Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthJuly 24, 1890
Place of BirthFaraday, Ontario
Marital StatusMarried
Next of KinMrs CE Barker, wife, 1117 Johnson Street, Victoria, BC
Trade / CallingRancher
ReligionChurch of England
Service Details
Regimental Number180582
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion5th Divisional Mechanical Transport Company
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Army Service Corps
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Address at EnlistmentLuxton PO, BC
Date of EnlistmentNovember 17, 1915
Age at Enlistment25
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathJuly 12, 1951
Age at Death61
Buried AtColwood Burial Park, Victoria, BC

Barker, Joseph Stephen

Joseph Stephen Barker was born on 24 July 1890 in Faraday, Hastings, Ontario, date and place confirmed by his Ontario birth record. His father Frederick (Fred) Joseph Barker was from Shoreditch, London, England and had immigrated to Canada in 1873 with his parents who settled in the Faraday/Dungannon area. His mother Mary Lydia Allcock was born in Faraday to recent English immigrants. Joseph’s parents Fred and Lydia married on 20 January 1885 in Faraday. They first farmed in the area, giving birth to children Bertha Lydia (1886), Frank (1887), Henry Herbert (Harry) (1888), and Joseph. By the birth of son Frederick Charles in 1894 the family was living in Melita, Manitoba and by 1897 had relocated to Rat Portage (later renamed Kenora) in northwestern Ontario. Lydia’s parents and some of her siblings had previously moved to Rat Portage. While in Rat Portage Fred found work as a teamster. Children born in Rat Portage were Amy Maud (1897), Albert Wesley (1899), Hazel Olive (1900), Lenora Elsie (1901), Inza Kenora (1905), and Ernest Chester (1907). The family next moved to Regina, Saskatchewan where daughter Regina Bernice (Bessie) was born (1912) and then on to Victoria, British Columbia a short time later.

Around 1905 Joseph married Constance Emily Muncer. Born in London, England on 29 August 1891, Constance was the daughter of William George and Annie Eliza (née Crane) Muncer. The family had immigrated to Canada in 1906, leaving Liverpool on 28 June aboard the Dominion, settling in Minaki, a village north of Kenora in northwestern Ontario where George was a grocer. By the time of the 1911 census Joseph, Constance, and children Hilda, Verma, and Francis were also living in Minaki with Joseph’s occupation given as wood scaler at the time of the census.

Joseph, Constance and the family had relocated to Victoria, British Columbia by the time he enlisted with the 88th Battalion (Victoria Fusiliers) on 17 November 1915 in Victoria. His occupation was given as rancher, place of birth as Belleville, Ontario, and his wife Constance in Victoria as next of kin. His brother Fred had enlisted on the 11th and was to serve with the Canadian Field Artillery while his father Fred and brother Frank had enlisted on the 12th. As Privates with the battalion, Fred Sr, Frank, and Joseph embarked from Halifax on 31 May 1916 aboard the Olympic, transferring to the 30th Reserve Battalion a short time after their arrival in England.

In August of 1916 Joseph was transferred to the Canadian Army Service Corps Training Depot. That December he proceeded overseas, joining the 4th Canadian Divisional Supply Column in the field on the 29th. Each Division of the army had a certain amount of motorized transport allocated to it, although not directly under its own command. The Divisional Supply Column Companies were responsible for the supply of goods, equipment and ammunition from the Divisional railhead to the Divisional Refilling Point and, if conditions allowed, to the dumps and stores of the forward units. In November of 1917 Joseph was awarded a Good Conduct Badge and granted a fourteen day leave on 21 December. In late March of 1918, with fever of unknown origin, Joseph was admitted to the No 1 Canadian Casualty Clearing Station and then on to the No 8 Stationary Hospital in Wimereux, discharged to Rest Camp on 7 April. With the 4th Canadian Divisional Supply Column amalgamation with 4th Canadian Divisional Ammunition Sub Park on 14 April 1918 and the formation of 4th Canadian Divisional Mechanical Transport Company Joseph was reposted to the Canadian Army Service Corps Pool. That July he was temporarily detached to the 5th Canadian Divisional Mechanical Transport Company. With the end of the war Joseph returned to England in mid May of 1919, embarking for Canada aboard the Saturnia on 18 June. Joseph was discharged from service on 4 July in Toronto.

After the war Joseph and Constance continued to make Victoria there home, the family growing to include other known children Gertrude Olive, Verna Ann, Eva Evelyn, Muriel Viola, David Joseph, Gordon Albert, Lawrence William, and Douglas Roy. Joseph eventually became a foreman at a sawmill and was a member of the Pro Patria Branch of the Canadian Legion and a life member of F.O.E. Aerie No 12.

Joseph died on 12 July 1951 in the Veteran’s Hospital in Saanich, BC. At the time of his death he was survived by his wife Constance, daughters Olive Tillyer (Vancouver), Verna Shelton (Shawnigan), Evelyn Duncan and Muriel Johnson (Victoria) and sons David, Gordon, Roy, and William, all of Victoria. He was also survived by nineteen grandchildren and brothers Frank, Fred (both Victoria) and Harry (New Westminster) and sisters Hazel Edwards, Lenora Appleby, Inza Nuttall, and Bessie Kendall, all of Victoria. Joseph’s wife Constance died on 20 October 1982 and is interred with Joseph in the Colwood Burial Park, now part of the Hatley Memorial Gardens in Colwood.

By Judy Stockham

photo of Joseph and his brothers: courtesy of great niece Kris Fernando
Joseph’s obituary courtesy of Mike Melen

Barker brothers

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