WAR SERVICE 1914-1918

Identified by the following designations – descendants of Bartholomew Barcham of Great Yarmouth (BwB); Juler branch of North Walsham (JnJ); William Barcham of Great Yarmouth and Mundesley (WmB); John Barcham of Edingthorpe (JnB); and Benjamin Barcham of Sherringham (BnB).


World War I

The contributions and sacrifices of members of the Barcham family who joined up and fought in the two World Wars are summarised elsewhere and in Chapter 7 of The Barchams of Edingthorpe.

In 2008, Chris Farrow visited the Canadian National Library and Archives in Ottawa to research particulars of two members of the family who served with the Canadian Expeditionary Force in World War I.  Chris also discovered more about Cyril Barcham’s training as a fighter pilot in World War II.

Service Records for Canadian soldiers who served in the First World War include attestation papers and service records, which are chronological records showing the units they were attached to while overseas, injuries and sickness, hospital treatment, leave, promotions, service medals and badges, demobilization and pay records. Privates received Cdn $1.00/day or $20/month (20 days/month); corporals received $1.70/day or $34/month. Most received demobilization bonuses. The service records are written in military jargon and many of the records are on filing cards and pages from payroll journals.


(WmB) William Henry Barcham (b. 1888, in London), the son of Emma Florence (Pattle) and William Barcham, emigrated to Canada in 1909. He enlisted on 15 June 1915, at Esquimalt, BC Regimental No. 521011. At the time he enlisted he was single, aged 26, religious denomination Wesleyan, living at 645 Dunedin Street, Victoria.  He was 5ft 6¾ in tall, dark complexion, brown eyes, black hair. Prior to enlisting he had been a salesman and had served in the 88th Fusiliers. As next of kin he named his father, William Barcham, living at 52 Narford Road, Upper Clapton. William Henry was assigned to No. 5 Canadian General Hospital, which was formed in June 1915 at Victoria, BC, under the command of Col E.C. Hart. On 27 August, 31 officers, 72 nursing sisters and 203 other ranks, including William Henry Barcham, sailed from Montreal aboard the Scandinavian, arriving in England on September 4. His service record states that:

William Henry was stationed at Thorncliffe Military Hospital before embarking at Southampton aboard Hospital Ship Asturius on November 16, 1915, for field duty in Salonika [Thessaloniki] in northern Greece, where he arrived on December 20. While in Salonika, he was hospitalized with dysentery for a week, and was granted a Good Conduct badge on 14 June 1917.

On 16 August 1917, he was ‘S.O.S. [struck off the strength] of the B.S.F. on proceeding for duty to the UK’, where he was attached to the 5th Canadian Military Hospital at Kirkdale, Liverpool, on 5 September 1917. This was the clearing hospital for wounded soldiers returning to Canada. On 13 October 1917 he was ‘T.O.S. [taken on strength] of No.5 Canadian General Hospital (C.G.H.)’ and on 19 August 1918, William Henry was promoted to acting Corporal with pay. Payroll accounts show that in 1919 he received $1.70/day.

On 9 February 1918, William Henry ‘proceeded from Liverpool to Dublin on Escort Duty’ and three days later he ‘Returned to Liverpool off Escort Duty’. On 22 February 1919, William Henry was ‘granted permission to marry’ [He married Evelyn Eleanor Connolly on 30 April 1919].

On 27 August 1919, he was S.O.S. [C.G.H] to C.D.D. Buxton, Derbyshire, then on 9 September he was T.O.S. to C.D.D. Buxton for return to Canada. On 19 September he embarked at Liverpool aboard RMS Melita, and disembarked at Quebec on 24 September 1919.

After serving for 4 years 70 days, William Henry Barcham was classified medically unfit for general services because of varicose veins and discharged from service at Quebec on October 1, 1919. He gave Pender Island, Hope, BC as his proposed residence. His Discharge Certificate states that the index finger of his left hand had been amputated in a planing mill accident nine years previously; and that he had varicose veins in his left leg. It also gives his wife’s address as 77 Lower Beechwood Avenue, Ranelagh, Co. Dublin, Ireland.

