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  • Barker's grave, Ovillers Military Cemetery, Photograph John Morse
Person Details
Thomas was the son of Charles and Ellen Barker (née Varley). His father Charles was born in Nottingham in 1866 and his mother Ellen in 1869, also in Nottingham. They were married at Nottingham St Paul on 17 July 1887 and by 1911 had six children, the eldest of whom, William, was born before their marriage. The children were born in Nottingham and five were baptised at Nottingham St Catherine: William Charles B [Barker?] Varley b. 1886 (A/M/J) bap. 31 October 1888 (mother only named on register, Ellen Varley); Ellen b. 24 November 1887 (reg. 1888) bap. 31 October 1888; James b. 6 August 1890 bap. 26 August 1891; Thomas b. 1895 (J/A/S) bap. 22 April 1896; Harry b. January 1900 bap. 2 May 1900 and Ada b. 1904 (probably 29 April). Charles and Ellen were living at 53 Fylde Street, Nottingham, when their children were baptised and still at the same address in 1891. The family was also registered at 53 Fylde Street in 1901: Charles, an iron moulder, Ellen, William (14) a lace machine threader, Ellen (13) a blouse fancy work machinist, James (10), Thomas (5) and Harry (1). The youngest child Ada was born three years later. Charles and Ellen had moved to 28 Crown Street, Blue Bell Hill Road, St Ann's by 1911. All six children were still living at home: William a lace maker, Ellen a machinist, James a general labourer, Thomas an iron fettler and Harry and Ada (6) who were still at school. Charles died in 1939 (A/M/J). Later in 1939 when the England and Wales Register was compiled his widow was living at 45 Plantagenet Street, St Ann's, with her two unmarried children Ellen, a hosiery machinist, and James a lift attendant. Also in the household was Thomas Barker b. June 1916 (reg. Nottingham, mother's maiden name Bull), a locksmith. Thomas was probably William's son; William (William CB Varley) had married in 1914 (O/N/D) spouse surname Bull. There was probably also a daughter, Annie F Barker b. 1915 (A/M/J Nottingham, Bull). Thomas' mother Ellen died in 1953; James in 1975 and her daughter Ellen in 1982. Harry married Phyllis E Smith (b. 28 April 1895). in 1924. In 1939 they were living on Chandos Street, Nottingham, with their daughter Sybil (b. 21 February 1927); the record of one other member of the household remains closed. Harry died in 1958. Ada probably married Frederick A Peel in 1932 and died in 1974.
In 1911 he was an iron fetler and a professional soldier by the oubreak of war.
11 Sep 1916
545537 - CWGC Website
9th Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment)
Thomas Barker served in France with 1st Battalion Sherwood Foresters from 4 November 1914 later transferring to 9th Battalion. He was killed in action on 11 September 1916 in the trenches near Ovillers and is buried in Ovillers Military Cemetery, France (grave ref. I.B.26). He qualified for the 1914 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal. CWGC - History of Ovillers Military Cemetery (extract): 'On 1 July 1916, the first day of the Battle of the Somme, the 8th Division attacked Ovillers and the 34th Division La Boisselle. The villages were not captured, but ground was won between them and to the south of La Boisselle. On 4 July, the 19th (Western) Division cleared La Boisselle and on 7 July the 12th (Eastern) and 25th Divisions gained part of Ovillers, the village being cleared by the 48th (South Midland) Division on 17 July. The two villages were lost during the German advance in March 1918, but they were retaken on the following 24 August by the 38th (Welsh) Division. Ovillers Military Cemetery was begun before the capture of Ovillers, as a battle cemetery behind a dressing station. It was used until March 1917, by which time it contained 143 graves, about half the present Plot I. The cemetery was increased after the Armistice when Commonwealth and French graves where brought in. [cemeteries listed].'
Registers of Soldiers' Effects: his mother Ellen was his sole legatee Nottingham Evening Post, ‘In Memoriam’, 11 September 1917: ‘’Barker. In loving memory of Private Thomas Barker (Tom), Sherwood Foresters, killed in action September 11th, 1916. Family.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Nottingham Evening Post, ‘In Memoriam’, 11 September 1918: ‘Barker. In loving memory of Pte Thomas Barker (Tom), Sherwood Foresters, who fell Sept. 11th, 1916, Family.' (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) The family also placed an 'In Memoriam' notice in the Nottingham Evening Post, in 1919.
Remembered on


  • Barker's grave, Ovillers Military Cemetery, Photograph John Morse
    Thomas Barker - Barker's grave, Ovillers Military Cemetery, Photograph John Morse
  • Buried in Ovillers Military Cemetery, France. (www.cwgc.org)
    Thomas Barker - Buried in Ovillers Military Cemetery, France. (www.cwgc.org)