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  • Buried in Janval Cemetery, Dieppe, France. (www.cwgc.org)
Person Details
Stapleford Nottinghamshire
John was the second son of John Thomas Benjamin and Blanche Barker (née Braithwaite). His father John was born in Stathern, Leicestershire, on 10 July 1866, the son of Thomas and Marianne Barker. He was baptised at Stathern parish church on 14 October 1866. In 1881 the family was living in Stathern; Thomas Barker was a lace maker, grocer and baker and his son John was also a lace maker. His mother Blanche was born in East Leake on 23 September 1863, the daughter of William and Mercy Braithwaite. William was a farmer of 277 acres with six employees. John and Blanche were married in 1889 (A/M/J Melton Mowbray) and had seven children who were born in Stapleford: Walter b. 1890, John b. 1892, Edith b. 1896, Gertrude b. 1898, Wilfred b. 1902, Bernard b. 1905 and Winifred b. 1908. John and Blanche lived in Sandiacre after their marriage but by 1891 were living on Alex Street, Stapleford, with their son Walter (under 1 year). Also in the household on the night of the census was Blanche's brother, William H Braithwaite (13). John, a lace manufacturer, and Blanche had moved to 53 Antill Street, Stapleford, by 1901 and this continued to be the family home Blanche's death in 1957. In the home on the night of the 1901 Census were their four children, Walter, John (8), Edith (4) and Gertrude (2). All seven children were still living at home in 1911: Walter and John who were both lace makers, presumably assisting in their father's business, Edith, Gertrude, Wilfred (8), Bernard (5) and Winifred (3). Edith died in 1917 aged 21. Bernard trained for the ministry and was accredited a lay preacher of the United Methodist Church in 1926 and appointed to serve as an assistant to the superintendent of the South Durham Street Mission, Sunderland. Bernard married Norah Walker Crosby at the Duke Street Methodist Church, Southport, in August 1933. John and Blanche celebrated their golden wedding in 1939. A report of the occasion in a local newspaper referred to their children, two of whom, Edith (1917) and John (1918), had predeceased their parents. (See 'Extra information) John Thomas Benjamin died on 29 January 1944 and Blanche on 1 December 1957.
The family were members of the Stapleford Brookhill Methodist Church where John was the organist.
17 Aug 1918
238911 - CWGC Website
Lance Corporal
Army Ordnance Corps
Army Ordnance Corps attached to 2nd Reinforcement Training Camp. John drowned on 17 August 1918. He was in charge of a bathing party at the coast and died while attempting to rescue a swimmer who had got into difficulties. He was buried in Janval Cemetery Dieppe, France (grave ref. i.O.6). CWGC - History of Janval Cemetery (extract): 'Dieppe was used by Commonwealth forces as a minor base from December 1914 onwards, particularly for supplies of small arms ammunition, forage and flour. From January 1915 to May 1919, "A" Section of No.5 Stationary Hospital was stationed in the town.'
CWGC headstone personal inscription: 'Drowned whilst saving others. aged 26 years' Registers of Soldiers' Effects: his father John was his legatee. Stapleford & Sandiacre News, 25 November 1922: ‘Heroic Deed Recalled. A large framed photograph of the late Mr John Barker, son of Mr and Mrs J Barker, Antill-street, Stapleford, and a former zealous worker in the church, was presented to the Brookhill United Methodist Church at a gathering on Wednesday evening. The photograph, which has been hung in the vestry, was the gift of Mr W Anthony, who succeeded the late Mr Barker in the position of organist at Brookhill Church. The late Mr Barker lost his life during the war, while serving with the Forces in France. He was in charge of a bathing party on the Fench coast and seeing a French officer in difficulties, he went to the rescue, losing his life in the attempt. Wednesday’s gathering took the form of a memorial service to the late Mr Barker. Mt T Northwood received the photo on behalf of the church. The Rev. AE Banks gave an address on the theme, ‘Greater love hath no man than this.’ Appropriate vocal items included a duet, ‘Lest we forget,’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Stapleford & Sandiacre News, 3 June 1939 (extract): ‘Happy Reunion. Stapleford Golden Wedding Celebrations. Congratulations to yet another veteran Stapleford couple who have celebrated their golden wedding – Mr and Mrs JT Barker of 53, Antill-street, Stapleford, for whom this memorable occasion was Whit-Monday. Mr and Mrs Barker, who spent their early days at Stathern (Leicestershire), were married in the Whitsuntide, 1889, and the same year took up residence in Sandiacre; a few years later they moved to Stapleford. Mr Barker … was a lace manufacturer in the Sandiacre ‘Big Factory’, later removing to the Erewash Mills, at Long Eaton … Mrs Barker and all the children have been active workers in religious circles, especially in connection with the Stapleford Brookhill Methodist Church, Mr W Barker being the church secretary and a local preacher. The youngest son, the Rev. Bernard Barker entered the ministry of the Methodist Church in 1926 ... At the golden wedding reunion all the surviving children and grandchildren were assembled – three sons [Walter, Wilfred, Bernard] … two daughters [Gertrude, Winifred]...’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Probate: Barker John Thomas Benjamin of 53 Antill-street Stapleford Nottinghamshire died 29 January 1944 Probate Nottingham 16 June to Blanche Barker widow. Effects £418 Probate: Barker Blanche of 53 Antill Street Stapleford Nottinghamshire widow died 1 December 1957 Probate Nottingham 7 February to Walter Barker retired twisthand Gertrude Barker spinster and Wilfred Barker hosiery manager. Effects £1446 0s. 1d.
Remembered on


  • Buried in Janval Cemetery, Dieppe, France. (www.cwgc.org)
    John Barker - Buried in Janval Cemetery, Dieppe, France. (www.cwgc.org)