Herbert Barratt

Information about birth

Date of birth:
Place of birth:
Salford, Lancashire, England, United Kingdom

General information

Iron Moulder

Army information

England, United Kingdom
British Expeditionary Force
Lance Corporal
Service number:
 —  Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, 8th Bn.  (Last known unit)

Information about death

Date of death:
Cause of death:
Died of wounds (D.O.W.)


Tyne Cot Memorial
Panel: 70A

Distinctions and medals 2

Points of interest 1

#1 Place of birth

My story

Lance Corporal Herbert Barratt – a steelworker from Salford, Lancashire - served in the 8th Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, part of the 49th Brigade, of the 16th (Irish) Division. The Division participated in the Battle of Langemarck from the 16th till the 18th of August 1917.

The Division attacked due East of the Hamlet of Wieltje, with two Brigades; the 49th on the left and the 48th on the right of the Divisional front. The 49th Brigade attacked with the 8th Inniskillings on the right and the 7th Inniskillings on the left; the 7/8th Royal Irish Fusiliers were in support.

At 4.45 a.m., zero hour, the Battalions moved forward. They left just in time, because the German artillery put down a barrage on the jump off line, moments after the attacking Battalions had left it. Keeping close behind the allied barrage, the 8th and 7th Inniskillings reached their first objective, within the hour, and captured the German strongpoint at Beck House.

The Inniskillings pushed on. The 7th Battalion now moved to the German strongpoint at Delva Farm, while the 8th Battalion advancing to Borry Farm. The 7th Inniskillings managed to capture Delva Farm, but were enfiladed by machine gun fire coming from a row of pill boxes in their rear, which they had failed to clear out. The 7th subsequently suffered severe casualties at Delva Farm. The 8th Inniskillings at their turn were held up by heavy machine-gun fire from Borry Farm. And the advance came to an abrupt standstill.

The attack of the 36th (Ulster) Division, on the left flank of the 16th (Irish) Division, and the advance of the Division on the right were also checked. When the Germans launched a counterattack at 8.30 a.m. the Inniskillings, with both flanks in the air, had no other choice then to fight their way back to their original jump off line.

Lance Corporal Herbert Barratt, aged 32, was possibly killed during the Battle of Langemarck on the 16 August 1917. Leaving behind a young family. His remains weren’t recovered or were never positively identified, possibly because the Inniskillings were forced to retreat, leaving some of the wounded and fallen behind. So it’s probable that his body remained in No Man’s Land.

Herbert is now remembered on the Tyne Cot Memorial. The attack of the 7th and 8th Inniskillings on 16 August 1917 had been very costly. The losses had been so severe that both Battalions could not be recruited up to strength again and the 7th and 8th Innsikillings ceased to exist, as they were amalgamated to form the 7/8th Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

Files 1

Sources 3

8 Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. [Document starts with War Diaries to August..., (The National Archives, KEW (TNA), WO 95/1977/3 ).
Further reference
Fox F., The Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers in The World War, (Uckfield, The Naval & Military Press LTD, 2009), pg. 99-102.
Sources used
McCarthy C., The Third Ypres Passchendaele. The Day-by-Day Account, (London, Arms & Armour Press, 1995), pg. 48-49.
Sources used

More information 2