William Barratt was born on the 21st February 1890, the Gwersyllt Parish Register tells us that he was Baptised on the 27th April 1890 the s/o John & Elizabeth BARRATT, Gwersyllt, a Labourer. (Page 20 No 153).
The 1891 census tells us the family was living at Park Wall, Wheatsheaf, Gwersyllt, Denbighshire and the head of the household was his father John Barratt, 37 a General labourer, who had been born Gwersyllt, where all the rest of the family had been born, except William’s mother Elizabeth Jane, 32, she stated that she had been born n Brymbo. William’s siblings were Mary A., 7, Robert J., 5 and Sarah J. 3. There was a Lodger living there as well, Joseph Davies,, single , 46 and a General Labourer.
1901 sees the family now living at Mount Pleasant Inn, Croes Howell, Llay, Denbighshire, John Barratt , 46 now a Publican on his own account at home, Elizabeth, 42, Mary A, 17, William, 10 and new addition to the family, Edith E., age 4 who had been born in Gresford.
The 1911 census finds the family still living at Mount Pleasant, and John still a Publican, now an Employer. The Inn had 9 rooms and John, 57, through the census, tells us that he and Elizabeth Jane, 53, had been married 28 years. Elizabeth tells us that 5 children had been born, all still living and she was bilingual, the only one in the house who could speak 2 languages, Welsh and English also assisting in the business, as was daughter Mary, single and 27. William, single and 21 was a Carting Agent’s Clerk. Sister Edith E., 14 was a scholar. As before there was a Boarder, John Lumber, 23, single and a Brick-setter, born in Eccleston, Chester.
William emigrated to Canada at some point and as he was on the 1911 census I am assuming that it would have been after that, although he could have gone out and come back and be home for the census in 1911.
Whenever he did emigrate, as soon as his homeland wanted him, he enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Forces on the 12th August 1914 at Rosetown, and was Transferred to D.Coy on the 5th September 1914, and his Attestation forms were signed on the 21st September 1914 at Valcartier. (http://www.warmuseum.ca/firstworldwar/history/going-to-war/canada-enters-the-war/training-at-valcartier/) On these he stated that he had for 1 month been in the Fort Garry Horse, Winnipeg.
His address on these was given as 26, Newtown, Gresford, Wrexham, Wales.
D.O.B.: 21st February 1890
Trade : Clerk
Ever served in Military : 1 Mth Fort Garry Horse, Winnipeg.
Next of Kin : Jno BARRATT
Signed at Valcartier 21st September 1914
Present address not stated.
Medical History Sheet.
Enlisted at Rosetown 12th August 1914
Joined on Enlistment 29 L.H. 12th August 1914
Trans. to D. Coy. 5th Bn 5th September 1914
Habits – Moderate.
Apparent age :
24 years 7 months.
Height : 5 feet 8 and 1/2 inches
Chest: 35 inches with 3 and ½ inches expansion
C of E: Yes
Distinctive marks 4 vac. Left arm. circular scar above Rt. Buttock. Brown mole on left flank.
Personnel File : 9929 (H.Q.)
Next of Kin: John BARRATT, 9, Lake View, Gresford, Wrexham.
Mentioned in Despatches 5th March 1918 Q.M.S.
Meritourious Service Medal in recognition of valuable services rendered in France and Belgium. Auth. Suppl. London Gazette 31132 d 18th January 1919. After Order 2.
26th October 1918 “Died” at Lake Cottage, Gresford, whilst on leave from France. $10 12/15 to whom payable: Mrs. E. BARRATT, 3, Lake View, Gresford, Wrexham.
19th March 1919 Diagnosed stated to be Influenza.
William BARRATT 2nd C.I. Bde.
M.M., M.S.M., (Bar to Military Medal 11th Oct 1916) 28th July 1917
Elig. For 1914/15 Star Pte. 5th Bn.
Medals & Decorations – Father, John BARRATT, 9, Lake View,
Plaque & Scroll – Father, John BARRATT, 9, Lake View,
Memorial Cross – Mother Elizabeth BARRATT, 9, Lake View,
Desp. 4th June 1920 C10145
Supp. Card destroyed 7th March 1921
Not on List.
Rank – Trp
Unit -29th Light Horse Exped. Force
1914 – Now in 5th Bn Paylist – Sept Paylist.
Unit sailed 3rd October 1914
Former Corps – 34th Horse.
He obviously was a brave man as he was to be awarded the Military Medal, and Bar with also the Meritorious Service Medal in the 4 years that he was in Service, these can be seen in the London Gazette as stated below.
M.M. – Lond. Gaz. 29780 11th October 1916
Bar to M.M. Lon. Gaz. 30209 28th July 1917
M.S.M. Lon. Gaz. 31132 18th January 1919.
Then on the 11th October 1918 he was given 14 days leave in England and came home to see his family but sadly caught Influenza which was rife in Flintshire at that time, the “Spanish Flu” as it was called. Flintshire, at the time was one of the worse counties to be affected and many young men died within days of catching this terrible flu. He was only here 11 days and succumbed to it on the 22nd October 1918 and was buried at Gresford.
William Enlisted at Rosetown, 12th August 1914
William signed on at Valcartier, Quebec, 21st September 1914, please read about the town and the Military Training Camp in 1914 that was set up there.
Likewise read about Fort Garry Horse, where William was for 1 month according to his Attestation Papers.
Canadian Expeditionary Force :-
full_name: BARRATT, William rank: Quartermaster Sergeant number: 13079 regiment: H.Q. 2nd Canadian Infantry Brigade parent_name: John and Elizabeth J. Barratt, of 9, Lake View, Gresford, Wrexham. birth: 21/02/1890 baptised: 27/04/1890 death: 22/10/1918 burial: 1918 age: 28 address: 26, Newtown, Gresford, Wrexham occupation: Carting Agent’s Clerk Gresford War Memorial, Gresford, All Saints Church War: WWI – World War One
Researched by Mavis Williams. Jan 2018. Gresford War Memorial photographs by John Davies.