James Barber (1894–1919)

Air Mechanic 2nd class

Royal Naval Air Service    
Royal Air Force 219786 207th Sqdn

James was born at Church View, Crich on 9th March1894, his parents were James and Margaret Barber. When he enrolled on 3 August 1917 (he was a wagon oiler on the Midland Railway) and joined the RNAS 14 August 1916. He transferred into the RAF 1st April 1918. The RAF Muster Roll gives his rate of pay as 1s 8d. The RAF was formed on 1 April 1918. James died of pneumonia on 7 February 1919, a few months after the armistice, and he is buried at Cologne Southern Cemetery. More than one thousand Allied prisoners and dozens of German servicemen were buried in Cologne Southern Cemetery during the First World War. Commonwealth forces entered Cologne on 6 December 1918, less than a month after the Armistice, and the city was occupied under the terms of the Treaty of Versailles.
James’s squadron moved to Germany as part of the Army of Occupation in January 1919, serving there until the August.

Service Record

219786 James Barber, born 9th March 1884, Crich, Derbyshire. Engaged in RNAS 719786 24th August 1916, Civilian occupation was blacksmith striker. Next-of-kin, father, James Barber , Church View, Crich. Height 5ft 8¾, black hair, grey eyes, fresh compexion, scar son right side of nose, right index finger; mole on right shoulder blade. Died 7 Feb 1919 of pneumonia.
Squad 7 –1/4/18; Air Craftsman II– 24/8/16; Air Craftsman I – 3 /8/17; Transferred RAF– 1/4/18

WW1 aeroplane

Handley Page O/400 bomber D8345 of No. 207 Sqn RAF

Newspaper Reports

Derbyshire Courier 26 August 1916
Mr. James BARBER, son of Mr and Mrs J BARBER, Church House, Crich, has passed the necessary tests for acceptance into the Royal Flying Corps and on Tuesday left to commence his training.

Derbyshire Courier; 22 February 1919
Confirmation of the news of the death of Air-Mechanic James Barber of Church House, Crich, was received on Wednesday by his father in a letter from Air-Mechanic F. Johnson, Royal Air Force, Germany, who states that he was a close friend of Air-Mechanic Barber. "We were all very fond of him," he says, "and he had a very touching funeral. At the first opportunity I hope to visit his grave in Cologne."

Later in the article –

News was received by Mr James Barber of Church House, Crich, on Thursday last week, that his second son Air-Mechanic James Barber, died in Cologne on 7 February of bronchial pneumonia. He joined up two and a half years ago. A quiet unassuming young man and possessed of a keen interest in mechanics, he made good progress in aircraft work and was generally esteemed by his officers. He was 25 years of age. In civil life he was employed at the shops of the Clay Cross Company at their Crich Limestone Works.

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Initials J
Nationality United Kingdom
Rank Air Mechanic 2nd Class
Regiment/Service Royal Air Force
Unit 207th Sqdn.
Date of Death 07/02/1919
Age 24
Service No 219786
Additional Information Son of James and Margaret Barber, of Church View, Crich, Matlock, Derbyshire
Casualty type Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference  II. A. 10.

WW1 graves certificate for James Barber

Soldiers' Effects Book
Barber James; RAF 207 sqdn; 2nd A.M. 219786; death 7.2.19 pneumonia France; War Gratuity £14; father James received £25 18s 4d on 15.6.19


1901: Crich

Forename Surname Relationship Age Occupation Where born
James Barber Head 38 Joiner Crich
Margaret Barber Wife 35   Crich
Annie Barber Daughter 14 Hosiery hand Crich
Harry Barber Son 13   Crich
Hannah Ruth Barber Daughter 11   Crich
Edith Emma Barber Daughter 9   Crich
James Barber Son 7   Crich
William Barber Son 5   Crich

RG13 piece 3231 folio 29 page 4

1911: Crich

Forename Surname Relationship Age Occupation Where born
James Barber Head (married) 48 Joiner, Limestone quarry Crich
Margaret Barber Wife 46 Housewife Crich
Harry Barber Son 22 Labourer, lime works Crich
Edith Emma Barber Daughter 19 Picker, Lea Mills Crich
James Barber Son 17 Wagon oiler, Midland Railway Crich
William Barber Son 15 Pony driver, colliery Crich

RG14PN20985 RG78PN1251 RD436 SD4 ED14 SN102