FRANCIS JOHN BARHAM

Image courtesy of Kim Quinton (dated 1904 -1905)

Registered at birth – FRANCIS JOHN MARKHAM

 

Born: 20th December 1886, Raniket, India.

Baptised: 12th January 1887, Nainital, Bengal, India.

Died: 28th September 1916; age 29; Died – Prisoner of War – Taurus Railway, Mesopotamia.

Enlistment Location: Ipswich.

Date of Entry Therein: 16th November 1914 – Asia.

 

Rank: Corporal; Service Number: 6067

Regiment: Norfolk Regiment, 2nd Battalion.

 

Medals Awarded: Victory, British War & 1915 Star.

 

Grave Reference:     

XXI.P.15

Baghdad (North Gate) War Cemetery,

Iraq.

 

CENSUS

 

1891   St. Botolphs Barracks, Colchester, Essex.

 

Francis Barham was 3 years old and living with his mother, step father & siblings. The children were recorded as Barham.

William Barham, 32, a Colour Sergeant in the 2nd Battalion of the Norfolk Regiment; born Ipswich.

Ellen Barham (nee White), 27; born Ireland.

Ellen Markham Barham, 7, born Campus, Colchester, Essex.

(Gussie) Thomas Augustus Anthony Markham Barham, 5, born Morar Gwalior, India.

 

1901   Christchurch Mansion, Ipswich.

 

Francis was 14 years old, a General Labourer. He was living with his parents, sister & step brothers.

William, 42, Caretaker of Christchurch Mansion.

Ellen, 38.

Ellen, 17.

Albert David Barham, 7, born Colchester.

Charles Barham, 3, born Kildar, Ireland.

William Arthur Barham, 1, born Ipswich.

 

1911   Ceylon & India.

 

Francis was 24 years of age and a Private & a Musician in the 2nd Battalion of the Norfolk Regiment.

 

Francis’s father was Thomas Arthur Markham, born June 1858, Maidstone, Kent – died of Chorlora, September 1887, Bengal, India.

 

Francis’s mother, Ellen Barham died 1914, Ipswich.

 

Soldiers’ Effects to William Barham – father.

 

Francis is also remembered on the war memorial at St. Margaret’s Church, Ipswich and at St. Pancras Catholic Church, Ipswich.

 

THE NORFOLK REGIMENT 2nd Battalion

The siege of Kut Al Amara (7 December 1915 – 29 April 1916) aka First Battle of Kut.
2nd Battalion of the Norfolk Regiment serving in India as part of the 18th Indian Brigade of the 6th (Poona) Division at the outbreak of the War. Embarking for Mesopotamia from Bombay landing at Sanniya on the 6th November 1914.

Following the advance towards Baghdad 1915, using the Tigris River as the main route north, the Battalion seeing several contacts with the enemy, reaching the outskirts of Baghdad. The Campaign advance being 500+ miles from their base at Basra. The long supply chain was hampered by heat and extreme weather conditions. The British and Indian troops retreated back to Kut on the 3rd December 1915, to regroup and consolidate following the first attack on Baghdad.
The flat countryside at Kut, on a bend on the river, the troops dug in as the Ottoman forces numbered around 11,000, moved down from the north. Making trenches and fortifications to protect the Town. Many attempts were made by the Turks to take the British position, but soon reverted to snipping and bombardment of the town. Blockaded and siege tactics were made in hope to starve the defenders out. British Army garrison had enough food for one month, but kept going for 147 days. Forced to cut rations, surviving on horse meat and fish from the Tigris, the last four weeks of the siege saw starvation throughout the Battalion and army.
Attempts to relieve the town were made, but fought off by the Turks as they moved south seeing a large scale battle at Sheikh Sa’ad, costing 20,000+ allied casualties. Attempts were made to negotiate for a peaceful withdraw from the Town, offering cash sums to the Turks. On the 29th April 1916 facing starvation the British surrendered to the Ottoman forces. 10,000 survivors of the siege were marched to Baghdad and paraded around the city. The British and Indian troops were later imprisoned at Aleppo. Two thirds of the men were to die in captivity from disease and starvation.

The siege of Kut Al Amara YOUTUBE documentary.

 

THE NORFOLK REGIMENT 2nd Battalion: http://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/army/regiments-and-corps/the-british-infantry-regiments-of-1914-1918/norfolk-regiment/

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