Rank: Private
Number: 10819
Unit: 1st Battalion CHESHIRE REGIMENT
Date of Death: 27 May 1915
Age: 25
Cemetery: Menin Gate Memorial, Ieper, Belgium

John Barber was born in Bollington, Cheshire and it is not known when he moved to the Stockport area. Between April and June 1910, he married Ethel Maud Armitage and this marriage was registered in the town.

His service number indicates he enlisted into the army in August 1914 and probably went overseas as part of the first drafts of replacements for the regular army soldiers who had already been killed or wounded in the first months of fighting.

On 20 May, the Battalion took over front line trenches at Dormy House, Zillebeke (2 kilometres south east of the centre of the Belgian town of Ypres (now Ieper). On the 24th, the Germans released poison gas but the wind blew it onto neighbouring units rather than the Cheshires. An attack was expected but it never materialised.

The Battalion’s War Diary for the 27th makes no reference to casualties, only describing it as a “quiet day”. John was probably killed by shellfire. If ever he had a marked grave, it’s location was lost during the course of the war and he is now commemorated on the Memorial to the Missing.

By the time the War Graves Commission was collating casualty information in the early 1920s, it noted that Ethel had also died.

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