Jesse lived all his life in the Portwood area of Stockport until he enlisted into the Army in 1914.
He was the younger son of Ernest and Mary and the family home was at 17 Avenue Street. Mary had died in the 1890s and the 1901 Census records that Edward, a bricklayer, was at home with his five children - Harry (then 21), Josiah (13), Alice (18), Polly (15) and Elizabeth (10). Josiah had attended St Paul's Day School and also furthered his education at the church's Sunday school. He worked as doubler at the Goyt cotton mill on Newbridge Lane.
Jesse and his mates landed in France on 6 March 1915. They were in action the following month. In the middle of July, the Battalion was in billets at La Gorgue, but on the 22nd, they went back into the front line relieving the 6th Seaforth Highlanders at Fauquissart (approximately 15 kilometres west of Lille). The Battalion's War Diary records that the relief was completed by 11.15pm and that it was a wet night.
The rain continued into the next day. The Diary starkly records "In front line trenches. Left sub-sector. One man killed (Pte Barlow)".
The next day, Josiah friend Private V Fowler wrote to the family "I regret to have to inform you of your son's death, Jesse Barlow. He was killed by a sniper on the morning of the 23rd inst. and his pals, of whom he had so many as he was so well liked, deeply sympathise with you in your great loss. We buried him in a churchyard not far from the firing line. He died a hero's death. I am glad to say he suffered no pain as it was so sudden. Personally I cannot tell you how I feel his loss, as he was a good chum of mine." Another friend, Thomas Sword, 1st Platoon, "D" Company, also wrote expressing his condolences.
Two years later, the Stockport Express in its edition of 26 July 1917, published an "in memoriam" notice from Jesse's "father, brother, sisters and brothers in law, Bill and Alf (with the colours)".
After the War, Jesse's body was removed from its original burial site and moved to the War Graves Commission Cemetery at Fleurbaix. By now, Edward Barlow was living at 2 Brewery Street, Portwood.