Charles Henry Barnard


Charles Henry Barnard was one of the 19 Liverpool Pilots killed when the ‘Alfred H Read’ hit a German mine on 28 December 1917 at the Bar. At 60 he was also one of the oldest men to die in service.

Pilot Boat Alfred H Read.jpg

Pilot Boat No. 1 Alfred H Read from

He was born on 23 August 1857 in Everton, Liverpool, the second  of the 3 sons and 3 daughters of Benjamin James Barnard (1834-1908) and Mary Ann Bartlow (1834-1922).

Benjamin James Barnard was born in Rochester, Kent, the son of a mariner. He joined the Customs Service, and as a result moved around the country quite a lot. In the early 1850s he was in St Helier, Jersey, Channel Islands where he met and married Mary Ann Bartlow, the daughter of a local butcher. Their first child, Benjamin George Thomas Barnard (1855-1937) was born on Jersey, but they had moved to Everton a couple of years later when Charles was born. They remained in Liverpool thereafter. Whilst the children were young, Mary Ann kept a provision shop at 79 Tarlton Street, Everton and the family lived over the shop.

By 1881 Charles was a Liverpool pilot living at home, which was now 37 St George’s Hill, Everton.  On 28 May 1884 he married Alice Coulthurst (1864-1955) at South Shore, Blackpool, Lancashire. Alice came from Preston, Lancashire where her father Thomas Coulthurst (1825-1865) was an inn keeper. However her father died before she was a year old, leaving his second wife, Elizabeth Reynolds Miller (1829-1898) with 2 small daughters, the older of whom, Henrietta, died at the age of 3 in 1868. Thomas left nearly £600, enough to ensure that Elizabeth could afford to support herself and her daughters. Elizabeth’s father George Miller (1801-1869) was better off, being a cotton spinning manufacturer who employed household servants and left about £1,000 in 1869.

After Charles and Alice married, her mother lived with them in Alroy Road, Liverpool (immediately beside Anfield Football Stadium). Charles and Alice had 3 daughters and a son. The second daughter, Nellie (1886-1971) married Alfred Garland (1887-1967) on 28 May 1913 at All Saints, Princes Park, Liverpool.

Nellie Barnard marriage jpg.jpg

We can be pretty sure that Charles approved of the marriage. He was a pilot for the Booth Line for over 30 years, and his daughter had married the son of one of the Booth Line managers (sadly already deceased).

After war broke out, the Mersey Pilotage came under control of the Government, and on 13 April 1915, Charles was gazetted as a Lieutenant in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve (RNVR) as a Senior Examining Officer. Another pilot killed at the same time, Walter Croker Poole, was included on the same London Gazette list. Only the most senior pilots became RNVR members, the rest remained part of the Merchant Marine.

It was 3.15 am when the ‘Alfred H Read’ struck a German mine at the Bar in the Mersey, and it is likely that Charles was asleep below. There were only 2 survivors from 41 men on board. Charles was 60 years old.

Charles Henry Barnard is commemorated on the Plymouth Naval Memorial in Devon and on the Roll of Honour in Liverpool Town Hall.

Plymouth Naval Memorial jpg.jpg

Plymouth Naval Memorial

The only reason that Charles Henry Barnard is included in ‘An Imperishable Record’ is that, shortly after he died, his widow Alice, her daughters and son-in-law moved to 1 Lingdale Road, West Kirby, and this is the address given by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. This move was probably at the suggestion of her son-in-law, Alfred Garland who had spent part of his childhood in Hoylake, and whose parents are buried in Holy Trinity churchyard there. Alfred and Nellie lived with Alice for the rest of her life, as did her youngest daughter Alice Barnard (1895-1964). Oldest daughter Edith Barnard (1885-???) married a former Lieutenant in the South Lancashire Regiment in 1920.

Charles’ son, Charles Miller Barnard (1891-???) was, of course, of an age to have served in the war. It is not known if he did so. Before the war he was a catering apprentice for J Lyons & Co. After the war he moved to Port Said, Egypt where he managed the NAAFI for the UK troops. In the early 1920s he married Victoria Rizzo there. They returned to visit his mother several times during the 1930s, but it is not known what became of them thereafter.

Charles nephew, Frederick Rhodes Barnard (1895-1918), son of Charles older brother Benjamin, died at the Battle of Loos whilst serving as a Private with the King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment.

Charles’ eponymous nephew, Charles Henry Barnard (1890-1923), brother of Frederick,  had a less than satisfactory war. He was a boot maker who enlisted in the 7th Battalion, King’s Liverpool Regiment on 5 December 1914. His disciplinary record was poor, twice being absent for 24 hours without permission, and then in 1915 he refused to serve overseas. He claimed that he had never signed Imperial Obligation Form E624 when he enlisted, so did not have to serve overseas. The Army could not prove he had signed it. When his battalion went to France, he was transferred to the 44th Provisional Battalion. This was a Battalion formed on 1 September 1915 from those members of the 7th, 8th and 9th Battalions of the King’s Liverpool Regiment who were not deemed fit enough for overseas service. They subsequently served along the south coast of England. Once the Military Service Act 1916 was passed, he was discharged from service under its provisions. He must have had a hard time in civilian life when white feathers were being handed out, and it proved necessary to award Silver War Badges to discharged soldiers who had suffered wounds or ill-health, in order to protect them from abuse. He died in 1923 of unknown cause.

Birth: 23 August 1857 at Everton, Liverpool, Lancashire aged 60
Death: 28 Dec 1917; at sea on ‘Alfred H Read’ Pilot Boat; mined
Addresses: 79 Tarlton Street, Everton (61); 122 Heyworth Street, Everton (71); 37 St George’s Hill, Everton (81); 20 Alroy Road, Anfield (91); 44 Mulgrave Street, Toxteth Park (01) (11)
Occupation: Liverpool pilot
Unit: ‘Alfred H Read’, Pilot Boat No. 1
Rank: Lieutenant RNVR
Medal: British War
Commemorated: Plymouth Naval Memorial, Plymouth, Devon; Roll of Honour, Liverpool Town Hall
Sources: CWGC, MC, Census: 61, 71, 81, 91, 01, 11, PR, probate, 39, Merseyside Roll of Honour, DR


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s