John Barnard (1890-1916)- Pte GS/633 8th Bn The Queen’s (Royal West Surrey Regiment)John Barnardwas born on the 29thOctober 1890, the son of Henry James Barnard (aka James Barnard) and his wife Emma (nee Marchant) in Kensington, London. He was the youngest of six children – two sisters and four brothers but his young life was not a happy one. His father died in 1894 and his mother in 1901 and the family were split up. His two eldest brothers had already left home and both sisters were married by this time and the two youngest boys were separated. In the 1901 census older brother George was living with his married sister Martha (Dickerson) in Newington, London but nine year old John was resident in the South Metropolitan School District in Sutton – a home/school for pauper children.In the 1911 census however John is living with Martha and her husband Richard – now in Christ’s Hospital, and he is working as a labourer. However in July 1912 he joined the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway as a goods porter and worked for them in Epsom and Sutton before signing up. He attested for The Queen’s (Royal West Surrey Regiment) in Epsom on the 4thSeptember 1914 and put his sister’s address as home.He was posted with the 8thBattalion, The Queen's (Royal West Surrey Regiment) which had been raised at Guildford in September 1914 as part of Kitchener's Third New Army and joined 72ndBrigade, 24thDivision. In late June 1915 they moved to Aldershot for final training and they proceeded to France at the end of August – John’s date of entry is given as 31stAugust. The Division concentrated in the area between Etaples and St Pol on 4thSeptember and a few days later marched across France into the reserve for the British assault at Loos, going into action on the 26th of September and suffering heavy losses. From railway records we know that he was reported wounded at Loos on the 25thSeptember 1915 – just before the main attack where the 8thSurreys suffered very high losses. What his wounds were is not recorded but they were not enough to get him sent home and he recovered and re-joined the regiment. In 1916 the Regiment suffered again in the major German gas attack at Wulverghem and then moved to The Somme. It was here, in action in the Battle of Delville Wood, that John was killed on the 2ndSeptember 1916. Ironically the War Diary records “comparatively few casualties” for this day but the end of this stint of just six days in the trenches saw 25 Other Ranks dead, 104 wounded and 13 missing.John Barnard is buried in the Dernancourt Communal Cemetery Extension on the Somme. This cemetery was attached to the 3rdCasualty Clearing Station and was quite a way behind the front line in 1916 so it may be the case that John died of wounds on the way to receive treatment.For his service he was awarded the 1915 Star, the British War and Victory Medals, and is remembered on Itchingfield War Memorial.He is also remembered on his sister’s family grave in Itchingfield Churchyard where his name is recorded as John Barnard Dickerson.