William Henry Barcham and Evelyn Eleanor Connolly were married in Dublin on April 30, 1919. They must have had a whirlwind romance: he was in Dublin for only three days in February 1918, and she was working in Dublin for the Irish Board of Works. His Service Record does not state when Evelyn travelled to Canada, but another source shows that she travelled in steerage class as a military dependant on the same sailing of the SS Melita as her husband. An Internet site states that the Melita was a Canadian Pacific Railway liner. The Nominal Roll of Other Ranks Proceeding to Canada includes Barchan [sic] W.H. A/Cpl 521, CAMC, destination Pender Island, B.C.


(WmB) Herbert John Dudley Barcham (b. 1892, at Knapton), son of Elizabeth and Herbert Samuel Barcham emigrated to Canada shortly before the war and enlisted on March 20, 1916, at Vonda (east of Saskatoon), Saskatchewan. Regimental No. 267457, was assigned to the 214th Overseas Battalion of the C.E.F. At the time he enlisted he was single, aged 23 years 4 months, religious denomination Church of England. He was 5ft 9½ in, clear complexion, hazel eyes, fair hair. Prior to enlisting he had been a farmer. His father, Herbert Barcham, living in Knapton, Norfolk, was named as next of kin.

On 18 April 1917, 20 officers, and 595 other ranks left Halifax aboard the SS Grampian and arrived in England on 26 April. The 214th Battalion was absorbed by the 15th Canadian Reserve Battalion on April 29, 1917. He returned to Canada aboard the SS Tunisian  in December 1919. Both ships belonged to the Allen Line. His service record states that:

Herbert John Dudley Barcham was in Canada with the 214th Battalion from 20 March 1916 until 16 April 1917, during which time he was incapacitated with measles from 22 June to 10 July; and in September, he forfeited 13 days’ pay [His infraction is not stated.]. After arriving in England, Herbert was on strength of the 15th Reserve Battalion stationed at Bramshott [near Liphook, Hampshire]. On 4 July 1917 he was S.O.S. to the 28th Battalion (o/seas) and arrived at No. 2 Cdn. Base Depot at Etaples, France on 7 July, from where he was sent to the field with No. 2 Field Ambulance. He left the field on 8 August and reported to No. 6 Canadian Field Ambulance.  On 1 November 1917, he was transferred from the 28th (Saskatchewan) Battalion to the 4th Canadian Field Ambulance.

His medical record notes that he ‘caught influenza at Passchendale’ on 8 November 1917. He was sent to No. 15 Casualty Clearing Station then transferred to the 6th Canadian Field Ambulance Service and sent to Graylingwell War Hospital in Chichester, Sussex; then on 22 November to the Military Convalescence Hospital at Woodcock Park, Epsom, from which he was discharged on 7 January 1918, when he was given ‘Permission to proceed on sick leave furlough until seven p.m. on 17 January, for the purpose of proceeding to Knapton Old Hall, North Walsham. On expiration of furlough he will report to 2nd Command Depot Orderly Room at Bramshott’.

Herbert was attached to 2nd CCD at Bagshot from 7 January to 1 March 1918 [including while he was on sick furlough at Knapton], then attached to the 15th Reserve Battalion until 18 April 1918, when he was again attached to 2nd CCD Depot Company. On 20 March, he was awarded a Good Conduct badge, and on 12 April he was ‘struck off strength’ of the 15th Reserve Battalion and posted to the 3rd Res. Btn. at Bramshott. Then, on 20 April, he was attached to the 2nd CCD until 25 May 1918 when he ‘ceases to be attached to the 2nd CCD on proceeded on Farming Furlough’ until 10 December 1918 when he went to CCD Buxton. [It is not stated where he took farming furlough: perhaps he went to Knapton.]  At Buxton, on 23 December, it was decided that he was ‘no longer suitable for military employment in England’ and was ‘posted to Casualty Co. from 9 January 1919’. He was then granted leave until January 23.  He returned to Canada aboard the SS Tunisian, and at Regina on 22 March 1919, he was discharged medically unfit. He was granted a ‘war veteran’s allowance’ as well as a war service gratuity. He received a War Service Badge, Class A, and ‘entitled to wear two blue service chevrons’.

Herbert survived the war without major injury, but he may have been gassed at Passchendale, rather than influenza. Like many others, he suffered afterwards with chest complaints. He died in 1982, aged 80.


