he was aged 25, stood 5ft 6in tall, weighed 144 lbs, with a 34½in chest, fresh complexion, blue eyes, brown hair, and professing C of E. He had previously been rejected by the army because of a broken nose. On his attestation form he crossed out that part of the declaration committing him to serve beyond 3 years in the event of the war extending beyond that time. This was a feature noted among unionised mine workers in particular. Barker may have been a platelayer looking after mining company rail tracks, though his home address does suggest a connection with the North Eastern Railway Company.
In the first instance he was assigned to 3 DLI, but transferred to 16 DLI on 26 October 1914. He was sent out to France on 4 August 1915 to join 11 DLI, A Company. On 18 October 1916 he reported to 14 CRS with an abscess and was back on duty on 24 October 1916. On Christmas Eve, 24 December 1916 he was admitted to 34 CCS where he died of a gun shot wound to the back, penetrating his chest and abdomen. At the time several of 11 DLI were working on the Combles Extension Railway while others were engaged in the burial of German corpses. The records for 34 CCS for the period may contain fuller details of the source of his wounds.
During his service, his wife Elizabeth Barker of 35 Railway Cottages, North Burns, [Canada?] Chester le Street, had received an allowance of 17/6 a week for herself and one child. The pension that was allocated was 18/9 (2 July 1917). There were no personal effects to return, which is unusual for someone brought back for treatment.
Papers from 8 Aug 1919 show that his widow was then aged 38 and his son William Thomas was aged 6. His parents were about 60, Thomas and Mary Ann Barker of No 6 Garden Row, Houghall. He had a brother James who was an inmate of Sedgefield Asylum and may have been a war casualty.
Private 23295, miner aged 30, from Bill Quay, killed in action 5 October 1916, buried Bancourt British Cemetery. A Company.
There is only minimal information about Harry Barker. He attested at Newcastle on 19 Jan 1915. His address was 5 South Parade, Bill Quay, where he lived with his step mother, Bella Barker, two brothers and a sister. Born in Springwell, Co Durham, he was aged 28 yrs 4 months and a coal miner. He was 5ft 7in, 34in chest, weighed 145lbs.
After training he was posted on 2 Sept 1915 to 11 DLI. On 5 October 1916, while serving with A Company he was killed in action. At the time the battalion was based on ‘Tatler Trench’ in the Bernafay Wood area on the Somme, working on trenches under fire. Barker’s Company was sent to Montauban on 5 October, so it is not clear whether he was killed before they left, or at their new station.
There were no effects to return to the family and it was requested that any medals be retained on behalf of his brother, 25687 Corporal Thomas Ridley Barker, RAMC until his return from active service. This man was stationed c/o No 7 Company, RAMC, Millbay Docks, Plymouth (14 May 1917).
Private 33026, from Tow Law, killed in action 5 October 1916, commemorated on Thiepval Memorial. Joined 11th DLI on 14 September 1916.
Barker enlisted at Newcastle on Tyne on 8 December 1915, but was not called up for active service until 31 May 1916, when he was medically examined at Sunderland. On attestation he was aged 28 yrs and 8 mths, was married and worked as a quarryman. He lived at 2 Ward End, Tow Law with his wife Margaret Jane (née Maddison). They had been married at Wolsingham Registry Office on 14 April 1912. There were no children, or at least none surviving. Barker was 5ft 6¼in tall, with a 36¼in chest and professed C of E. He had been born at Catterick in North Yorkshire.
Following call up he was assigned to 21 DLI with number 33026, he was vaccinated and inoculated during June 1916 and, after basic training, was assigned to 4 DLI on 1 September, before being instructed to attend for embarkation at Seaham on 13 September. He overstayed his embarkation leave pass from 12 midnight to 8.30pm on 11 September and lost a day’s pay. He arrived at Boulogne on 14 September and was assigned to 11 DLI.
Barker’s service was extremely short-lived. He died 5 October 1916. Obtaining information as to exactly what happened seems to have been difficult. There is report of various letters, dated 4 May 1917. Pte 33043 J T Shuttleworth saw him wounded, while Lance Corporal 12762 W Hamilton heard that he was killed. His widow was awarded a pension of 13/9. The battalion were working on improvements to trenches, under heavy fire, after a series of successful attacks on German lines during the previous weeks.
The widow re-married. By 9 September 1919 correspondence regarding his awards shows that she was now Margaret Jane Dodd and living at No 2 Back Campbell Street, Tow Law. Barker’s father was not living, while his mother was Dorothy Ann Barker, aged 59 of Catterick. He had two brothers and three sisters.
Private 78790, missing in action, 29 March 1918, commemorated on Pozières Memorial.
