|Date of Birth||January 11, 1863|
|Place of Birth||Shoreditch, Middlesex|
|Next of Kin||Mrs Lydia Barker, wife, 852 Mason Street, Victoria, BC|
|Trade / Calling||Carpenter|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Battalion||Canadian Casualty Assembly Centre|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Enlisted|
|Address at Enlistment||852 Mason Street, Victoria, BC|
|Date of Enlistment||November 12, 1915|
|Age at Enlistment||53|
|Theatre of Service||Great Britain|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||March 16, 1944|
|Age at Death||81|
|Buried At||Colwood Burial Park, Victoria, BC|
Frederick Joseph (Fred) Barker was born on 11 January 1863 in Shoreditch, London, England. He was the first born child of Stephen Barker and Emma Elizabeth Bartholomew who had married on 2 April 1861 in Tower Hamlets, Bethnal Green, London. While living in England father Stephen’s occupation was given as carman at the time of their marriage and later as corn chandler. Known children born to the couple in England were Fred, Emma Francis (1864), Alice Louisa (1866), George Samuel (1867) Eliza (1870), and Arthur (1872). The family immigrated to Canada in 1873, arriving in Quebec on 18 June aboard the Moravian.
Although at times it appears that the family lived in Belleville, the Barkers settled in the Faraday/Dungannon area of North Hastings, Ontario where they farmed. Known children born in Ontario were Edward Stephen (1874), twins Alfred John and Walter Henry (1875), William Albert (1877), and Elizabeth Harriet (1879). By the time of the 1901 census Stephen, Emma and some of the children had relocated to the Aylesworth/Woodyatt area near Fort Frances is northwestern Ontario where they farmed.
On 20 January 1885, in Faraday, Fred married Mary Lydia Allcock. Born in 1866 in Faraday, Lydia was the daughter of English immigrants Joseph Samuel and Sarah Ann (née Belch) Allcock, surname later changed to Alcock. Fred and Lydia first farmed in the Faraday area, giving birth to children Bertha Lydia (1886), Francis Oliver (Frank) (1887), Henry Herbert (Harry) (1888), and Joseph Stephen (1890). 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.
Fred signed his attestation papers with the 88th Battalion (Victoria Fusiliers) on 12 November 1915 in Victoria. His occupation was given as carpenter, his wife Lydia in Victoria as next of kin, and his year of birth as 1873. His son Fred had enlisted the day before and was to serve with the Canadian Field Artillery while son Frank also attested that day with son Joseph following on the 17th. As Privates with the battalion, Fred Sr, Frank, and Joseph Stephen embarked from Halifax on 31 May 1916 aboard the Olympic, transferring to the 30th Reserve Battalion a short time after their arrival in England.
Fred trained at Westenhanger with some difficulty due to myalgia and his age and on 8 August was boarded and not allowed to go to France. He was taken on strength with the administrative staff of the Canadian Casualty Assembly Centre and then sent back to the 30th Reserve Battalion for awhile, returning to the CCAC in October. However he continued to have pain in his legs and back and was short of breath and it was decided he would be returned to Canada in February of 1917 aboard the Esquibo. With character given as very good, Fred was discharged from service as being no longer physically fit for war service on 22 June 1917 at Esquimalt.
Fred returned to Victoria, found working as a carpenter at the time of the 1921 census. Household members included his wife and younger daughters Lenora, Inza, and Bessie. Fred died on 16 March 1944 at his home on Henry Street in Victoria. He was predeceased by his children Bertha (bef 1891), Amy (1898), Ernest (1907) and Albert (1909), his mother Emma (1915) and father Stephen (1920), his siblings George (1868), Elizabeth (1907), and Walter (1914), and his wife Lydia (1935). Fred and Lydia are interred in Colwood Burial Park, now part of Hatley Memorial Gardens in Victoria.
By Judy Stockham
Gravemarker photo: courtesy of great great granddaughter Kris Fernando