(JnB) Charles Stuart Browning (b. August 29, 1891 at Murree, Punjab, d. 10 December 1916, in Tanganyika) was the eldest child of Isabel and Arthur Robertson Browning. Like his father, Charles Stuart joined the army and was a cadet at the Royal Military College. He was mentioned in The London Gazette on January 17, 1911:


The undermentioned Gentlemen Cadets from the Royal Military College to be Second Lieutenants with a view to their appointment to the Indian Army. Dated 18th January, 1911:

[lists 35 cadets including] Charles Stuart Browning

He became a captain in the Duke of Connaught’s Own 129th Baluchis.  His service in India is not known. However he was in East Africa during WWI, and was killed while leading a cavalry squadron against German forces in northern Tanganyika [now Tanzania]. In a letter, which his mother received in England on May 2, 1916, Charles wrote about the campaign:

March 10, 1916

My Dear Mother

          We have managed to advance 60 more miles into German Territory with practically no opposition. We did 30 miles on our first day and surprised their piquets [pickets] and driving them out of them, hace pushed on at the same time rounding them up. So far they have not managed to get time to collect anything strong enough to withstand us and our guns soon have their piquets out of their positions. Water is the only trouble and we have to go on until we find it. It is always scarce and then often salty and brackish.

          We have reached the inhabited part of the country, and we occupy now a very nice farm in beautiful grounds with a huge path to it lined, lined by cactus on one side and banana plantations on the other. Most of the inside of the house is already removed [ransacked] but the vegetables etc in the garden come in handy.

          --day we shall go on pounding on till we make them stand somewhere and scrap. My horse - 24 of them are already dead of ---- sickness and we have to walk.

No time for more, yours affectionately

[signed] C.S. Browning


          13 March 1916

          We have now occupied Moschi [about 60 miles E. of Arusha] which is the German Railway terminus and a big town, but they evacuated most of it. We are now 200 miles from our [Mombasa to Nairobi] railway, which distance we have done on foot. We looted Moschi fairly well, but the South African Cavalry got in before us and took everything before we could stop the looting, consequently, we did not get much.

          Nothing more at present, CSB

Charles was killed in action on December 10, 1916, near Kibata, where he was first buried, then he was reinterred at the military cemetery in Kilwe Kivinje before finally being buried in the war cemetery in Dar es Salaam. His family has a commemorative coin with the following words on the face:




In the early 1970s, The Commonwealth War Commission moved his remains to plot 4J6 in  the Dar es Salaam War Cemetery, on the coast about 5 km. north-west of the city centre.

The history of the 129th Duke of Connaught’s Own Baluchis is summarized below from various Internet sites:

Under British Rule the British Indian Army included the 129th duke of Connaught’s Own Baluchis (raised in 1846 as the 2nd Baluch Battalion) ----- The Baluch regiments earned battle honours for services in Afghanistan, East Africa, China, Persia, Aden, Central India, Abyssinia, Hyderabad and Burma. Until 1914 their full dress uniforms red trousers worn with rifle green or drab tunics and turbans.

[Indian Infantry Regiments, 1860–1914, by Michael Bishop, pub. 1970 by Osprey, ISBN 0-85045-307-0]

From the invasion of April 1915, Commonwealth forces fought a protracted and difficult campaign against a relatively small but highly skilled German force under the command of General Lettow-Vorbeck. When the Germans finally surrendered on 23 November 1918, 12 days after the European armistice, their numbers had been reduced to 155 European and 1168 African troops.

On 8 August 1914, the first recorded British action of the war took place here [Dar es Salaam] , when HMS Astraea shelled the German wireless station and boarded and disabled two merchant ships – the Konig and the Feldmanschall. The Royal Navy systematically shelled the city from mid August 1916, and at 8 am on 4 September the deputy burgomaster was received aboard HMS Echo to accept terms of surrender. Troops, headed by the 129th Baluchis, then entered the city. On 12 September 1916, Divisional GHQ moved to ------ , and later No. 3 East African Stationary Hospital was stationed there. The town became the chief sea base for the movement of supplies and for the evacuation of the sick and wounded.

Dar es Salaam War Cemetery was created [by the Commonwealth War Commission] when the 660 First World War graves at ---- Cemetery had to be moved for the construction of a new road. As the burials in the former African Christian, Non-Christian and Mohammedan plots had not been marked individually, they were reburied in collective graves (“B”, “C”, and “D”), each marked with a screen wall memorial. During the early 1970s, a further 1000 graves were brought into the site from cemeteries all over [Tanzania] ….. Dar Es Salaam War Cemetery, located on the coast side of the road, 5 km. north-west of the city centre. Now contains 1784 Commonwealth burials of the First World War, 60 of them unidentified, and 41 from the Second World War. ….

