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Earlestown War Memorial

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In Memory of

Private Joseph Barke

69321
14th Field Ambulance, Royal Army Medical Corps
Died of Wounds 23rd June 1917

Private Barke died in the 8th Casualty Clearing Station of wounds received while on duty with the RAMC.

He was formerly a collier and worked at Collins Green Colliery, lodging along with his two children, J. and J. Barke, aged respectively 14 and 10, with Mrs. Griffiths at 1, Short Street, Common Road, Earlestown.

The news came in a letter to his son from the Rev. Anthony Fenn, Chaplain to the Forces:

“My dear Mr. Barke, I regret to have to tell you that your dear father came into this hospital, No. 8 C.C.S., so severely wounded this morning (June 23) in both legs, that he died within a few minutes of being placed in bed.

“I have today laid his body in our Cemetery – and I send you a little memorial notice.

“May God’s comfort be yours – it will be – if you go to Him, my son, and seek His help.”

He was buried in Duisans British Cemetery, Etrun, Pas-de-Calais in Plot III, Row L, Grave 45. Duisans and Etrun are villages about 9 kilometres west of Arras. The first burials took place in March 1917, and grew quickly under the pressure of casualties from the 8th, 19th and 41st Casualty Clearing Stations during the Arras Battles of 1917. There are now over 3,000 1914-18 war casualties commemorated at the site.

In Plot II, Row A, there are buried, side by side, two brothers, an Officer and a Private, who died of wounds at Duisans on the same day.