Private Harold Charles Barker

Harold Charles Barker © Dorking Advertiser
© 2015 Royston Williamson

Thank you to Lenka Cathersides for the following research.

Harold Barker Birth Registration Transcription ©
Harold Barker Baptism Certificate ©

Harold Charles Barker was born on the 17th of February 1897 in Kingston on Thames, Surrey to Prudential Assurance Company agent Charles Baker and Clara Sarah Anne Baker nee King. He was baptised on the 23rd of December 1900 at Holy Saviour’s church in Croydon, Surrey

Harold’s father was born in the 2nd quarter of 1867 in Dartford, Kent to silk printer William Baker, born about 1821 in Stratford, Essex and Elizabeth Barker, born about 1825 in West Ham, Essex. At the time of the 1881 Census, the family lived at 4 Saint Albans Road, Dartford, Kent. William was working as a silk printer and Elizabeth was at home. The household comprised of their children including Charles Baker. At this time Charles was working as an errand boy. His mother Clara Sarah Anne King was born in the 4th quarter of 1864 in Crayford, Kent to brickmaker Edward King, born about 1842 in Strood, Kent and Clara Anne King, born about 1846 in Tolington, Middlesex. Clara was baptised on the 30th of October 1864 in Crayford, Kent. At this time the family lived in Crayford and Edward was working as a labourer. Charles and Clara married in the 2nd quarter of 1889 in the Registration District of Dartford, Kent.

Harold had two siblings: Ruth born about 1893 in Bexley, Kent and Edith born about 1903 in Selhurst, Surrey.

At the time of the 1891 Census, the family lived at Bourne House, Bourne Street, Bexley. Charles was still working at the Prudential Assurance Company and Clara was a laundress.

Harold Barker 1901 Census ©

At the time of the 1901 Census, the family lived at 61 Whitehall Road, Croydon. Charles was working at the Prudential Assurance Company, but was now an assistant superintendent and Clara was at home. The family further comprised of their children: Ruth and Harold Charles.

Harold Barker 1911 Census ©

At the time of the 1911 Census, the family lived at 25 St Mary’s Road, Reigate.Charles was still in the same job, and Clara at home. The household further comprised of their children: General Post Office worker, Ruth, Harold and Edith. The accommodation had six rooms.

Harold Charles Barker enlisted on the 13th of November 1915 in Westminster into the 16th (County of London) Battalion, The London Regiment (Queen’s Westminster Rifles). He was a Rifleman with regimental numbers 4752 and 551895. At the time of his enlistment he lived in Dorking.

Harold Charles disembarked on the 5th of May 1916 in France.

Harold Charles Barker Missing Notice 29th July 1916 © Dorking Advertiser
Harold Charles Barker Missing Notice 29th July 1916 © Surrey Advertiser

Harold Charles Barker was killed in action on or since 1st of July 1916 near Gommecourt, on the first day of the Battle of the Somme, France. His body was never found.

Harold Barker Thiepval Memorial Roll of Honour ©
Harold Barker Thiepval Memorial Panel Listing ©

Harold Charles is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial in France on Pier and Face 13 C.

Harold Barker Medal Roll Index Card ©
Harold Barker British War Medal and Victory Medal Award Roll ©

He received the British War and Victory medals.

Harold Charles Baker was an old Reigate Grammar School Boy, and was a member of the O.T.C. He was a chorister at St Mary’s Parish Church, Reigate, for some years. (1916 Dorking and Leatherhead Advertiser)

Harold Barker Soldiers Effects ©

Harold’s father Charles Barker received £2, 2s and 6d on the 16th of October 1917 and a further £3 on the 26th of August 1919 in Soldier’s Effects.

In 1916 Harold Charles’ parents lived at 26 Wathen Road in Dorking, Surrey and later at Astrope House, Puttenham, Tring, Hertfordshire.

Born                       Kingston Upon Thames, Surrey

Son of                    Charles and Clara Sarah Anne Barker of Astrophe House, Puttenham, Tring, Hertfordshire

Lived                       Dorking

Enlisted                   Westminster

Regiment                 16th London Regiment. Queen’s Westminster Rifles
Number                   551895

Date of Death           1st July 1916
Place of Death          Gommecourt, France
Cause of Death        Killed In Action

Age                          19

Memorial                  Thiepval Memorial, France