Letter to a dead soldiers’ mother


January 26, 1916
Joseph Barker, who was killed at the front whilst serving his country with the 2nd Battalion Liverpool Pals. Barker was well known among I Zingari League footballers. During his time he played for Valkyrie, and he also had a trial game with the Liverpool Football Club. He was a fine gymnast, having won many medals at this sport. Captain Brockbank has written Mrs. Barker the following letter: –

“I am afraid I am the bearer of sad news to you. Your dear son was killed last night instantaneously by shrapnel bullet from a shell which burst over the wood. I was with him immediately after it happened, but nothing could be done. He was not disfigured – alight wound through the head. I knew your son well, as he was in my platoon before I took charge of the company. Quiet, and always a gentleman, he was liked and respected by everyone who knew him. We can ill afford to lose such men, and I offer you my deepest sympathy. God’s ways are sometimes hard to understand, but you have the satisfaction of knowing that your son died doing his duty. He never gave a moment trouble the whole time he was in the Army. – With deepest sympathy, yours very sincerely, W. Brockbank, O.C. No. 1 Company.”
(Source: Liverpool Echo: January 26, 1916)

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