Barnard’s service records have not survived. On 29 March 1918, 11 DLI was involved in a last dtich attempt to re-take the village of Mézieres, after it was captured from French troops during the German March Offensive. The battalion was already very weak, but, along with other assorted me from 20th Division, the remnants took part in a brave, and almost successful attack on the village. Scores of men were wounded, killed or captured. A couple of days later, the battalion was withdrawn from the field.
Private 22063, aged 20, from Kimberworth, died of wounds 15 September 1917, buried Dozinghem Military Cemetery. A Company.
Barraclough attested Sheffield, 16 November 1914. He was a springsmith’s striker and lived with his parents at Wilton Inn, Kimberworth, near Rotherham. He was then aged 18 years and 1 month, stood 5ft 3 3/8in tall, had a 37in chest. He was the son of Walter Barraclough.
Initially he was sent to the DLI Depot before being sent for training with 17 Battalion. His first overseas posting was with 15 Battalion, from 9 October 1915. While serving with them he was wounded, 10 June 1916, with a gun shot wound to the forearm. He was shipped back to England to recover, and attached to the Depot from 18 June 1916. Once recovered he was despatched to the reserve, 3rd DLI at Alnwick (17 November 1916). When back to full fitness he was sent back to France on 7 March 1917 and was allocated to 11 DLI, joining the unit on 26 March 1917, assigned to A Company.
He was not long with the battalion before he was shot in the abdomen, dying of his wounds on 15 September 1917 at 47 Casualty Clearing Station. The previous month, the battalion had been involved in building communications for the successful capture of Langemarck on the Ypres Front. In September the Division were gradually pushing beyond the village and 11 DLI were continously working on improving communications such as tramways and cables, getting supplies forward and generally supporting the forward movement. There was constant attrition from hostile artillery and machine gun fire.
Among the surviving papers are the army form reporting his death, his will (signed 10 March 1917) in which he left everything to his mother Mary Barraclough, and a copy of the letter dated 26 January 1918 sending his personal belongings home to his mother. They consisted of his disc, letters, cards, photos, pocket book, RL book, 9ct gold ring, knife, match box case, nail clippers and wallet.
Private 18443, miner from Durham, killed in action, 30 November 1917, buried Gouzeaucourt New British Cemetery. Originally served with 18th DLI, wounded 31 October 1916. Joined 11th DLI September 1917.
During his army career Barrasford served with several different units. He attested Durham on 1 October 1914. He was a miner, born Sacriston, married and aged 30 years and 8 months. On 12 October 1914 he was assigned to 18 DLI at Cockam Hall. He was 5ft 6in, 37 in chest, 145lbs, dark complexion, grey eyes, brown hair and C of E. He and his wife Martha (née Lack, married 30 May 1918 (must be a misprint?) at Durham Register Office) had no children of their own.
He trained with 18 DLI and on 5 December 1915 went out with them to Egypt as part of the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force. They were returned to France on 5 March 1916. While serving in France he suffered a number of minor wounds – reported sick 3 July 1916, a burned foot on 16 August, a contused foot on 26 August caused by a baulk of timber dropping on it in an accident, and was then wounded again on 31 October 1916. Meanwhile on 13 July 1916 he was attached to 1/6th West Yorkshire Regiment. On 22 December 1916 he was sent home, attached Depot, and treated at 4th Northern General Hospital, Lincoln, for myalgia, for 97 days to 29 March 1917. He was passed back to 3 DLI on 9 April 1917, but on 24 April was transferred to hospital at the Command Depot, Ripon, for treatment of rheumatism (95 days). On 28 July he went back to 3 DLI and after a short while was sent back to France, arriving Étaples, 1 September 1917. He was passed between 11 and 10 DLI, but was serving with 11 DLI when he was killed in action at Cambrai on 30 November 1917.
The family had problems with the authorities. Mrs Barrasford had been originally paid 19s 6d by way of separation allowance and allotment of pay when living at 56 Smokey Row, Framwellgate Moor. However in the meantime she had adopted a son, Thomas Hayes Barrasford, and gone to live with her mother Mrs J Feather at Harbottle Buildings, New York, Shiremoor, Northumberland. A police report from Sacriston confirmed that the family had moved but hearsay made for a confused story. A further police report from Sgt Gilbert Anderson established that the child had not been maintained by Robert Barrasford at the time of enlistment.
