Herbert BARLOW
Rank: Gunner
Number: W/2668
Unit: A Battery, 285th Brigade ROYAL FIELD ARTILLERY
Date of Death: 2 November 1917
Age: 32
Cemetery: Stockport Borough Cemetery

Nothing is known about Herbert’s early life although it is likely that he was born in the Stockport area in about 1886. His parents lived locally at 23 Worrall Street and he is known to have had a brother who also served in the War. In 1909, he married Sarah Ann Simpson at St Matthew’s Church and the couple are thought to have lived at 77 Bann Street where Sarah lived post-War.

285th Brigade was a second line Territorial unit formed during the War which went overseas on active service as part of the Army’s 57th Division in February 1917. The Third Battle of Ypres had been underway since 31 July, but the infantry of 57th Division played no significant role until its closing days. Their first attack came on 26 October when a final assault was made on the German positions still holding the village of Passchendaele. The artillery may have been in action earlier in the campaign and, at some point, Herbert was wounded. After receiving treatment at a field hospital and, possibly, a military hospital on the French coast, he was brought back to England where he was admitted to Lakenham Military Hospital in Norwich , where he died on 2 November.

His body was brought back to Stockport for burial. This will have been at the family’s expense – the army would pay for a funeral near to where he died but not if a body was moved to the man’s home town. The service was on 7 November and the coffin was brought to the Cemetery on an open Windsor car, preceded by a party of soldiers who would form the burial and firing parties. The firing party fired three volleys over Herbert’s grave and a bugler sounded the “Last Post”.

   
           
   
     
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