Barnbrook, Isaiah

Barnbrook family background.

There are 3 Barnbrook men named on the Hawarden  memorial, Isaiah, Joseph & John.  I believe that they were brothers. The connection to Flintshire is through the brother Joseph who enlisted in Shotton.  It seems the other two had no obvious connection with  the County.

Margaret McGinty of the Lanarkshire Heritage Centre provided helpful  information for a Barnbrook family.

A Barnbrook(s) family was on the 1891 Scottish census living at 51 Milton Street, Motherwell, Lanarkshire.  Head of the household was Albert Ed. Barnbrook aged  49.  he was a Puddler in the ironworks. His wife Ann was 44. Their listed children were Albert, 17 who was a labourer in the Ironworks,  Joseph, 14 was a Furnaceman Isaiah was  7, all three eldest had been born in England.  The two younger sons William, 4 and John, 2, were born in Motherwell, Scotland.  There were 4 male boarders who all worked in the Iron industry.

This census of 1891 therefore confirms that Isaiah, Joseph and  John Barnbrook were brothers.  Another brother,  Albert features in Isaiah’s army story as his named next of kin. Albert was in the Royal Regiment Artillery. Albert’s story is below Isaiah’s story on this page

This family which was together as a unit in 1891 in Scotland splintered during the 1890s. Albert, Isaiah and John were all professional soldiers before WW1. Albert died before the war began. Isaiah and John both died in WW1. Joseph enlisted to serve in WW1 and he also lost his life.

Isaiah Barnbrook is not a common name. In fact, there is only one soldier with that name in the military records and Commonwealth War Grave Commission’s records and so we have assumed that this is our man.  His Army Service Records (accessible on  have survived although they are in a poor state and difficult to read, nevertheless we can establish some of his story from them, one fact being, that he was a professional soldier long before WW1.

He was born in Middlesborough in 1883.   He first signed up for 7 years in the army in Pontefract on the 15th September 1899. He was an 18 year old miner.   He was 5 feet 4.5 inches tall and weighed 110 lbs and said his religion was C of E. He was posted to the York and Lancaster Regiment.  His records show that as each period of service came to an end, Isaiah signed up again for more years service.   He served in South Africa.   Throughout his career, he was regularly promoted until he was made Company Quartermaster Sergeant.  He was part of the British Expedtionary Force that went to France in September 1914 and was killed in action in October that year. His next of kin was his eldest brother Albert Barnbrook who served in the Royal Regiment Artillery.

The records show that Isaiah was a married man. On the 20th September 1911 he had married Betsy J Hardman in West Parade Chapel in Wakefield Yorkshire. After his death she was awarded a pension of 11/6d a week. There is correspondence in the records about her pension, his possessions and medals and her address is given as 7, Leesmill Lane, Westgate, Wakefield, Yorkshire. On his Commonwealth War Grave Certificate her address is 1 Grange Street, Horbury Road, Wakefield.

There is a medal index card for  Isaiah (accessible on which gives him the wrong christian name (they name him as Isaac). The regiment and regimental number however are Isaiah’s. It lists his medals and says he was killed in action. it says he went to France on the 9th September 1914.

The UK, Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929 in which the Army calculated what moneys were owed to deceased soldiers, includes an entry for Isaiah Barnbrook.  It confirms that he enlisted in Middlesborough on the 15th September 1899, he had been a Miner.    The sole Legatee was widow Betsy who was paid £14.14s 2d on the 10th February 1915 and 4/6 on the 26th April 1915. His War Gratuity of £10 was paid to her on the 12th July 1919.

Isaiah left a will. It is listed in the England and Wales National Probate Calendar.  (Ancestry) The entry reads; – Barnbrook Isaiah of 7 Lees Mill Lane Westgate Wakefield, a Company Quartermaster Sergeant in His Majesty’s Army, died 27th October 1914 in France whilst on active service. Administration (with will) Wakefield 14th June to Betsy Jessie Barnbrook widow. Effects £178..9s

Isaiah’s  brothers 

Isaiah was committed to the army from 1899 until his death in 1914 and it would seem that there was no time or space in his life to have any connection with Flintshire.  His wife was based in Wakefield.  What were his brothers doing?

Joseph Barnbrook,  has his own page on this website. Follow the link to read his story..

John Barnbrook  was born in Motherwell, Lanarkshire. He has his own page on this website. please click on the link to read his story.

Albert Barnbrook  the eldest brother did not serve in WW1 and is not named on any Flintshire Memorial.  He was , however, a serving soldier before WW1. He signed Attestation Papers on the 2nd March 1899 in Hamilton, Scotland.  He gave his place of birth as  Horborne Smethwick, Staffordshire.  He was 20 years 3 months.He stated that he was already serving in the Highland Light Infantry. His trade was ‘Ironworker’. He was considered fit for service in the Royal Regiment Artillery. He became Gunner 32931. He served at home for 305 days. He served in South Africa for 4 years 315 days. Then he served at home for a further 6 years 189 days which included a spell in the Army Reserves.   He was still serving in March 1911 but he died in Coatbridge on the 18th May 1911 from Gastric hepatic disease.  The records show that he had  married Agnes McLeary on the 13th July 1906 in Coatbridge. The witnesses at the wedding were Joseph Barnbrook and Agnes Barnbrook.   Albert and his wife had three children.  Albert jnr was born on 5th February 1907. Hugh McCleary 16th September 1908 and Joseph on the 16th September 1910. (All these details about Albert come from the UK Royal Hospital Chelsea Pensioner Soldier Records on Ancestry)

William Barnbrook. No information so far.

Isaiah, John and Joseph  Barnbrook are named on the Hawarden Cenotaph, and at St. Ethelwold’s Church in Shotton and on the War Memorial Plaque at St. Andrew’s Church, Garden City.

Learn more about the other soldiers on the Hawarden Memorial

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