A neighbour, Mrs Hayes, the wife of Robert Hayes (who had joined 18 DLI at the same time as Barrasford), had died in September 1914 with 6 children, including Thomas aged 6 months. Mrs Barrasford had taken care of the boy with full agreement and an arrangement through solicitors, with the intention of adoption. He was well cared for. Mrs Barrasford was issued a pension of 13/9 from 24 June 1918, increased to 20/5 to include the adopted son. There was a dispute as to who was entitled to the medals, scroll and plaque. These had been sent to Mrs Feather, since Mrs Barrasford had in turn died, leaving her looking after Thomas and legally next of kin. A letter to Mr Thomas Barrasford at Front St, Framwellgate Moor on 10 June 1921 confirmed the situation.
Barrett, G E
Sergeant 53711 G E Barrett of Barnsley, A/CSM, is listed in McGregor’s Honours and Awards as awarded the Military Medal, 6 August 1918. Medal index card not identified.
Barron, Robert Wharton
Private 16224, miner aged 28, from Durham, died of wounds, 11 April 1916, buried Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery.
Barron was from Bankland, Annfield Plain, Durham. He attested 31 August 1914, aged 26 yrs and 9 months. He was posted directly to 11 DLI and went overseas with them on 20 July 1915. He overstayed his embarkation leave pass and on 15 July was admonished and forfeited a day’s pay.
He was 5ft 7½in tall, weighed 138lbs, with a 36½in chest, blue eyes, light brown hair and professed CofE. He was not married. His father was Mr G W Barron of 11 Plantation St, New Brancepeth Colliery (to whom his medals were sent on 16 Dec 1920). His mother was Eliza Anne Barron and he had a brother and four sisters.
He died of wounds 11 April 1916. According to the war diary, on that day the battalion were ‘stood to arms’ in the Elverdinghe defences, which suggests they were relieving the ordinary infantry rather than doing labouring work. Elverdinghe Chateau was the battalion’s base camp on the Ypres Front at the time, well behind the front lines, but it was constantly targetted by German artillery fire.
Barrow, Rowland Charles
Private 53552, born Wolverhampton, enlisted Barnet, aged 42, missing in action, 30 November 1917, commemorated on Cambrai Memorial, Louverval. Joined 11th DLI on 27 December 1916 as Corporal, but later deprived of rank.
Barrow attested on 16 Nov 1915, giving an address of 46 Strafford St, Barnet. He was 39 yrs 11 months old and a Works Manager. He was 5ft 9 ¾ in tall, 34 ½ in chest, fresh complexion, black hair, brown eyes, C of E. He was married to Annie Jane Barrow (née Sharp, married 28 April 1903 at Chipping Barnet). There were no children.
Barrow did voluntary training prior to call up, working with No 2 Company, 4th Herts Volunteer Regiment, completing 101 hours of training including 40 hours of musketry. A report dated 14 June 1916, certificate AF W3256 stated that ‘Barrow has proved useful in instructing beginners in musketry’. He was called up on 13 June and posted to 15 King’s Royal Rifle Corps. He was made Acting Corporal.
He embarked Folkestone 22 December 1916 via Boulogne to 35 IBD at Étaples, who posted him to 11 DLI on 27 December 1916. On 20 January he proceeded to join the Battalion, arriving in the field on 22 January 1917. On 30 April 1917 he reported to 61 FA with boils on his neck and returned to duty on 1 May 1917. On 26 Sept 1917 he was ‘deprived of his appointment’ (no reason stated). On 30 Nov 1917 he was killed in action at Cambrai, on the first day of the German counter-attack. 11 DLI had been out on overnight working duties, were only lightly armed, but the company commanders acted very quickly to form them into a rudimentary defensive line alongside other 20 Division infantry units. They were crucial to the eventual steadying of the British lines.
There was no will. His widow moved to 105a Wood St, Barnet. She was awarded a pension of just 13s 9d a week, which must have been a huge drop in income from the salary of a works manager.
Barrow had been born in Wolverhampton and his family still lived there. His father Charles Henry and mother Sarah lived at 8 Dalton Street, Wolverhampton and there were two brothers and a sister living in the Wolverhampton area.
Sergeant 19457 John Basham served with 11 DLI from the outset, going overseas on 20 July 1915. He rose to the rank of WO Class II and was awarded the Military Medal, London Gazette, 13 March 1918, probably for actions at Cambrai the previous year. He survived the war, discharged to Class Z reserve.
Sergeant 14956, aged 29, plasterer from Darlington, missing in action, 27 March 1918, commemorated on Pozières Memorial. B Company.
Born Workington, Cumberland, 22 October 1888, the illegitimate son of Ellen Bashforth (later McGlasson). Thomas was aged 25 yrs and 322 days, when he enlisted in Darlington 29 August 1914, following a public rally. He had married Florence Wood in 1912, and had a daughter, Ethel. He was 5ft 4 ¾ , 119 lbs, with a 33 in chest. The family lived at 6 Bridge Terrace, Bank Top, Darlington. His mother lived at 13 Robinson’s Yard, off Tubwell Row, Darlington.
