On April 20 I posted excerpts from the diary of John Christian (Jack) Barber , a young Englishman ("When Good Vacations Go Bad").
In March and April 1914, Barber was traveling in Mexico. He spent March visiting his uncle, William Gleadell, and Gleadell's family, in Merida in the Yucatan. In April he traveled with them to their home in Jalapa, Vera Cruz.
Barber was caught in the city of Vera Cruz when the U.S. Navy landed and seized the port on April 21. Shortly after, he left Vera Cruz on a refugee ship for Galveston.
The diary describes the general confusion, the street fighting in Vera Cruz, and a refugee's discomfort. Barber comes across as young, likeable and brave.
World War I began in August 1914. Barber apparently joined the 8th or "Scottish" battalion of the The King's Liverpool Regiment. On June 16, 1915 (almost 90 years ago tomorrow), he was killed in action at Hooge in Flanders.
The "Liverpool Scottish" have a museum and a web site: The Liverpool Scottish Museum Trust. The web site tells something about the battle:
The first major battalion action of the Liverpool Scottish was on 16th. June 1915 in what is officially known as 'The First Action at Bellewaarde' which was designed to pin down German reserves whilst there were British and French attacks elsewhere. This action is known in The Liverpool Scottish as 'The Battle of Hooge'. Hooge is a village is a few miles East of Ieper (Ypres), straddling the Menin Road... They [Liverpool Scottish - Ben] were to be the left hand battalion and to their right was to be a battalion of the Lincolns. The battalion's frontage appears to have been about 400 yards. The assembly position was on the line of 'Cambridge Road', a feature which exists today as a metalled track running North from the Menin Road...
The Battalion moved off into the attack uphill towards Bellewaarde Farm... at a strength of 23 Officers and 519 Other Ranks. At the end of the day, there were 2 Officers and 140 ORs unscathed. There were 4 Officers and 75 ORs killed, 6 Officers and 108 ORs missing (of whom almost all were later reported killed) and 11 Officers and 201 ORs wounded. An indication of the scale of the casualties is that the account of the action in the war diary is signed by Lieutenant L.G. Wall as Commanding Officer of The Liverpool Scottish...
2/Lt Jack Barber was one of those killed.
The Liverpool Scottish web page has a picture of Jack, here
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission web site has a search feature that allows you to recover information about men and women killed in either World War. A search on Barber, J will bring him up. The site describes him as a second lieutenant in the 10th (not the 8th?) battalion of the of the Kings Liverpool Rgt. The son of Robert and Alice M. Barber, of The Red House, New Brighton, Wallasey, he was 23 when he died on June 16, 1915. He is remembered on the Ypres (Menim Gate) Memorial.
Revised May 7, 2005; November 27, 2005; November 10, 2007.