Biography of Gunner William James Barron (68821)
Royal Horse Artillery Regiment
Died 20th April 1917

Soldier

  • Name: William James Barron
  • Date of birth: 1894
  • Place of Birth: Morton, Lincolnshire, England
  • Date of Birth Registration: January – March 1894
  • Place of Birth Registration: Bourne, Lincolnshire, England

Father

  • Name: Edward Barron
  • DOB: 1845
  • Place of Birth: Barnack, Lincolnshire, England
  • Occupation: Publican

Mother

  • Name: Eliza Wadsley
  • DOB: 1866
  • Place Of Birth: Morton, Lincolnshire, England
  • Marriage: 11th January 1889 Morton, Lincolnshire, England

Siblings: (Name), (DOB), (POB)

  • William James Barron, 1895, Morton
  • Edward John Barron, 1900, Morton (Half brother)

Census

  • 1901: William is living with his father and step mother at the Nelson Hotel, Bourne Road, Morton, Lincolnshire.
  • 1911: William is living with Annie Horatia Jones at Tadmor, Sunbury on Thames. The census gives him an age of 17 and he is listed as a garden boy.

Relatives in services

  • None found

Wife

  • Name: Helen Maria Mulley
  • Date of birth: 1890
  • Place of Birth: Hadleigh, Suffolk, England

Marriage

  • Date of Marriage: 22nd December 1915
  • Place of Marriage: Morton, Lincolnshire, England

Children

  • William F Barron, 1917, Samford, Suffolk

Wife’s parents

  • Father: Robert William Mulley
  • Mother: Eleanor Powell

rNewspaper Mentions

  • Grantham Journal Saturday 1st January 1916
    MILITARY WEDDING – a very pretty wedding was solemnised At the parish church of St John the Baptist, The contracting parties being Gunner William J Barron, Son of Mrs Jane Barron The genial proprietress of the Nelson Hotel Morton, and Miss Helen Mulley of Ipswich. The bride who was given away by Mr John Halford, Uncle of the bridegroom, looked charming in a neat cream costume. The bridesmaids were missed Ruthie Clark (niece of the bride) and Miss Tompkins (friend of the bride), Who will wore pretty dresses and black velvet picture hats to match, and gold brooches, the gifts of the bridegroom. Mr Edward J Barron, brother, The best man.  The ceremony was performed by the vicar the Rev J H Boldero and the reception was held at the Nelson hotel which is to be the brides future home for the time, and where the wedding breakfast took place. Going W Baron after leaving school took up gardening for an occupation at first under Major Pearson Hanthorpe House, afterwards under his uncle Mr John Halford in Middlesex. Soon afterwards gardening was exchanged for a career of a soldier and the Royal Horse Artillery was his choice. Gunnar W Barron has been 13 months in France and his visit to Morton has long been expected. However on Tuesday week he suddenly arrived with a week’s leave and last Tuesday he rejoined the regiment. The newly married couple have been the recipients of many useful presents.

 

  • Grantham Journal Saturday 5th May 1917
    MORTON
    BAD NEWS – On Monday morning Mrs Barron of the Nelson in had a letter from the Colonel’s wife whose husband has sent word that Gunner William Barron had been seriously wounded in both legs and chest by the bursting of a shell while packing sandbags in front of gun-pit. On the same morning Mrs James Handford learned that her eldest son Lance Corporal J F Handford had been wounded in action. On Wednesday Mrs Baron was the recipient of the sad news that William Barron had died his legs having been blown off. Mrs Handford heard that Fisher had arrived in England and was now in hospital the deepest sympathy on all sides is felt for Mrs Barron and family in their sudden terrible bereavement going Barron had been in France since 1914.

