Lance Cpl. J.E. Barker


FIRST NAMES: James Edward

UNIT: 2nd Yorkshire Regiment

NUMBER: 36050

STATUS: Died of Wounds

DATE OF DEATH: 25th March 1918

CEMETERY OR MEMORIAL: St. Souplet British Cemetery, France

AGE: 21

James was born in Northallerton and enlisted in Northallerton. He was the son of the late Albert and Barbara Barker. He worked as a fireman on the North Eastern Railway at Darlington before joining the Army. He sailed to France in July 1915.

He was killed, aged 21, during what became known as the ' March Retreat ' when the Germans launched a massive attack against the British lines in the hope of gaining a decisive victory before the arrival of American troops made victory an impossibility.

St Souplet Cemetery was not constructed until the ground had been regained during the final Allied advance in October 1918. It was used at that time and then enlarged after the Armistice, when graves from nearby burials were concentrated in this cemetery. James Barker was originally listed as "Missing" like so many of his comrades whose positions were overrun by the German advance. It is likely that he died in March 1918 and was buried by the advancing Germans. His grave was then subsequently identified and he was moved and re-buried in this cemetery after the Aristice.

His rank is officially listed as Lance Corporal though he appears as a Corporal on the Northallerton Memorial.