Barnbrook, John

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 John’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.

John Barnbrook’s Story. 

The 1901 census places him at 1c Weir Street in Coatbridge, Lanarkshire where he was living at the home of his older brother Joseph. Joseph was 24 and an ‘iron Puddler’. Joseph’s wife was 24 year old Agnes. Staying with them was Lisa Jones Barnbrook 56  described as ‘mother in law’. Also in the household were two brothers John Barnbrook who was 13 a ‘puddler’ and William Barnbrook 15 who was an’ iron worker- labourer’.

John Barnbrook enlisted in the army in 1906. On his Attestation Army Records, signed on the 31st July 1906. He joined the 3rd Bn Highland Light Infantry, Army No. 6045. He stated that his address was 33, Crighton Street, Coatbridge, Lanarkshire.   He was 18 years 1 month old, single and a Labourer.   He was 5 feet 6 inches tall, weighed 124lbs, had Fresh complexion, blue eyes and brown hair and was Church of England.   Distinctive Marks:-Three J B & 4 dots left Forearm. Dated 1st Aug. 1906 at Hamilton.   His next of kin on one of his Service Records states that it was his brother, Mr. J. Barnbrook, 1, Turncrest ?, Coatbridge. (Joseph?)

The 1911 census includes a John Barnbrook aged 22 who was born in Dalzell, Lanarkshire. He was a member of the Highland Light Infantry and at the time of the census, was in India.

John Barnbrook in the UK, Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929 tells us that his Legatees were his brother William who was paid £6. 3s 10d on the 2nd February 1917 and £6. 3s 9d to the Guardian of Agnes Alcock (or Elcock) and the same to Agnes Barnbrook.

UK Soldiers who Died in The Great war 1914-19 accessible on confirms the regimental details above and adds that he enlisted in Glasgow. This source tells us he was killed in action in France/Flanders. His medal card also accessible on ‘ancestry’ details his medals and tells us that he went to France on the 30th November 1914. (Nineteen days later he was dead.).

He is listed in UK De Ruvigny’s Roll of Honour which confirms the regimental details above and states that he was killed in action at Festubert in France.

John’s Brothers. 

Isaiah Barbrook has his own page on this website. Follow the link to read his story.

Joseph Barnbrook has his  own page on this website. Follow 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.

Isiah, John and Joseph Barnbrook are remembered on the St. Ethelwold’s (Shotton) Roll of Honour, Hawarden War Memorial and St. Andrew’s Church, Garden City. Joseph lived in Queensferry and enlisted in Shotton. It is possible that whoever submitted Joseph’s name for inclusion on local memorials, also submitted his brothers’ names.


Learn more about the other soldiers on the Hawarden Memorial

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