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Person Details
Tamworth, Staffordshire.
Thomas Barker was the son of Joseph Barker and his second wife, Mary (née Adamson). His father Joseph was born in Tamworth in 1861, the son of Joseph and Mary Barker (née Wagstaff) and was baptised at Tamworth parish church on 6 July 1862. In 1881 the family was living in Old School Yard, Church Street, Tamworth. Six of Joseph and Mary's children were still living at home including Joseph (19), a coal miner. Joseph jnr. married Eliza Hopkins (b. Wilnecote, Warwickshire, reg, 1865 J/F/M), the daughter of John and Elizabeth Hopkins, at Wilnecote Holy Trinity on 14 September 1883. He and Eliza had at least three children who were all born in Wilnecote: Joseph b. 10 June 1884, Alice b. 1885 and John b. 1887. In 1891 Eliza (26) and her three children were living in Wilnecote with her married sister Emma Tranter (née Hopkins) and her husband together with their widowed mother Elizabeth Hopkins (62). Joseph has not yet been traced on the 1891 Census. His wife Eliza died at the end of 1891 (O/N/D) aged 26 and in 1901 her mother Elizabeth Hopkins was living at 6 Old School Yard, Tamworth, with her two eldest grandchildren, Joseph (16) a colliery worker and Alice (15) a housemaid. The youngest grandchild, John, has not yet been traced on the 1901 Census. Joseph Barker married Mary Adamson in about 1896. Mary was born in Illinois, America, of English parents, John and Elizabeth Adamson. In 1880 John, a coal miner, and Elizabeth were recorded on the US Federal Census living in Huntsville, Randolph, Missouri, with their children Robert (16) and William (14), both coal miners, John (9), Mary (7) and Emma (5) who were all born in Illinois, and twins Rosanne and Lily who were born in Missouri in September 1879. Joseph and Mary had twelve children of whom nine were still living in 1911: Thomas Henry b. Tamworth 1895, Mary b. Tamworth 1897 (reg. J/F/M), Rose Ann b. Alvecote Staffs 1899 (J/F/M); Samuel b. Alvcote 1900; Charles b. Seckington Staffs/Warks. 1902; Frank b. Linton Derbys. 1903; Emma b. Linton 1905; William b. Measham Leics. 1907 and Martha b. Warsop Notts. 1911 (reg. J/F/M)). Two of the three children who died in infancy may have been Ada b. 1910 (J/F/M) d. 1911 (J/F/M Mansfield) and Martha's twin, Harry Barker b. 1911 (J/F/M) d. 1911 (J/F/M Mansfield). In 1901. Joseph, a coal miner foreman, and Mary (27) were living in Polesworth, Atherstone, Warwickshire, with their children Thomas (5), Mary (4), Rose (2) and Samuel (under 1 year). By 1911 the family had moved to 29 Alexandria Street, Warsop. Eight of their nine surviving children were in the home on the night of the census: Thomas, Rose, Samuel, Charles (9), Frank (7), Emma (5), William (3) and Martha (under 1 year). Their eldest daughter was living with her half-brother Joseph (27) a coal miner loader, who was head of household, her half-sister Alice (26) a tape weaving scraper, and their widowed grandmother Mary Barker (79) at Hopwas View, The Leys, Tamworth. Mary's occupation was given as a tape weaving learner. Thomas' mother Mary died later that year (1911 A/M/J Mansfield) aged about 37. His father was living at 76 Newstead Colliery, Nottingham, by 1919 and was still at the same address in August 1920 when he completed a form for the army listing his son's surviving blood relatives. Joseph named himself and: Brothers: Samuel (19), Charles (17), Frank (16) and William (13) of 76 Newstead Colliery Sisters: Mary (22), Rose (21) and Emma (14 of 76 Newstead Colliery Half-brothers: Joseph (36), 5 Park Hurst, Tamworth, and John (32), 205 Warsop Vale, Mansfield Half-sister: Alice Barker (34), 113 Coronation Street, Tamworth. His half-brother Joseph served with the North Staffordshire Regiment in the war, also on Guernsey where Thomas died in 1915.
He was a coal miner when he enlisted in 1914
28 Feb 1915
2917248 - CWGC Website
211 Warsop Vale, Warsop. Enlisted Mansfield
The Prince of Wales's (North Staffordshire Regiment)
Served in 'A' Company 11th Bn North Staffordshire Regiment Thomas Barker enlisted at Mansfield on 12th January 1915 aged 19 years and 78 days. He lived at 211 Warsop Vale, Mansfield, and his next of kin was his father Joseph of the same address. Thomas was posted to 11th Battalion North Staffordshire Regiment and joined at Litchfield on 27th January 1915 and later posted to Alderney in the Channel Islands. He was admitted to the Huret Hospital, Alderney, on 25th February 1915 suffering from influenza, dying three days later on 28th February 1915. He was buried with full military honours in Alderney (St. Anne) Churchyard, Alderney (Military Plot). His father and half-brother Joseph, who was serving with the North Staffordshire Regiment at Fort Tourgis on the island, attended the funeral. Thomas had served for only 48 days. He qualified for the British War Medal and Victory Medal.
Mansfield Reporter, 19 March 1915: ‘Death of a Warsop Vale Private. Military Funeral. The following is an extract from the ‘Guernsey Weekly Press’:- The funeral of Private Thomas Barker, son of Mr Joseph Barker of 211, Warsop Vale, aged 19, of ‘A’ Company 11th Battalion North Stafford Regiment, who died in the Huret Hospital on Sunday, February 28th, took place on Wednesday after the arrival of the Courier. The military ceremony was very impressive, and was witnessed by a large number of sympathisers. The Rev. J Le Brun, vicar of St Annes, and Garrison chaplain, officiated, and was assisted by the Rev, WG Price, curaate and chaplain to the Militia. The coffin, covered with the Union Jack, was carried by comrades iof deceased, other comrades marching as pall bearers on either side. The chief mourners were Mr J Barker, of 211, Warsop Vale, father, who had crossed over that day, and Mrs Joseph Barker, elder brother, now serving in the same regiment, at Fort Tourgis [Alderney]. A firing party preceded the bearers, and the procession was composed of the company of the deceased, and a very large number of the detachment stationed in the island. Mr Reake, the church organist, played ‘O, Rest in the Lord’, as the cortege entered the church, and the ‘Dead March from Saul’ as it left. The service was choral, there being a full choir with whom were many ‘Staffords.’ The Rev. WG Price read the lesson, and the hymns sung were: ‘On the Resurrection Morning.’ and ‘Fight the Good Fight.’ The 39th Psalm was also sung. The Rev. T Le Brun read the committal prayers. The firing party fired three volleys over the grave, and the ‘Last Post’ was sounded. Lieuts. Powell, Moore and Hogg were present as were also a large number of civilians. Mr Barker, the father, much appreciated the kindness of the officers and men of the detachment. Several wreaths were sent, amongst others from the officers of ’A’ Company 11th North Staffords’,in loving token of respect from comrades of ‘A’ Company, ‘Deepest sympathy’ from Major Myles, and a Cross from friends at Alderney, ‘With deepest sympathy.’ (www/britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Note: Fort Tourgis, completed in 1855, was one of Alderney's Victorian forts.
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