William Alfred Barrett
Formerly 25301 Private William Alfred Barrett of the Somerset Light Infantry, he was by 1918 serving as Pte 18516 with 1 Bn, Royal Warwickshire Regiment. An Allied offensive began on 8 August 1918, the famous ‘Black Day' of the German Army, to turn back the devastating German advance west which was running out of steam. The Hundred Days Offensive, the last of the War, ended with the German request for an Armistice in November, but only after strong resistance.
William died on 30 August 1918. His Battalion was ordered ‘to move into an assembly position south-east of Remy Wood and Village. Companies dribble forward but the movement is observed [by the enemy] and a heavy machine gun and artillery barrage is put down. B and C companies are much disorganised and suffer severe casualties. D company, ably led, get into position with only a few casualties'. (Battalion War Diary , 30 August 1918).
Accounted losses were 16 dead, 127 wounded and 24 missing, from a strength of 937. The fighting on the immense area on both sides of the Somme river was nicknamed ‘Second Somme', but William died some miles east of where his brother Ernest had been killed in ‘first Somme', 1916. William is buried in Vis-en-Artois British Cemetery, Haucourt, (ref. VI.E.22).
William Alfred Barrett was born in Wheatley in 1896, the younger brother of Ernest. He was John and Selina Barrett's third son. He had attended Wheatley Elementary school and become a farm labourer.