Private 71928 Robert (Bob) Barrett

 Barrett Robert 96 365x600

Killed in Action on Tuesday, 31st July 1917, age 31.
Commemorated on Panel 39 and 41 of Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Ieper, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium.

1st Bn., Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regt.). 24th Brigade of 8th Division.
Formerly 29119 10th North Staffordshire Regiment.

Son of Robert and Alice Barrett, of Wolverhampton; husband of Edith Barrett, of 3, Riches St., Whitmore Reans, Wolverhampton.
Born: Tipton, Enlisted: Tipton, Resident: Unknown.

First landed France & Flanders, 15th May 1917.
Medal entitlement: British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives survived and transcribed.

Commemorated on the Tipton Library, and Dudley Grammar School memorials.
Commemorated here because he appears on a Tipton memorial.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/926797/

Genealogical Data

1901 Census
83 Granville Street, Wolverhampton, Staffs.
Robert Barrettt (45, Saw Filer and Setter, born Oakengates), his wife Alice (42, born Tipton), and their 6 children: George (20, Mineral Water Bottle Washer, born Wednesbury), Bob (25, Bootmaker, born Wednesbury), Sarah (13, born Tipton), Jenny (9, born Wolverhampton),Rose (7, born Wolverhampton), and Clara (4, born Wolverhampton).

1911 Census
57 Melbourne Street, Wolverhampton, Staffs.
Alice Barrettt (53, Widow, Charwoman, born Tipton), and 4 of her 8 surviving children of 10: Bob (25, Bootmaker, born Wednesbury), Rose (17, Stover, born Wolverhampton), Clara (15, born Wolverhampton), and her married daughter Sarah Cheadle (23, born Tipton).

Personal Data

Robert Barrett enlisted at Tipton in June 1916, when he was 31 years old, and employed as bootmaker and reparier. He had married Edith in October 1913 , and they had one son, Robert Lester Barrett, born in November 1914, and they lived at 55 Furnace Parade, Tipton. He was 5 feet 3 inches tall with a 34 inch chest, and weighed 110 pounds. Although his Physical development was noted as Good, it was noted that he was underweight and was classed Medical Category C II. By January 1917, after 6 months army life, he was categorised as Medical Class A.

Robert initally joined the North Staffs regiment, but during training he was allocated to the 3rd Training Reserve Battalion, and then to the 3rd Battalion North Staffs for final training in Wallsend from 23rd February 1917. He landed in France 15th May 1917 where he was initially assigned to the 8th Battalion North Staffs, before being transferred to the 1st Battalion,Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby) on the 5th June 1917.

Robert was killed on the 31st July 1917, the first day of the Third Battle of Ypres, he has no known grave and is commemorated on the Menin Gate in Ypres.

Robert's widow Edith was granted a pension of 18 shillings and nine pence per week for herself and her son Robert.

Action resulting in his death

The 1st Sherwood Foresters were in 24th Brigade of 8th Division. 31st July 1917 was the first day of the Third Battle of Ypres, and the 24th Brigade (consisting of the 1st Worcesters, 2nd Northampton's, 2nd East Lancashire's and 1st Sherwood Foresters) was to attack along the Menin Road towards Hooge. The 1st Worcesters and 2nd Northampton's advanced to their first objective with the 2nd East Lancashire's and 1st Sherwood Foresters assigned to push on through pass Bellewaerde Lake. The 1st Sherwood Foresters pushed on to their final objective, however heavy machine gun fire caused them to retire just West of Westhoek.

77 men of the 1st Sherwood Foresters were killed on that day, including 2 Tipton men - Robert Barrett and John Jones. Neither has a known grave and both are commemorated on the Menin Gate in Ypres.

Newspaper Cuttings

Tipton Herald 20th October 1917
After three months of suspense, Mrs Barrett of 55 Furnace Parade, Tipton, has just been officially informed that her husband, Private R. Barrett (better known as "Bob"), of the 1st Sherwood Foresters was killed in action on July 31st, "somewhere in France". He was 31 years of age.
The deceased soldier was fairly well known in Tipton, having worked for the past eight years as a bootmaker for Messrs. Lyons of Owen Street, Tipton. He leaves a widow and one child to mourn his loss.