BARROW, Richard Charles Pte. 15841

Pte. Richard Barrow

Pte. Richard Barrow

Richard Charles Barrow was born in Broughton near Preston on the 11th June 1891, the son of Richard and Elizabeth Barrow (nee Godfrey). He attended St. Mary’s Church in Euxton and worked as a Finisher Bleacher at Common Bank Bleachworks until he retired; he lived at Cross Ends in Charnock Richard. Richard married Ann Cornwall at Sacred Heart Church in Chorley during May 1919, but had no children.

‘Dickie’ Barrow enlisted at Chorley on the 22nd September 1914, serving in the Pals in No. 9 Platoon and as the Battalion Bomber. On the 20th June 1916, he was buried alive by a German shell whilst in the trenches at Serre. Recounting the incident to John Garwood, Dickie Barrow said “A shell burst on the parapet of the trench, burying three of us. We were all dug out alive and when I sorted myself out, my crucifix, which was around my neck on a chain, was in my trousers. I never found the chain and it must still be in that trench. I have been buried with my crucifix and I will be buried again with it”. Richard Barrow received severe head wounds during the attack on the 1st July, resulting in him being discharged from the Army on the 17th January 1917; he lived the rest of his life with a metal plate protecting part of his skull. After being wounded, he was treated at 95th Field Ambulance and then the 35th CCS (Casualty Clearing Station) at Doullens, behind the lines, before being transferred to the U.K. and onwards to Roby Hospital, near Manchester.

His two mates (“Pals”) were Private 15449 Thomas Robinson, who was killed on the 1st July and Private 15438 Thomas Gaskell, who died of wounds on the 18th July. In 1926 Richard Barrow went on a battlefield trip, based in Albert, spending four days touring the Somme Battlefield. On the second day he visited Serre including Queens Cemetery, Railway Hollow and Luke Copse.

Dickie Barrow died at 8.55 a.m. on the 18th June 1984, a week after his 93rd birthday; the crucifix that he was wearing when he was buried on the Somme in 1916 was buried with him. He gave his medals to local historian and author John Garwood.

Pte. Richard Barrow at Astley Hall

Pte. Richard Barrow at Astley Hall in 1981