Barrett, Frederick

Hull Pals Memorial Post. PRIVATE FRED BARRETT 25597. Born in Halsham, Yorkshire in 1885 Fred lost both his parents when young though he had two brothers and a sister for company. He was married to Elizabeth Alice Barrett and the couple lived at 3 Bethel Place, Witham, Hull. Fred enlisted on 11th December 1915, like so many men desperate to avoid the ignominy of conscription, and was spent time in the 1st, 4th and 12th Battalions of the East Yorkshire Regiment before ending up in the 10th on 16th June 1918. He was in and out of the front line with Bronchitis and twice he was wounded in the buttocks. The first time according to his Army Medical Report “the bullet was never recovered”. Fred Barrett was killed in action on 4th September 1918 as the Pals attacked German positions outside of Nieppe across open ground which afforded them no cover. He was buried on the battlefield and exhumed after the Armistice when he was transferred to Trois Arbres Cemetery, Steenwerck; he was 33 years old. In 1922 the army wrote to his widow asking if she would like to take possession of what remained of his affects, namely one New Testament. The note said “although harmless from a medical point of view (it) may be objectionable on account of the disagreeable odour emitted therefrom” requesting if she could “kindly favour me with a decision as to whether it should be forwarded to you or destroyed”. A Mark Rial responded with a letter stating Elizabeth had passed away in July 1922. Mark had married Elizabeth the year before and hopefully made her happy for her last few months on earth, perhaps it was a marriage born of love and duty for his letter finishes with “If you like you can send it to me as he was a great pal of mine.”

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Steenwerck Cemetery, Nord, France