Edward Patrick Barker
From Our Contribution
|Date of Birth||unknown 1884|
|Place of Birth||Calcutta, India|
|Death||5 Oct 1961 aged 76|
|Place of Death||Kenwick, Western Australia|
|Age at Enlistment||30 years, 7 months|
5'6½" (1.66m) tall ; 133|
133 lbs; fresh complexion ; blue eyes ; brown hair
|Address||Maddington, Western Australia|
|Next of Kin||Father , Mr John Patrick Barker|
|Date of Enlistment||6 Oct 1915|
|Unit/Formation||28th Battalion, 8th Reinforcement, transferred to 51st Battalion 3 Mar 1916|
|Date of Embarkation||17 Jan 1916 ‒ 9 Feb 1916|
|Ship Embarked On||HMAT A30 Borda|
|Date of Return||13 Apr 1919 ‒ 4 Jun 1919|
|Ship Returned On||HMAT A73 Commonwealth|
Wounded in Action 14/16 Aug 1916 Mouquet farm |
Wounded in Action 24 Apr 1918 Villers-Bretonneux
Returned to Australia
|Monument||none as yet|
British War Medal |
Edward was born on 22 Mar 1885, and baptised on 4 April at Fort William, Calcutta, in India. His father was employed byt he Post Master general's Office in Calcutta, but relocated the family to Maddington by 1916, perhaps for health reasons as he is listed as an Indian government pensioner. Edward had prior military experience in India, including a year with the Madrass Vilunteer Fusiliers.
Electoral Roll entries: 1914 at 32 Wade street, North Perth farmer; 1916 Maddington, farmer
Entered camp on 6 Oct 1915 and was allocated to the 8th reinforcement draft for the 28th Battalion on 12 Nov 1915. On arrival in Egypt he was posted to the 7th Training Battalion before being reallocated to the 51st Battalion at Tel-el-Kebir on 3 Mar 1916. Following training in the Canal zone, the battalion sailed for Marseilles in France form Alexandria on 5 Jun 1916 on the HMT Ivernia, arriving there on 12 Jun 1916.
Travelling by train in open cattle wagons, it took them two days to approach the front lines in northern France. During the evening of 13 Aug 1916 the 51st Battalion moved into the front line between Pozieres and Mouquet Farm. Ted and his colleagues of the 51st battalion were tasked with attacking the Fabeck Graben trench that lay just east of the Farm. Attacking late on the 14th, the battalion took extremely heavy casualties, Edward amongst them. The reason there is no certain date for his wounding is that many casualties lay on the field of battle for up to 2 days before their colleagues rescued them, or three days for the Germans to capture them.
On 19 Aug 1916 Edward was admitted to the 3rd Canadian General Hospital in Boulogne with shell wounds to his right foot. Assessed as needing time to recover, he was placed aboard HS Jan Breydel on 21 Aug 1916 for England where he was admitted to the 3rd General Hospital at Oxford later than day. On 21 Sep 1916 Edward was released to the 1st Australian Auxiliary Hospital before he was released to No 1 Command Depot in Perham Downs on 26 Sep 1916. Several days later he was given furlough, and then built up to return to France again which occurred on 1 Jan 1917.
Immediately hospitalised with influenza in the 26th General Hospital in Étaples, he needed 11 days treatment before he could resume his return to the battalion which was achieved on 28 Jan 1917. He suffered another attack of influenza from 21 Sep 1917, being seen by the 13th Field Ambulance and the 2nd Australian Casualty Clearing Station that day before entering the 3rd Stationary Hospital in Abbeville the next day. Evacuated to England aboard HMAT A69 Warilda then operating as a Hospital Ship, he entered the 1st Southern General Hospital in Stourbridge on 15 Oct 1917. Discharged on 5 Nov 1917 he was sent to Weymouth to build his strength before being sent to the Overseas Training Brigade at Longbridge Deverill on 11 Jan 1918.
Before returning to France, Edward participated in a Signals course, and spent time with the 13th Training Battalion in Codford. On 26 Mar 1918 he returned to France via Southampton, rejoining the 51st Battalion in the field on 10 Apr 1918. On 22 Apr 1918 Edward was appointed Lance Corporal and two days later he received a bullet wound to the face when the 51st battalion attacked German troops who occupied Villers-Bretonneux and several copse of adjacent woods. Seen by a British Field Ambulance he was sent on to the 20th General Hospital in Camiers on the coast before boarding HS Stad Antwerpen on 27 Apr 1918 for England. Ashore he was sent to the Dane John Hospital in Canterbury for treatment before being released to the 3rd Australian Auxiliary Hospital in Dartford on 24 May 1918. Granted furlough from 28 May until 11 Jun 1918, he was on 12 Jul 1918 again sent to the Overseas Training Brigade at Sutton Veny, and then on to France via Folkestone on 8 Aug 1918.
Back with his battalion on 16 Aug 1918, he developed neurasthenia ("shell shock")and was seen first by the 12th Australian Field Ambulance on 12 Sep 1918, then the 41st Stationary Hospital on 14 Sep 1918, the 12th General Hospital in Rouen on 23 Sep 1918. It wasn't until 19 Nov 1918 that he could rejoin the battalion. On 29 Jan 1919 however, he was found to be unfit, and to be returned to Australia, leaving for England on 10 Feb 1919.
Discharged at the 5th Military District on 27 Jul 1919
He appears on the electoral roll periodically between 1925 and 1943 and by 1949 having retired and returned to Railway Road, Kenwick. He died in Kenwick on 5 October 1961
Electoral Roll entries: 1925 - 1949 Collie road Kojonup, with his mother Kathleen until her death in 1934; 1949 - 1958 Railway road Kenwick, retired.
For more information about the history and heritage of the City of Gosnells, please contact the Heritage Coordinator on 9391 6011