After a spell at DLI Depot and early training near Barnard Castle, he joined 16 DLI, the training reserve battalion, at Rugeley Camp in Staffordshire. He became Lance Corporal on 26 October 1914 and was rpomoted full Corporal on 17 April 1915. On 25 August 1915 he arrived in France to join 11 DLI as Corporal. A year later, on 30 September 1916, he was promoted Sergeant.
No conduct record has survived with his service papers. He had two periods of leave to England: 21-31 January 1917 and 23 January – 6 February 1918. Medical problems were few: he had a spell of fever from 31 Mar – 4 April 1916 and was wounded 17 September 1917, but not enough to leave his post. Two more children were born: Thomas in March 1915, while he was still in England, and John Raymond on 5 November 1917. His wife was paid 30s 6d separation allowances.
On 27 March 1918, when the battalion was defending the village of Arvillers, during the German March Offensive, he was wounded. One of his comrades, Towers, tried to carry him back to the village, but both men were hit again, killing Thomas and leaving a bullet in Towers’ back. It is likely that his remains are buried nearby at Bouchoir Cemetery. Coincidentally, on the same day, Thomas’ brother in law, George Robert Howe was killed near Arras.
Thomas Bashforth was the website author’s grandfather.
Bates, Francis Reay
Private 18854, aged 26, from Pelton, died 23 April 1920 of cardiac failure, and was buried at Pelton Cemetery, County Durham.
Bates was a 20 year old miner when he attested at Birtley on 11 September 1914. He was assigned to 11 DLI. While in training at Larkhill he overstayed his pass from 12mn 17 May 1915 to noon 18 May 1915. He went out with the battalion on 20 July 1915. He was admitted 1 Australian General Hospital, Rouen in 1916 suffering from contusion to the back and shell shock.
He was no longer fit for normal active service and, although still classed as 11 DLI, was attached to 86th Prince of Wales Company, Labour Corps (new number 566355). He overstayed a pass again from 10pm 9 June 1918 to 12.30am 10 June 1918 and was given 7 days CC (confined to camp). He was issued with a Protection certificate at Nottingham on 27 December 1918. After demobilisation he was assessed as 40% disabled ‘D.A.H.’, attributed to his war service and was given a pension of 11/- a week from 24 January 1919, rising to 16/- per week from 2 September 1919, to be reviewed 48 weeks from the latter date. His address was 248 South Street, Ouston and he obtained work as a colliery timekeeper at Birtley.
Having survived the war, albeit not unscathed, he died 23 April 1920 from ulcerative endocarditis and heart failure at Newcastle Royal Victoria Infirmary.
Private 21451 Edmund E Batey went to France on 25 August 1915, possibly with 12 or 13 DLI, or with a new draft for 11 DLI. He was mentioned in despatches, London Gazette 9 July 1919. He survived the war, discharged to Class Z Reserve. In the 1911 Census he was probably Edmund Batey, 18, butcher, boarding at 46 Charlotte Stree, South Shields. He was born South Shields.
Private 13392, miner from 36 Ann Street, East Stanley, enlisted South Shields, 27 August 1914. He was 5ft 3in, weighed 128 lbs and had a 36 in chest. He was married with seven children.
He was allocated to 16th DLI, and transferred to 11th DLI 3 August 1915. Most of his service was unremarkable, with some minor illnesses, mainly indigestion. He was on leave in England from 10-20 December 1916.
He was reported missing 21 March 1918, on the first day of the German March Offensive. He had been taken prisoner. He was repatriated December 1918, demobilized 6 April 1919. Survived the war. He tried to claim a disability pension for rheumatism, but the claim was rejected.
Private (later Sergeant) 16313 William Bayfield, from South Shields, originally went overseas with 14th or 15th DLI on 11 September 1915. He was probably transferred to 11 DLI in February 1918. He was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal. London Gazette 1 January 1919.
The citation dated 3 September 1919 relates to his time with 11 DLI during the March Retreat and reads: ‘He has served in France for 2 ½ years and was posted to this battalion in February 1918. On 24 March, SE of Thanes [sic: Thennes], he handled his Lewis Gun with most conspicuous skill and gallantry, ensuring the success of our counter-attack. He was wounded for the fourth time on this date, but soon returned to duty. A most reliable and capable NCO.’
In 1911 he was a shipyard labourer aged 21, born in South Shields, the son of William and Elizabeth Bayfield of 50 Byethorne Street, South Shields.