Lance Corporal Jonathan Barlow

17568 (formerly 12174 RAMC) 8th Bn. North Staffordshire Regt. died July 23rd 1916 Age 18

Jonathan Barlow had been born circa 1897, the son of Jonathan and Harriet. His childhood was spent in Gillow Heath but by 1911 the family had moved to Congleton Road. His father was a collier and some of his sisters went to work in the fustian mills.

At the age of eighteen years, on April 19th 1915, Jonathan enlisted at Tunstall. He joined the Royal Army Medical Corp, although he only spent a short period in this unit before transferring to the 8th Battalion North Staffordshire Regiment on May 18th 1915. We believe this was at Aldershot. His service records have survived in part but are in poor condition.

Basic training began at Aldershot and continued in the north east at Seaham and Wallsend. By March 1916 this draft unit was ready for war and were soon to join their battalion who were already attached to 19th Western Division; the division had served in France since July 1915. Sailing on the March 13th 1916 Jonathan would soon be with the battalion.

On his arrival he would have found many Biddulph men in his battalion. They were preparing for their next action; the Battle of the Somme was to open on July 1st. Though not having taken part in the advance on the first day, the division was to play a major role in the capture of La Bosselle on the 4th. Two weeks later on July 20th they were engaged in the attacks on High Wood, another costly battle. Then within a few days the battalion advanced on the Pozieres Ridge – this was on July 23rd 1916. It is believed it was in this attack that Jonathan Barlow was to sadly fall on the battlefield.

Lance Corporal Jonathan Barlow was never recovered from the field and has no known grave and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial on the Somme. He is also commemorated on the Biddulph memorials.

Mike Turnock.

 

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1918