[Response from Commonwealth War Commission to Miles Ballaam]

At the outbreak if the First World War, Tanzania was the core of German resistance. Tanga, situated only 80 km from the border of British East Africa [now Kenya] was a busy seaport and the site of the crucial Usambara Railway, which ran from the city to the foot of Mt. Kenya. ……  General Arthur Aitken landed 8000 Indian reserves three miles south of the city on November 3, 1914Aitken failed to scout out the area beforehand …. The next morning, Aitken ordered his troops to march on the city …. And Tanga’s garrison ambushed them and quickly broke their advance. By afternoon the fighting had turned to jungle skirmishing, with fighting frequently interrupted by swarms of angry bees, hence the battle’s nickname ‘The Battle of the Bees’. Although outnumbered eight to one, von Lettow-Vorbeck, launched a counter-attack on November 4, ….. and the Indian troops were forced to return to their boats. … 

[Summarised from Battle of Tanga]


Two of Arthur Robertson Browning’s great-nephews, Philip de la Mare and Louis Sandford Barcham, served with ANZAC forces during the First World War.  They were sons of Constance Eliza (de la Mare) and Robert William Barcham:

(WmB) Philip de la Mare Barcham (b. 1886, d. 1971) served in the New Zealand army during WWI. The following can now be added to the paragraph in The Barchams of Edingthorpe, page 102.  In August 1914, he was a corporal in the advance party of the expeditionary force that occupied Samoa, as described in:


On the night of 6 August 1914, the New Zealand Government received a telegram from London that it would be ‘a great and urgent Imperial service’ if New Zealand forces seized Samoa, which was a German territory. This was approved the next day, and four days later a mixed force of 1413 men plus six nursing sisters was equipped and ready to depart. On the 15th they sailed, picking up 10 more infantry men, some naval details, guides and interpreters at Fiji. On the 29th they landed unopposed at Apia. Thus the island of Upolu was the first German territory to be occupied …. After eight months a relief force of 358 men took over and by the end of the war another 298 men were supplied to maintain the garrison. ….

Many of the Samoan Advance Party (A) returned to New Zealand in March/April 1915. Many of them went on to fight in Europe.

[Source: Samoa, World War I]

Philip saw action in France and Belgium. His service records show that he received a gunshot wound to his arm in October 1915, and suffered as a result of being gassed. After the war he continued to serve as a Captain with the Wellington Regiment and won a number of awards for marksmanship. Robert died in 1937. His obituary was published in the Wellington Post on November 19, 1937:


Philip de la Mare Barcham

‘Philip Barcham was a man of his heart and great soul’ remarked the Hon. P Fraser to a friend at the funeral yesterday. ‘He had a wonderful gift of language. I have heard him at many Anzac Day services; he spoke well and truly from the heart.’  The minister also mentioned that he had had opportunities to see Mr. Barcham's self-sacrificing spirit of service in many ways, and the memory of that quiet work would always be warmly cherished. Friends of Mr. Barcham know well that he was a firm and active believer in the lines of Wadsworth: ‘Give all thou can’st; high Heavens rejects the lore of nicely-calculated less or more.’

Smitten by gas on the Western Front, Mr. Barcham faced life with a weakened constitution after the war and his health suffered a gradual decline, but he resolutely refused to be regarded as an invalid. Even when he was under imperative medical orders to rest he persisted with the honorary work of hospital visitor for the Wellington Working Men's Club. During the past year or two he must have known that every round of visits among the patients whom he gladly strove to cheer shortened his life. Indeed, he was told that fact, but gave no heed to the warnings. …….

He was remarkably skilful with firearms. Even as a lad he distinguished himself in the big rifle matches at Trentham. With a pistol he could perform the rapid feats of accuracy credited to the best performers of America's ‘Wild West’.

(WmB) Lewis Sandford Barcham  (1894–1979) [See The Barchams of Edingthorpe, Chapter 7] was conscripted into the army in October 1917, embarked aboard the SS Maunganui at Wellington on May 9, 1918.

