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Sybray Barker


Private 15469 C Company

11th Battalion Border Regiment



After the despicable theft in 2010 of all the metalwork on the Ridgeway Memorial to those who died in the 1914-18 war, I would like to record on the Ridgeway Website details as known to me of my great uncle Sybray who died on the first day of  the Battle of the Somme on 1st July 1916, aged just 21yrs.


Sybray was born in 1896, the 4th of seven sons born  to William Barker (b 1863) and Florence nee Wall (b 1869) who lived in High Lane (see The Barker Family (2) on this Website).


Sybray had always been keen to join the Army, having worked as a boot boy at Welbeck College, Worksop, prior to joining the force. He is stood to the left of the tallest boy at the back in this photograph:



Click thumbnail to view full-size image


On enlistment the following photo would have been taken:




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A few months after attending his brother Frank's wedding in Hampshire, together with his brother George and mother Jane, he was killed, like so many other young men, on the first day of the Battle of the Somme, 1st July 1916, whilst serving with the Border Regiment.


Click thumbnail to view full-size image

Click thumbnail to view full-size image


Although Sybray's name appears on his parents' grave at St John's Parish Church, he is in fact buried at Lonsdale Cemetery, Athuille, France.  (Details can be found on the CWGC website).



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Click thumbnail to view full-size image



NB Sybray's unusual Christian name is the surname of his great grandmother.



Ivor Barker


Petty Officer Airman

849 Squadron FAA, HMS Victorious



Tragedy was to strike again in World War II when Sybray's eldest brother Henry (Harry) Barker (b 1889) & Minnie nee Bolam (b 1888) were to lose their second youngest son, Ivor Barker (b 1924).   Ivor  was in the Fleet Air Arm and became a prisoner of war after an air raid over Sumatra.  On the day of the Japanese surrender he, together with eight other prisoners, was taken to the end of the island and beheaded. He too was aged 21yrs. (Known as the Palembang Nine, more information can be found on the War Stories website)



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Sandra Smith (nee Barker)

April 2011



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