Barnard, Gilbert Richard

Lieutenant / Cape Corps

1897 - 1918

Gilbert Richard Barnard was born 10 October 1897, the second son of the Reverend Gilbert William Barnard (A 1870-1876) and Beatrix, daughter of General George Staunton, of Tidmington Cottage, Shipston-on-Stour, Worcestershire.

He came to Winchester College in September 1911 from Mr EG North's school at Farnborough and entered his father's old house, A  House (Chernocke) under Mr Broomfield. Gilbert's two brothers also attended Winchester College, William from 1909 to 1914 and George from 1915 to 1919.

Gilbert left Winchester in the summer of 1914 and is recorded as farming in South Africa by 1916. At the beginning of 1917 he was gazetted into 1st Battalion, Cape Corps. This was a unit of mixed race troops, under European officers, raised to help drive the enemy out of German East Africa. At the beginning of April they were ordered to mobilise for action, and dug in around Kiromo, where their biggest problem appears to have been the giraffe damaging the telegraph wires, and the risk of fever. Barnard appears to have played little part in the operations of 1917 but later that year he proceeded with his regiment to Dar-es-Salaam, where they embarked for Lindi, and then faced a march to Njangao where they encountered the enemy.

During this action, Gilbert was wounded on 10 November 1917, and while recovering, sustained an attack of malaria which he never wholly shook off. In May 1918 he went with his regiment to Egypt, and then on to Palestine. On 21 July 1918,  he was taken seriously ill with malaria while on the march from Beit Nuba to Ranger's Corner and died the next day.

His commanding officer wrote that 'it is difficult to express our great regret at the loss to his battalion; he was loved by us all for his inherent good qualities, and he was a most keen and efficient young officer'. 

Gilbert is commemorated at Tidmington parish church

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