 

  • Grantham Journal, Saturday 12th May 1917;
    Gunner WM. J. BARRON, of Morton
    Gunner Wm. J. Barron stepson of Mrs Jane Barron of the Lord Nelson Hotel, Morton, Bourne, who received mortal wounds in action on April 20th, was the elder son of the late Mr Edward Barron of Morton (Formerly “Whitewater” Stamford), and grandson of the late Mr and Mrs James Barron, quarry owners, Barnack.  A native of Morton, after leaving school, he took up gardening for an occupation, under Major Pearson, Hanthorpe House, afterwards under his uncle, Mr John Halford, in Middlesex. Soon , However, gardening was exchanged for the career of a soldier, and the royal Horse Artillery was his choice. Tall and of robust physique, he was a fine type of the British soldier, and he has served abroad with the R.H.A. He married, immediately before Christmas, 1915, Miss Helen Mulley, of Ipswich, who is left with an infant son, four months old. Deceased was much respected, and deep sympathy is felt with all members of the bereaved family.

 

  • Grantham Journal, Saturday 19th May 1917
    Gunner William James Barron Of Morton. On Sunday evening last a service was held in the Morton parish church in memory of gun that William James Barron.  Who was killed in action on April 20th. The Rev J. H. Boldero (Vicar) conducted the service making reference to the dead soldier during his address. Suitable hymns were sung and a portion of the burial service was read. Connor Barron was one of the first choirboys in Morton church When the surpliced choir was introduced by the late vicar the Rev N. C. Marris. A muffled Peel was wrong on the bells during the week.

Military Records

Attestation Papers

  • None found

Soldier’s Died In The Great War

  • These records show that Gunner William James Barron, 68821, Royal Horse Artillery and Royal Foeld Artillery was killed in action on 20th April 1917 in the Western European Theatre in France and Flanders.

Pension Records

  • Available

Effects Left To

  • Wife Helen

Medals

  • The British Medal
    The Victory Medal
    The 14 Star 
    Clasp 2/3027

Memorials

  • UK:
  • Morton, Roll of Honour in St John the Baptist Church

 

  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission:
  • In memory of Gunner William James Barron, 68821, Royal Horse Artillery Regiment who died on 20 April 1917 Age 23
  • Husband of Helen Dibbin (formerly Barron), of The Police Station, Mistley, Essex.
  • Remembered with honour, Haute-Avesnes British Cemetery

© Picture taken by South Lincolnshire War Memorials

© Picture taken by South Lincolnshire War Memorials

Military Service Timeline

  • William attested in Hounslow Middlesex and was listed as a resident of Houndslow at the same time.

  • William’s war office records are yet to be uncovered and may be part of the burnt records that were destroyed by fire.

 

  • William Barron died of wounds on 20 April 1917. Due to the date and location of his memorial, it would be most likely that he died in one of the early phases in the Battle of Arras. It is possible that it may have been part of the Battle of the Scarpe where the 32nd Brigade fought as part of the 4th Division.

 

  • The 32nd Brigade Diary has the following to offer:
  • 1-3/4/17
    Normal trench warfare

 

  • 4/4/17
    V day preliminary bombardment started

 

  • 9/4/17
    Z day 9th division attacked on the front from St Laurent Blangy-Giza at 5:30 AM in conjunction with III corps, remainder of 17th corps and Canadian corps. By 1:30 PM Brown line (pont du jour t- Athies) I’ve been captured and that 2 PM p.m. 32nd second Brigade commenced to move forward by batteries two positions about age 13 meanwhile fourth division had passed through the 9th division by 5 PM had captured a line from Fampoux- Hyderabad worx. at 3:45 PM orders are received to 32nd Brigade to move further forward.

 

  • 10/4/17
    Consolidated Positions

 

  • 11/4/17
    4th Division endeavoured to advance at 12 noon but were unsuccessful, cavalry could not get through.

 

  • 12/4/17
    9th Division endeavoured to advance at 5pm but were unsuccessful owing to hostile macjine guns

 

  • 13/4/17
    Quiet day, enemy bombarded H15 and H16 from 11:30pm until 3am 14th/9/17 with Gas shells
    1 officer killed, 2 suffering from gas poisoning and evacuated, 3 other ranks wounded.

 

  • 14/4/17 – 21/4/17
    Normal holding the line. Enemy kept up an intermittent bombardment of H15 during the night and day.

Sources

  • WW1 Soldier’s Records (www.ancestry.co.uk)
  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission
  • British Newspaper Archive.

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