In June I was contacted by Allan Sedger who had seen my Framlingham War Memorial research on the internet – Allan is the great nephew of David Alfred Barker, who was killed, aged 21, on 20th July 1916 during the Battle of the Somme.
Allan was planning to be in Framlingham on the 20th July to visit the War Memorial to pay his respects, exactly 100 years to the day since his Great Uncle was killed.
His Great Uncle David Alfred Barker was the son of Harry and Clara Barker (nee Ashford) and he had ten siblings George, Sheppard, Charlotte, Harry, Freeman, Hannah, Alma, Clara, Herbert and Ella. On the 1901 census the family were living at Edwards Farm in Coles Green and David was aged 5 and his father’s occupation was shown as a Farm Steward. In 1911 the family were still living at Edwards Farm and David was aged 15 working as a Stockboy on a Farm and his father’s occupation was Steward on Farm.
David was Private 200758 of the 4th Battalion Suffolk Regiment and he enlisted in Framlingham and left for France on 13th January 1915. He died on 20th July 1916 and has no known grave and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial in France. As you will see from the newspaper extract below it took over a year for the family to receive official confirmation that David had been killed in action the previous year.
Framlingham Weekly News – 25th August 1917
Mr and Mrs Barker of Coles Green have now been notified that their son, Bomber David Barker, who was reported as missing on July 20th last year, is now officially reported to have met his death on that date.
I was in Framlingham on Wednesday 20th July 2016 and it was a real privilege for me to be able to meet Allan, who is descended from David’s sister Clara, and to spend time with him on such a poignant anniversary.