Private 17114 Thomas BARRATT was born (5th May 1895 at 9 Foundry Street, Darkhouse, Coseley) son of James and Sarah Ann Barratt.
1901 Census for Sedgley, Staffordshire :
Ref: RG13/2741, Page 18
James BARRATT, Head, Widower, 38, Iron Works Puddler, Sedgley Staffordshire
As shown in the 1901 Census above, Thomas's Mother was deceased by the time he was 6. (Strangely James Jnr. is shown as being born in Lancashire - this is also confirmed in the 1891 Census return)
My researches have found that there was a James BARRETT (sic) marrying a Sarah Ann BAYLISS at Christchurch, Coseley in the September Quarter of 1884 (Ref: Vol 6c, Page 1 and Dudley : 208/005/198) Sarah Ann died aged 33 in 1898 (Ref: Vol 6c, Page 44 and Dudley : SEG/101/340)
Thomas worked at Thompson Tankers, Great Bridge Road in Bradley, Bilston (where co-incidently I did my Apprenticeship in the late 1960's) before he enlsted in the South Staffordshire Regiment in January 1915.
In the Works Canteen was a War Memorial Plaque with a Roll of Honour of approximately 50 names of Employees and Employers who gave their lives in World War I. The memorial is now in the Staffordshire Regiment Museum, it was presented to the museum when the canteen was closed in 1987.
He was a member of the 7th Battalion, South Staffordshire Regiment.
An extract from The London Gazette, dated 4th September 1917, records the following:-
His grave is located at Essex Farm Cemetery, BOEZINGE, Ieper, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium.
Boezinge is a village in the province of West Flanders, north of Ieper.
His Victoria Cross is displayed at the Museum of the Staffordshire Regiment (The Prince of Wales's), Whittington Barracks, Lichfield, Staffordshire.
Local Newspaper report September 8th 1917. It was announced that the Victoria Cross had been awarded to Coseley soldier Private Thomas Barratt, aged 21, who saved his platoon from an enemy attack before being killed by a shell. Coseley folk recalled that young Barratt had been raised in the workhouse where his "unruly behaviour" was noted.
Visit Wikipedia's Victoria Cross reference site. an excellent cross-referenced site that details of all 1354 VC recipients.
| Thomas's Memorial in Christ Church, Coseley
To the Glory of God
|Copy of the Order of Service
for the unveiling and dedication
of the Memorial tablet on March 17th 1918
Both very kindly supplied by my good friend
Near Essex Farm Cemetery the Canadian Medical officer John McCrae wrote one of the most famous war poems: 'In Flanders Fields'.
The poem was inspired by the death and funeral of Lt. Alexis Helmer. He was a patient and friend of McCrae.
|IN FLANDERS FIELDS
In Flanders fields the poppies blow Take up our quarrel with the foe
Take up our quarrel with the foe
Rest in Peace Thomas, God bless.
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