Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1918, Brigadier General Randle Barnett-Barker D.S.O. & Bar, General Officer Commanding 99th Infantry Brigade, and his Staff Captain Edward Inkerman Jordan Bell M.C. & Bar, 17th Battalion (1st Football), Duke of Cambridge’s Own (Middlesex) Regiment, were killed by a shell at Guedecourt on the Somme.
Brigadier General Barnett-Barker received his commission in January of 1891 and served for several years in India before being appointed Adjutant, 1st Royal Fusiliers in October of 1898. In August of 1915 he was appointed Captain in the Reserve of Officers and four months later arrived on the Western Front. Mentioned in Despatches five times, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order for his actions at Delville Wood in July and August of 1916, and the Bar a year later for leadership and bravery at Arras. He also saw action at Vimy Ridge, Beaumont Hamel, the Ancre advance, Miramont, and the Second Battle of the Somme. In January of 1918 he assumed command of 99th Infantry Brigade. Brigadier General Barnett-Barker is buried in the Albert Communal Cemetery on the Somme; on his headstone are the words: “They that are with the king of kings were called chosen & faithful (Rev. XVII)”. From Blackheath, he was 47 years old and married
Captain Bell had been employed as a government contracts inspector at Farnborough before the war, and was also a professional footballer. He played for Crystal Palace, Portsmouth, and was one of nineteen players of Southampton F.C. killed in the Great War. His paternal grandfather, Major General Edward William Derrington Bell V.C., C.B., 23rd Regiment of Foot, was awarded the Victoria Cross for his service during the Crimean War. In 1916 Captain Bell was awarded the Military Cross for conspicuous gallantry during operations: “Finding himself in command of the battalion he repelled a counter-attack with great determination. On another occasion he rescued several men from a blown-in dugout.”. The following year he received the Bar to the Military Cross for conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He held a section of the front line while supervising the formation of forward dumps of ammunition and material “in daylight close to the enemy, and often under very heavy shell and machine-gun fire.” Captain Bell is buried in the Albert Communal Cemetery on the Somme; on his headstone are the words: “He still lives on.” Born in Gibraltar, he was 32 years old and married.