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  cap badgeLance Corporal John Barnbrook

1st Battalion Highland Light Infantry
Service No: 10865

John Barnbrook grave

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Personal details

Family Information

Son of Albert and Ann Barnbrook. John's elder brother (born in Brierly Hill, Staffordshire) Corporal Joseph Barnbrook (12674) of the 8th Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers Died of Wounds in the Malta Hospital on the 29/08/1915 aged 38. Another elder brother (born in Middlesborough) Company Quartermaster Sergeant Isaiah Barnbrook (5506) of the 2nd Battalion York and Lancaster Regiment was Killed in Action on the 27/10/1914. The 2 brothers are NOT on the Coatbridge Memorial. From the 1891 Census - Address - 51 Milton St, Motherwell - Albert Ed Bornbrooks aged 49, Ann Bornbrooks aged 44, Joseph Bornbrooks aged 14, Albert Bornbrooks aged 17, Isaiah Bornbrooks aged 7, William Bornbrooks aged 4, John Bornbrooks aged 2, boarders Harry Smith aged 27, John Jays aged 47, Charles Eldwoth aged 40, Alexander Campbell aged 45. From the 1901 Census - Address 1c Weir St, Coatbridge - John's brother Joseph Barnbrook aged 24 and his wife Agnes Barnbrook (19/02/1877- ) aged 24 and their daughter Lillian Barnbrook aged 4, Agnes' Mother Liza Jones Barnbrook aged 56, John's brother William Barnbrook aged 15 and John Barnbrook aged 13. Joseph's Pension was awarded to his wife Agnes of 17g Turner St, Coatbridge then 2a Stewarts Lane, Bank St, Coatbridge on the 26/06/1916. Their adopted daughter Agnes Jones Barnbrook born 22/01/1902 is also listed. Isaiah's Pension was awarded to his wife Betsy Jessie of 7 Lees Mill Lane, Westgate, Wakefield (then 4 Ings Road, Westgate, Wakefield) on the 23/10/1918.

Born / Resided

Motherwell / 11 Burnbank St, Coatbridge previously 33 Crichton St, Coatbridge.

Died

Killed in Action on the 19/12/1914 at Festubert (part of the Winter operations, 1914-15)

Enlisted

Glasgow 1914 previously 31/07/1906 (see employment)

Employed

Regular Soldier. Enlisted 31/07/1906 in the 71st Foot, Highland Light Infantry (6045).

Age

26

Buried / Remembered

Y-Farm Military Cemetery (L. 51), Bois Grenier, Nord, France.

Cemetery / Memorial Information

The cemetery was named after a nearby farm, called by the Army "Y" (or Wye) Farm. It was begun in March 1915 and used by units holding this sector until February 1918. At the Armistice it contained 335 burials, but it was then increased when graves were brought in from the battlefields south of Armentieres. Y Farm Military Cemetery now contains 835 burials and commemorations of the First World War. 288 of the burials are unidentified and a special memorial commemorates one New Zealand casualty believed to be buried among them. Another special memorial commemorates an Indian soldier known to have been buried in Marquillies Communal Cemetery German Extension whose grave could not be found.

