At the time of writing (August 2007), the Commonwealth War Graves Commission wrongly spells his surname as Barrett. The correct spelling, Barratt, is confirmed by all other military and civilian records.
The 1901 Census found the Barratt family living at 40 Winifred Road, Stockport. Alfred Barratt, then 49, was married to Sarah and was a plumber by trade. They had six sons – John (then 22), Arthur (19), Henry (18), Fred (17), Sydney (12) and Richard (8). Three of his brothers were training to be plumbers – probably apprenticed to their father – but he had not followed the same path and had trained as a compositor in the printing industry. Nothing is else is known about his life before the War, except that the family worshipped at the Trinity Wesleyan Methodist Chapel.
When he enlisted into the army at Stockport, he was assigned to Rifle Brigade and, after training, joined “C” Company of its 3rd Battalion on active service. At some point, Richard was invalided home. The fact that he had been transferred from the fighting Battalion to the Depot indicates that he had been home for some considerable time before he died. He was a patient at Queen Mary’s Military Hospital, Whalley, Lancashire and his death certificate suggests that his return to the UK was due to his health rather than that he had been wounded. The causes of death are listed as (1) valvular disease of the heart (2) acute pulmonary congestion (3) general dropsy. His body was brought back to Stockport and buried on 14 December with full military honours – volleys were fired over the grave and the “Last Post” was sounded by a bugler