Disembarking at Liverpool on June 24, he was posted to the Reserve Wellington Infantry Regiment at Sling Camp on Salisbury Plain. He was in France with the 2nd Battalion Wellington Infantry Regiment during October and November where he took part in some of the last battles of the war, including the attack and capture of the town and fort of Le Quesnoy on November 4. At 16.30 hours the 2nd Battalion stormed the Valenciennes Gate and continued mopping up the town, taking 771 prisoners in addition to 532 captured earlier in the day. New Zealand casualties were 43 killed and 251 wounded. After the armistice on November 11, Louis was posted to the 4th Battalion of the 1st N.Z. Rifle Brigade, which marched to Germany to join the Army of Occupation of the Rhineland. However, he was in an army hospital at that time and did not go to Germany. On March 11, 1919, Louis embarked at Portsmouth aboard the S.S. Raranga and disembarked at Wellington on April 4. He was awarded the British War Medal and Victory Medal. He returned to New Zealand in a very unfit condition, which caused many health problems later. [Information from Bob Barcham]

The names of Philip and Louis Barcham are inscribed on the ANZAC Memorial on Pitt Street, in Wellington.


(WmB) Sgt Thomas (Tom) Colin Barcham (18871916), a son of Alice (Barton) and Herbert Samuel Barcham, of Knapton, and elder brother of Herbert John Dudley Barcham, joined the 7th Norfolk Regiment. Initially based in Hampshire, he was posted to the Western Front and died in action on October 12, 1916, towards the end of the Somme offensive. According to the Battalion Diary, the action on that day was an assault from Flers Trench in which many losses occurred. Tom’s name appears on the war memorial at St Peter’s and St. Paul’s church in Paston, and on the Roll of Honour at Paston School, where he is listed with his fourth cousin once removed, Leonard John Barcham, see below; and on the Thiepval Memorial in France, which commemorates more than 72,000 who have no known grave, including Tom’s fourth cousin Frank Barcham [see The Barchams of Edingthorpe, Chapter 7].

(BnB)  George James Barcham (b. 1900), son of Amelia and George Barcham, was a seaman in the Royal Navy. At present, nothing more is known about his service.


(JnJ)   Two sons of Julia Meliene Lound (b. 1856, d ----) and  Capt. ----- -----  (b. ----, d. 1899, in India), see above, served in the army during WWI. At present nothing more is known about them.


(JnJ) Frederick Juler (1896–1917), grandson of Charlotte and Benjamin Juler, was killed in action in France on May 21, 1917.


(JnJ) Reginald Stanley Lound (d. 1947), grandson of Mary (Juler) and William Lound jnr, was an army chaplain during WWI.


(BnB)  Herbert Edmund Barcham (1896–1956), great-grandson of Mabel (Harland) and Neal Raven Barcham of Sherringham joined the Australian Navy, served on HMAS Pioneer during WWI, and was discharged from the navy in about 1920. His son, Neal, and grandson Geoffrey were also in the Australian Navy in WWII.

HMAS Pioneer was a Pelorus Class light cruiser, launched 28 June 1899 and commissioned on 19 November 1900, 2200 tons…. She was originally built for the Royal Navy and from 1905 served on the Australia Station. On 1 March 1913, she was commissioned into the Royal Australian Navy. The outbreak of war HMAS Pioneer was as a guard ship at Melbourne. She was soon ordered to Fremantle and sailed for the west coast on 6 August 1914. While patrolling off Fremantle, the Pioneer captured the German merchant vessels Neumunster and Thuringen, which were unaware of the outbreak of war. On 9 Jan. 1915, she departed Fremantle for German East Africa to take part in operations against the German cruiser SMS Koenigsbergh, which had sought refuge up the Rufigi River [south of Dar es Salaam, Tanganyika (now Tanzania)] The role of the British fleet gathered off East Africa was to prevent the Koenigsberg from breaking out of the river, and to prevent supplies from being brought in by sea for either her or the German forces ashore. Koenigsberg was destroyed by British monitors on 12 July 1915, but HMAS Pioneer remained on station, continuing her blockade duties and bombarding targets ashore. She  eventually returned to Australia in October 1916 and was paid off. ....Although obsolete and decrepit, HMAS Pioneer saw more actual combat than any other Australian ship in the First World War.