Lance-Corporal, 451024, William Alexander Barron (24), Died of Wounds

2nd Tunnelling Company, Canadian Engineers, 11th July 1917

Grave of William Alexander Barron at Elgin Cemetery, Elgin, Morayshire.

Circumstances of Death

William Alexander Barron received a gunshot wound to his lower spine on or about 29 June 1917, this appears to have left him in a paralysed state. He was transferred through various medical facilities until he arrived at the Dover Military Hospital, England on the 7th July 1917. He died four days later on the 11th July 1917. He was later buried in a family grave at Elgin New Cemetery, Elgin Moray.

S.S. Saxonia which William sailed to England from Halifax, Nova Scotia in.

Morayshire Roll of Honour

Extract from the above 1921 publication – Barron, William Alexander. No.451024, Lance-Corporal, 2nd Canadian Tunnelling Company, Royal Engineers; born at Elgin, 15th June, 1893; joined in Canada, 1915; served in France; died of wounds received in action in France on the 11th day of July, 1917. Son of James and Abigail Barron, 10, Union Street, Elgin. Occupation – Traveller in the States.

Further Military and Civilian Research

30 June 1915 – Enlisted into the Canadian Expeditionary Force at Niagara, Ontario, where William was described as:-

  • Height – 5’8″
  • Chest – 38″ +2″ max
  • Complexion – Fair
  • Eyes – Blue
  • Hair – Brown
  • Religion – Presbyterian
  • Marks and Scars – Tattoo marks on left and right arms.
The first will written by William before he saw any action.

He was initially taken on strength of the 58th Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force.

  • 22 November 1915 – Left Halifax, Nova Scotia for Europe aboard the S.S. Saxonia.
  • 2 December 1915 – Arrived in England from Canada.
  • 19 February 1916 – Signed Will and Testament.
  • 20 February 1916 – Embarked for service in France from England.
  • 4 May 1916 – Received gun shot wound to left hand and shoulder (Slight). No.9 Canadian Field Ambulance to Casualty Clearing Station to:-
  • 6 May 1916 – at No.20 General Hospital, Camiers, Pas de Calais, France.
  • 19 May 1916 – At No6 Convalescent Depot, Etaples, France.
  • 29 May 1916 – Rejoined unit.
  • 7 June 1916 – Transferred temporarily to No.2 Tunnelling Company.
  • 9 August 1916 – Sentenced to 14 Days Field Punishment No.1 for drunkenness.
  • 26 January 1917 – Transferred Full time to No.2 Tunnelling Company.
  • 3 September 1916 – At No.3 Canadian Hospital, Boulogne with Disorderly Action of the Heart – Often the result of stress or fatigue.
  • 3 September 1916 – discharged from hospital.
  • 1 March 1917 – New Will signed at No.2 Tunnelling Company. Canadian Engineers.
  • 24 June 1917 – Promoted to Lance-Corporal.
  • 29 June 1917 – Gunshot Wound to Spinal Cord – Dangerously ill.
  • 30 June 1917 – No.3 Canadian Casualty Clearing Station.
  • 7 July 1917 – Onboard Hospital Ship ‘Princess Elizabeth’.
  • 7 July 1917 – Military Hospital – Dover.
  • 11 July 1917 – Died at Dover Military Hospital from wounds received on the 29 June 1917.
  • Later buried at Elgin New Cemetery, Elgin, Moray within a family grave.
The hospital ship in which William made his last voyage.

Family

William Barron was born at Elgin, 15th June, 1893. Although the Canadian records have his year of birth as 1891, it is believed that 1893 is correct. The following family information is taken from the Morayshire Roll of Honour, Family Headstone and the 1891 and 1901 Census.

His family is shown as follows :-

  • Father – James Barron, died 28 November 1920, Occupation – Railway Carter.
  • Mother – Abigail McConnachie or Barron, born c.1857 at Elgin, died 14 October 1931.
  • Brother – Donald Barron, born c.1885 at Elgin – Mill Worker (Wool Dyer)
  • Sister – Jessieann, born c.1887 at Elgin, died 4 November 1922.
  • Brother – Daniel, born 6th August 1885 at Elgin, killed in action 30 June 1915.
  • Brother – James, born 21 April 1890 at Elgin.

There is a possibility that Donald and Daniel are one in the same person as the name Daniel does not appear in the 1901 census but the year of birth is the same.

Addresses

His address given on enlistment was given as 10, Lossie Wynd, Elgin, Moray, Scotland. Following the war, his mother is shown on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission documents as residing at 23 Union Street, Elgin, the street later changed it’s name to Lossie Wynd, Elgin.

Aberdeen Weekly Journal 19 May 1916 and a report on the first shot gun injury to William Barron.

Medals

William Alexander Barron was awarded the Victory and the British War Medals for his service in the Great War.

Memorials

William Alexander Barron is honoured and remembered on the Elgin City and Parish War Memorial, Moray.

Links to Additional Information

References

  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
  • Canadian Service Records – William Barron.
  • Morayshire Roll of Honour.
  • Family Headstone at Elgin Cemetery., Moray.

Contributors:-

  • Vincent Stuart
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