Henry Barker was born on the 1st of March 1882, the eldest of nine children of Arthur and Elizabeth, nee Greenwood.In 1901, Henry at 19 years of age was living in Earl Street, Horton with his grandparents Edwin and Margaret Barker and he was working as a plasterer. On the 23rd of August 1902 at St James Church Henry at 20 years of age married Florence Clark, 22 years of Charlotte Street and the daughter of Thomas Clark. By 1911 Henry and Florence had moved to 13 Mount Street, Eccleshill and four children had been born, Laura in 1903, Florence Eileen in 1905, Lucy in 1907 and Cecil Clark in 1909. Henry was still working as a plastererHe was called up at the beginning of the war and enlisted on the 5th January 1915 in the 1/6th Battalion
of the Prince of Wales Own (West Yorkshire Regiment) He then held the rank of colour sergeant and had served in the Territorials for 14 years. He was an excellent shot and was a member of the team that won the Bingham Trophy three times and the Bingham Shield once. He had won many individual prizes and he held the Territorial efficiency medal.His Regiment landed in Boulogne on the 15th of April 1915 as part of the 49th Division and at some point during his service he became Regimental Sergeant Major 240002.
He received a bullet wound in the left arm in August of the same year and in 1916 his Regiment fought at the Somme in the Battles of Bazentin 14th – 17th July, 1916, Pozieres 23rd July to 3rd September and Flers-Courcelette 15th to 22nd September. He was involved again in 1917 at Ypres, or Passchendaele as it became to be known, at the Battle of Poelcapelle on the 9th of October and at Lys in 1918 during the German offensive “Operation Georgette”. He fought in the Battle of Bailleul 13th to 15th of April, the 1st Battle of Kemmel 17th of 19th of April and the 2nd Battle of Kemmel 25th
to the 26th of April 1918. He was killed in action on the first day of this battle, the 25th. He was 37 years of age. During his service Henry had twice been decorated being awarded the Military Cross for acts of exemplary gallantry and also the Distinguished Conduct Medal for gallantry in the field in the face of the enemy, a medal second only to the Victoria Cross. This entitled him to use the letters DCM after his name.He is remembered on the Tyne Cot Memorial.Henry left his effects to his widow Florence who received £51.16.6d on the 22nd July 1919 and a War Gratuity of £40.0.0d on the 20th December 1919.Researched and written by Jean Britteon, to whom many thanks.