Additional Information

ADDITIONAL FAMILY INFORMATION - For more information on the Barnbrook family please check this fantastic website and enter the name Barnbrook - www.flintshirewarmemorials.com . John and the Battalion moved to France via Egypt landing at Marseilles on the 01/12/1914 and were part of the 9th (Sirhind) Brigade, 3rd (Lahore) Division. John was Killed in Action at Festubert. This was part of the Winter operations (Western Front), 23rd November 1914 – 6th February 1915 : French orders for a major offensive in December lead to disastrous piecemeal British attacks. Localised operations seeking tactical advantage continue through winter. Givenchy and the Indian Corps : To the south of IV Corps, the line was continued by the Indian Corps under Lieutenant-General Sir James Willcocks, comprising the 3rd (Lahore) and 7th (Meerut) Divisions. It was the first time in which Indian troops had been called upon to fight in what was still in late 1914 essentially a European struggle. The Divisions of the corps comprised a mixture of British and native Indian units. The Lahore Division arrived in Flanders in time to play a part in the fighting on the Wytschaete-Messines front from late October 1914. On arriving in Europe the troops had received a message from King George V : "You are the descendants of men who have been great rulers and warriors … you will recall the glories of your race … Hindus and Muslims will be fighting side-by-side with British soldiers and our gallant French allies … you will be the first Indian soldiers of the King-Emperor who will have the honour of showing in Europe that the sons of India have lost none of their martial instincts. In battle you will remember that your religious duty is your highest reward … you will fight for your King-Emperor and your faith, so that history will record the doings of India’s sons and your children will proudly tell the deeds of their fathers". The Sirhind and Ferozepore Brigades attack on the 19th December : The plan was concocted during the meetings on the 18th December and was launched at 5.30am the next day – almost two hours after the Leicesters had commenced their attack and by which time the German defences were fully alerted and projecting enormous volumes of fire onto the British lines. Described in orders as a ‘simultaneous and conjoint’ operation between the Sirhind and Ferozepore Brigades, the action took place east and northeast of Givenchy. Their objective was the capture of enemy trenches on a front about 150 yards in breadth. On the left, four waves of men of the Sirhind Brigade, comprising 1st Highland Light Infantry and 1/4th Ghurka Rifles, would advance. It was their first significant operation since arriving in France from Egypt. The first wave of the left-hand group (the Sirhind Brigade) left their trench and moved out into no man’s land. The moment is stopped, they rushed the last 180 yards or so and entered the enemy fire trench with very few losses. They had achieved an element of surprise, regardless of the generally alerted enemy, and sent some 80 prisoners back to British lines. The Scots of the Highland Light Infantry and the Ghurkas now moved on to the reserve trench, finding that stage relatively straightforward, too, and the second wave arrived soon afterwards. But the advance was halted there. The two captured trenches, so narrow in extent, were now so crammed with men that a message was sent back to the third and fourth waves to halt their advance and return. At 10am, one of the tragedies of the day took place. A platoon of the 1/1st Ghurka Rifles of the Sirhind Brigade, meant originally to have gone into the attack at 5.30am but unable to do so as it was not ready, began to advance. It did not need to do this: its order had been cancelled. Captain Thomas Burke, Lieutenant Lionel Rundall and one man were immediately killed, 23 others wounded. Their brave attempt was over in moments and only a remnant returned unwounded to their trench. The 1st Battalion casualties for this action were : 2 Officers and 54 Non-Commissioned Officers and Other Ranks Killed, 63 Non-Commissioned Officers and Other Ranks Wounded, 8 Officers and 266 Non-Commissioned Officers and Other Ranks Missing. SEE PHOTOS x 7 FOR THE BATTALION WAR DIARY FROM 1st DECEMBER - 19th DECEMBER 1914 AND A MAP OF THE LOCATIONS OF FIGHTING IN DECEMBER 1914. John is listed as PRIVATE J BENBROOK on the Memorial. His elder brother Joseph is remembered on the St John's Church Roll of Honour (listed as Highland Light Infantry, brother John's Regiment, see photos). Joseph enlisted at Shotton, Flintshire, Wales. John was reburied in Y-Farm Cemetery (see photos). See photos for John's Medal Index Card, his name on the 1911 England Census (India), his Army Register of Soldiers Effects, listed in the De Ruvigny's Roll of Honour, his Service Medal and Award Rolls x 2, his Headstone Report, his CWGC Grave Registration x 2, the Highland Light Infantry Cap Badge and John's Pension Record. Also see photos for John's brother Joseph's Medal Index Card, his Service Medal and Award Rolls x 2, his CWGC Grave Registration x 2, his Headstone Report, his name on the Army and Navy Death Records, his Grave at Kalkara Naval Cemetery (Capuccini Naval Cemetery), Malta and Joseph's Pension Records x 3 and John's Attestation Papers x 4. Finally, see photos for John's elder brother Isaiah's Medal Index Card, his Army Register of Soldiers Effects, his Service Medal and Award Rolls x 2, his Will, his Pension Records x 2, his name on the Ploegsteert Memorial and ALL 3 BROTHERS listed on the Hawarden Memorial, Flintshire, Wales x 3. The reason all 3 brothers are on this Memorial is Joseph Barnbrook enlisted in Shotton, Flintshire.

Photos
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War Diaries

The battalion War Diary is available on the National Archives website.

Creative Commons License

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