b. 10/06/1893 Tring, Hertfordshire. d. 12/03/1915 Neuve Chappelle, Frsnce.
Edward Barber (1893-1915) was born at 40 King Street, Tring, Hertfordshire on 10th June 1893. His father was William Barber, a blacksmith and his mother was Sarah Ann nee Davis. His parents had married in Berkhampstead in December 1882. Before Edward was born, his parents had previously had a son called Edward, who died age 1 in 1891. There would be four other brothers. Edward was educated at Tring National Schools and was a member of the Tring Company No 196, Church Lads’ Brigade at St Peter & St Paul Church. He was employed as a bricklayer’s labourer until he enlisted in October 1911.
Edward went with his Battalion, Grenadier Guards, on 6th October 1914. On 12th March, 1915, at Neuve Chapelle, he ran speedily in front of the grenade company to which he belonged, and threw bombs on the enemy with such effect that a very great number of them at once surrendered. When the grenade party reached Private Barber they found him quite alone and unsupported, with the enemy surrendering all about him.
Barber was shot and killed by a German sniper later that day, and sadly his body was not recovered. He is commemorated on the Le Touret Memorial. He never married. The VC was sent to his mother on 13th March 1916 and was presented to her formally by King George V at Buckingham Palace on 16th November. In addition to the VC, Edward was awarded the 1914 Star with Mons clasp, British War Medal 1914-20 and Victory Medal 1914-19. The VC is held by the Grenadier Guards, Wellington Barracks, London.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: GRENADIER GUARDS RHQ, WELLINGTON BARRACKS, LONDON.
BURIAL PLACE: NO KNOWN GRAVE - ON LE TOURET MEMORIAL.
Tring War Memorial in Tring, Hertfordshire. Picture courtesy of Steve Lee.
War Illustrated, 17th February 1917