John William Barrett

Information about birth

Year of birth:
Place of birth:
Sidmouth, Devon, England, United Kingdom

General information

Butcher's Apprentice

Army information

England, United Kingdom
British Expeditionary Force
Service number:
Enlistment place:
Liverpool, Lancashire, England, United Kingdom
 —  King's (Liverpool Regiment), 1/8th Bn. (Irish)  (Last known unit)

Information about death

Date of death:
Place of death:
Schüler Galleries, Belgium
Cause of death:
Killed in action (K.I.A.)


Tyne Cot Cemetery
Plot: VII
Row: E
Grave: 15

Distinctions and medals 2

British War Medal
Medal — 15/04/1921
Victory Medal
Medal — 15/04/1921

Points of interest 2

#1 Place of birth
#2 Enlistment place

My story

John William Barrett was born in 1886 in Sidmouth, Devon. He was the son of Mary Jane and John Barrett. Prior to the war John worked as a Butcher’s apprentice. He had moved to Liverpool, where he started a family with Rose McStey. John was drafted in the army in 1916. He enlisted in Liverpool and served with the 1/8th Battalion King's (Liverpool Regiment), part of the 164th (North Lancashire) Brigade, of the 55th (West Lancashire) Division.

On 20 September 1917 the 55th Division took part in the opening phase of the Battle of the Menin Road Ridge, a stage in the Battle of Passchendaele. The 165th brigade attacked on the right and the 164th Brigade on the left flank of the divisional front. Of the 164th Brigade the 1/8th King’s were to attack on the extreme left. The Liverpool Irish were to capture and consolidate two objectives. Firstly a line of trenches and strongpoints, dubbed Schüler Galleries, and secondly the strongpoint at Schüler Farm.

At zero hour, 5.40 a.m. the attacking parties moved forward behind a creeping barrage. Once the men had left their jump-off positions, a heavy German artillery barrage came down on the Liverpool Irish. Not only the German artillery made casualties, heavy machine-gun and rifle fire from behind Schüler Farm and the Hanebeek stream, caused over half of all casualties. In addition to this a large number of Germans had taken up positions in front of Schüler Galleries. Further resistance came from concrete emplacements at the Northern end of the Galleries. The advance of the Liverpool Irish was momentarily checked, but the Battalion soon rallied, attacked and captured the Schüler Galeries Line. The concrete emplacements on the Northern end were outflanked and captured by 7.15 a.m.

The Liverpool Irish re-formed for the attack on the second objective, though they had lost the barrage. Without the assistance of the artillery it proved impossible to storm Schüler Farm. Several attempts to attack the position were halted by machine-gun and rifle fire from Cross cottages and from Schüler Farm itself and the Battalion chose to dig in on the Galleries Line.

Thirthy-one-year-old Private John William Barrett, a father of two young boys, was killed in action on 20 September 1917. John was initially buried the field in front of Schüler Galleries, indicating that he might have been killed during the attack on the first objective. His remains were exhumed after the war and were interred in Tyne Cot Cemetery.

Files 1

Sources 6

"Passchendaele. The Day-by-Day Account", McCarthy C., London, Uniform, 2018, pg. 84-85.
Sources used
"The history of the King's Regiment (Liverpool) : 1914-1919", Wyrall E., London: Edward Arnold & Co., 1928, pg. 514-519.
Sources used
Further reference
Sources used
The Long, Long Trail
Sources used
War Diary King's (Liverpool Regiment), 1/8th Bn. (Irish)
Further reference