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  • Buried in Toronto (St John's Norway) Cemetery, Canada. Photograph 2014 (www.findagrave.com/cemetery/1971603)
Person Details
27 Apr 1877
James was the son of William and Catherine Barker (née Ratcliffe also Ratcliff). His father William was born in Nottingham in 1844, the son of Charles and Elizabeth Barker of Hermit [?Hermitage] Street, Nottingham. William was baptised at Sneinton St Stephen on 18 August the same year. His mother Catherine was born in 1846 also in Nottingham, the daughter of Elizabeth Ratcliff (sic). She was baptised at Nottingham St Mary on 25 January 1846; her mother lived on Earl Street, Nottingham. William and Catherine were married at Sneinton St Luke on 4 October 1863 (Barker-Ratcliffe) and they had at least eleven children who were born in Nottingham: Kate birth registered 1865 (J/F/M) bap. Nottingham St Luke 27 January 1867; Elizabeth birth registered 1867 (J/F/M) bap. St Luke 27 January 1867; Harriet birth registered 1869 (J/F/M); Anne birth registered 1871 (J/F/M); William birth registered 1873 (J/F/M); Martha b. 18 July 1875 bap. Sneinton St Matthias 27 June 1888; James b. 27 April 1877 bap. Nottngham St Mary 18 November 1882; Joseph b. 6 July 1879 bap. (1) Emmanuel Church 1 June 1886 (2) St Matthias 27 June 1888 (no record births Joseph x2); Mary b. 20 July 1882 bap. St Matthias 23 February 1888; Ernest b. 30 September 1883 bap. 23 February 1888 and Gertrude b. 23 October 1885 bap. St Matthias 23 February 1888. At the time of Kate and Elizabeth's baptisms in 1867 the family was living in Poplar, Sneinton. By 1871 William and Catherine were living in Rose Yard, Nottingham, with their four daughters, Kate (6), Elizabeth (4), Harriet (2) and Annie (under one year). Ten years later in 1881 the family was living at 20 Barker Gate, Nottingham. William was a teller-up (lace) while Catherine was a dressmaker (at home). All eight of their children were at home on the night of the census: Kate, a rose maker (at home), Elizabeth, Harriet, Abbe, William (8), Martha (5), James (3) and Joseph (1). William and Catherine had moved to Emily Terrace, Dawson Street, Sneinton, by the time five of their children were baptised in 1888 and were still at the same address in 1891. William was now working as a machine setter-up. Of their eleven children, the two oldest, Kate and Elizabeth, were not in the home on the night of the census. Of the other nine, Harriet and Anne were lace hands, William a cardboard box maker, Martha a lace hand and James an errand boy while Joseph, Mary (9), Ernest (7) and Gertrude (5) were of school age. William died in 1896 (A/M/J) and in 1901 his widow Catherine was living at 21 Crown Street, Nottingham, with Joseph a mechanical engineer, Mary a milliner, Ernest a carter and Gertrude a machinist. Also in the home was her widowed daughter Martha Day, a machinist, and her son Edgar (b. 1897 O/N/D). Martha had married Thomas Edgar Day at Sneinton St Luke on 12 January 1897. Thomas had served with the East Lancashire Regiment for 12 years but after he was discharged on completion of his engagement he attested in the West Yorkshire Regiment on 25 April 1896 on a short service engagement (4734 Private). However, he was discharged by purchase on 17 November 1896, two months before his marriage to Martha. Thomas died in 1898 aged about 29 (see 'Extra information'). Martha married Arthur Day in 1901 and in 1911 they were living at 1 Emily Terrace, Dawson Street, with her son Edgar and their four children. Martha died on 7 March 1931; the probate record gave her address as 1 Emily Terrace. Her husband survived her. Catherine Barker married John Henson in 1902 (A/M/J) and died in 1907 (A/M/J Nottingham). James has not been traced on the 1911 Census and it is likely that he had already emigrated to Canada where he married his wife, Rachel. They lived at 24 Grant Street, Toronto.
In 1891 he was an errand boy.
09 Apr 1919
426352 - CWGC Website
Canadian Forces
Canadian Railway Troops. Served in France. James died in Toronto, Ontario, of bronchopneumonia on 9 April 1919 and was buried in Toronto (St John's Norway) Cemetery, Canada (Range 7. Sec. 6. Lot 1).
CWGC: 'Son of the late William and Catherine Ratcliffe Barker, of 14, Emily Terrace, Dauphin (sic) St., Nottingham, England; husband of Rachel Barker, of 24, Grant St., Toronto, Ont.' Nottingham Journal, 14 September 1898: ‘Inquests in Nottingham … The first [inquest] concerned the death of Thomas Edgar Day, aged 29, of 56, Cooper-street. Martha Day, the widow, said deceased had only left the army three years ago. For eleven years previously he had enjoyed fairly good health. He occasionally took a little too much to drink. He was at home on Saturday and she left him there at night. When she got home again she found him in bed. There was a bottle on the kitchen table with a poison label on it, and a little brown liquid at the bottom. She went upstairs but could not wake him, and sent for the doctor. He was afterwards removed to the General Hospital. He had been rather strange in his manner at times ... [there followed accounts from witnesses including a chemist who said deceased had bought sixpennyworth of laudanum from his shop] … deceased died about one o’clock on Sunday morning from the effects of laudanum poisoning. The jury returned a verdict to the effect that deceased had committed suicide by taking laudanum while in an unsound state of mind, produced by the influence of drink.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk)
Remembered on


  • Buried in Toronto (St John's Norway) Cemetery, Canada. Photograph 2014 (www.findagrave.com/cemetery/1971603)
    James Baker - Buried in Toronto (St John's Norway) Cemetery, Canada. Photograph 2014 (www.findagrave.com/cemetery/1971603)