Service no. 6507
Private, London Regiment (London Scottish), 2nd/14th Battalion
Died in an accident on 17 February 1917, aged 21
Son of Moses and Frances Barlow, of 20, St Stephen’s Terrace, Albert Square, Clapham Road, London.
Remembered at Salonika (Lembet Road) Military Cemetery, Greece, and at Stockwell War Memorial, London SW9
British Army WWI Service Records 1914-1920
Frank Barlow was buried 10 yards from the road at Katerini, near Thessaloniki, Greece. On 17 February 1917 he fell down a precipice and fractured his skull. He was killed instantaneously, according to a witness at the Council of Enquiry in the Field held by Lieutenant Colonel R. J. L. Ogilby on the same day.
The platoon had been told to make their way down a sharp slope east of the camp and up a hill on the other side. “I came to the edge of a cliff with a drop of about 90 feet to a stream below,” said R. C. Hone. “I told the men to get round the best way they could.” They split in two and he tried to cross the stream but fell in and lost his stick. “I called to the others to catch the stick as it went by,” he continued. But then he noticed the body of Private Barlow. “The last time I saw Pte. Barlow was about a quarter of the way down […] when I noticed he was carrying a signalling flag. Serjeant Souter “saw something in the water, which I first thought was an animal. On looking down I found it was a London Scottish man.” They hauled the body out.
No one had seen him fall. “Pte. Barlow was in front of me,” said Private Keech. “I had to drop out for a few minutes and did not see him any more. I had noticed that he was using his signalling flag as a walking stick.”
Barlow was examined by a Captain J. D. Stubbs, of the Royal Army Medical Corps and pronounced dead.
The conclusion was clear: “The court, having considered the evidence [are of the] opinion that the death of 6507 Pte. Frank Barlow was caused by an accident in performance of his duties and that no blame can be attached to any person concerned.”
There is no record that Barlow’s family saw the witness statements or received any further explanation of the death of their son’s death. Three months after the accident, his effects (matchbox, spectacles, pipe, wristwatch, scissors, knife, key, pouch, air pillow, books, compass, cup, dictionary, diaries, wallet and sundries) were sent to his mother at 20 St. Stephen’s Terrace, South Lambeth. She duly completed the paperwork but wrote on 23 Mary 1917: “I have not received my son’s pay book or will. I have had a copy of the latter sent from the War Office, but I should like his own handwriting.”
Barlow served in France for two months before he was sent to Salonika in November 1916. He had enlisted in the London Scottish on 24 January 1916 at Buckingham Gate, London, where he was described as having “good” physical development. He was 5 feet 8 inches, with a 35-inch chest (which he could expand 4 inches). His papers do not include his civilian ocupation, but the 1911 census shows that he was at that time a 14-year-old part-time student and office boy. He lived with his family at 20 St Stephen’s Terrace, SW8, where they occupied five rooms. His father, Moses Barlow, 52, was a mechanical engineer (working in boiler making), from Reading, Berkshire. His mother, Frances Barlow, 43, was born in Chelsea. There was a brother, George, who also later served in the Army.
Information from the 1911 census
In 1911 Frank Barlow was a 14-year-old part-time student and office boy, living in 5 rooms with his family at 20 St Stephen’s Terrace, SW8. His father, Moses Barlow, 52, was a mechanical engineer (working in boiler making), from Reading, Berkshire. His mother, Frances Barlow, 43, was born in Chelsea. Others on the census return were
George Barlow, 13
Miriam Barlow, 8
Both were born in Lambeth
A nephew, Richard Barnes, 18, a motor engineer from Sunbury, Middlesex, lived with the family.