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a blog by Chris Barrow

Joshua Barrow

Sergt. C Sheather’s Squad – Grenadier Guards – Nov 1920

…..and so a myth is exploded – I had always thought my Grandfather Joshua Barrow served in the Coldstream Guards but this photograph puts me right – similar uniform but a different regiment.

Not entirely sure which of these chaps is Joshua – most likely third standing second row in from the left of the photo.

All I know is that he spent some time standing guard outside Windsor Castle, met his future wife May Day with her young daughter born out of wedlock and decided to take them in.

After that, the history of his early life is largely blank – all I know is that Barrow is actually an old Lancashire surname and that his immediate ancestors worked in and around an iron foundry in Salford.

The death of his 19-year old brother George Barrow at The Somme in June 1916 is recorded on a war memorial at Victoria Station in Manchester.

I wonder if this loss prompted the younger Joshua to enlist or whether this was done against the wish of his mother Mary Young (re-married after the death of his father William Barrow).

In the second photograph we see the record of George’s burial site and grave number in Fricourt, France and in the third we see that Mary Young paid for an inscription for his headstone to read:

In the midst of life we are in death

Paid for by the letter – 8 shillings and 2 pence (around 40p in today’s currency – that’s £25.94 inflation adjusted to 2015).

One of the items on my bucket list – to visit the grave with some of my family.

Another is to discover more about the early life of Joshua Barrow my grandfather.

Now that the holiday period is coming to an end these personal posts will become less frequent – I’ve enjoyed these reflections and have many more photographs to draw on.

Work returns and these posts will be when the fancy takes me.

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