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53626 Rifleman Henry Alfred Yorke Barnacle

D Company 1st Battalion

3rd New Zealand Rifle Brigade

7th December 1917


Born in 1889 in Holme Chapel, Cheshire. He was baptised on 21/03/1889.

His parents were Henry Glanville Barnacle(14/04/1849-24/08/1938) and Sophia Lucy Caroline Yorke(1851-27/01/1945). They were married on 08/06/1880.

Henry had 3 brothers, Granville Alban Stepney(24/05/1885-10/06/1980),Geoffrey Stapleton(10/01/1894/29/12/1894) and Robert Cotton(03/11/1895-04/06/1976).

He also had 4 sisters,  Glwadys Caroline(05/04/1881-12/07/1983), Vere Hester Yorke(10/09/1882-1984), Ida Elizabeth Mary(17/01/1887-07/06/1961) and Norah Ruthven(born on 24/05/1891).

In the 1891 Census, the family were recorded as living at the Vicarage, Holme Chapel, Cheshire. Henry snr was the vicar for Holme Chapel.

In the 1901 Census, the family were shown to now be living at in Grimsargh with Brockholes near Preston, Lancashire(in a house called the Hermitage). Henry snr was now a Church of England clergyman at St John's College.     

In 1907, Henry went to live in New Zealand and the 1911 NZ Electoral Roll records him as working as a shepherd in

Mangatu, Bay of Plenty.

Henry enlisted on 17/03/1917 in Trentham and had his medical the same day. Details of which are as follows;

Apparent Age  27 years 3 months, Height - 5ft 11 inches,  Weight 175lbs

Chest Expansion -  Minimum - 35 inches, Maximum - 40 inches

Complexion – Fair, Colour of Eyes – Blue, Colour of Hair – Light Brown

Religious Profession C of E

Remarks –Has Varicocele. Complains of right knee, injured in accident working.

He was posted as a Private to J Company 28th reinforcements on 12/04/1917 and then 16 days later was transferred to

J Company 27th Reinforcements.

His Varicocele must have worsened during training, as  a medical officer made a report out on 09/05/1917 at

Featherston Camp mentioning that Henry " Is unable to march or drill. Has a lot of pain and discomfort".

He was passed fit to continue training and on 16/071917 he boarded troopship 88 "Athenic" in Wellington bound for England.

Whilst at sea, Henry was admitted to the ships hospital on 27/08/1917,though the  reason was not recorded. His stay lasted 2 days before he was allowed to leave.

Athenic arrived in Liverpool on 16/09/1917 and once Henry had disembarked, he was sent to Tidworth Camp and posted as a Rifleman to D Company 5th Reserve Battalion New Zealand Rifle Brigade(NZRB).

Henry was at Brockton Camp, when he left for France on 23/10/1917 and 3 days later he marched into Etaples Camp in France.

Just under a week later on 02/11/1917 he was posted to D Company 1st Battalion NZRB in Rouen.

Whilst in action on 07/12/1917, Henry was wounded and it was these wounds that would cause his death later that day.


He was awarded the 1914-1918 British War and Allied Victory medals   

The West Australian (Perth)Friday 18 January 1918 

Barnacle – On December 17 died of wounds in France, Private Henry Alfred Yorke Barnacle, of the New Zealand Rifle Brigade.

Dearly loved second son of Rev. H.G. and Mrs Barnacle, of the Rectory, Mt. Barker, Western Australia.

Lancashire Evening PostFriday 26 April 1918

Barnacle – Died of wounds, December 7th, 1917, whilst doing his duty to his King and Empire.

Rifleman Henry Alfred Yorke Barnacle (Harry) of the New Zealand Rifle Brigade, beloved second son of Rev. H.G. and Mrs Barnacle, Rector of Mount Barker, Western Australia, late of the Hermitage, Grimsargh.


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