Year of Birth:  1897

Place of Birth:  Brisbane Queensland

Date of Enlistment:  8 May 1916

Date and Place of Embarkation:  23 December 1916,  Melbourne, Victoria

Ship:  RMS Orontes

Rank:  Private

Unit(s):  7th Australian Machine Gun Company – 2 to 9 Reinforcements

Regimental Number:  547

Died:  4 October 1917


Arthur Barker was born 1897 to William Henry and Henrietta Sue Sang. He had one brother George born 1900.   His mother then separated from William. At the time of Arthur’s death, Henrietta was living at Wolfram Camp.

Arthur Barker, a labourer, enlisted at Atherton on 8 May 1916 with the consent of his mother, Mrs. Henrietta Barker, Upwood Street, Cairns,  as he was only aged 18 year 8 months.  His father, William Henry joined the army at the age of 40 years 3 months and was already serving overseas and his younger brother, George who enlisted on 28 August 1917 at the age of 18, they both returned to Australia

Arthur was 5 feet 6 inches in height, weighed 120 pounds with a fair complexion, brown eyes and dark brown hair.  He was Church of England.

He joined the 7th Machine Gun Company and embarked at Melbourne on RMS “Orontes”, arrived in England on 18 February 1917 and proceeded to France on 24 April that year.

On 4 October 1917 he was reported missing following he and his companion being hit by a shell.  His friend later reported to an Australian Red Cross Wounded and Missing Enquiry that “when a shell dropped 5 yards from us, blowing him to pieces and severely wounding me”.  He was subsequently confirmed to have been killed in action. Arthur was aged 19 years and 2 months when he died.

Arthur Barker  is remembered at the Tyne Cot Cemetery, Passchendaele, Flanders, Belgium.


RMS Orontes – photo courtesy Australian War Memorial


AWM Red Cross Wounded & Missing report


Roll of Honour Circular. Courtesy of the Australian War Memorial


Cairns Post 17 November 1917 p4


Cairns Post 16 February 1918 p4


Online Resources

Queensland Birth Death & Marriage Index

NAA: B2455 Arthur Barker, National Archives of Australia

NAA: B2455 William Henry Barker, National Archives of Australia

NAA: B2455 George Barker, National Archives of Australia

Australian War Memorial

AWM – Red Cross Wounded & Missing

Photograph of RMS “Orontes”, Australian War Memorial

Cairns Post 17 November 1917

Cairns Post 16 February 1918


If you have a photograph or further information about this soldier you would like to share and add to his biography, please contact the Society


  1. Hi we are trying to locate any remaining family of Arthur barker . We found a dead man’s penny with his name on it in a old shed in a station near Longreach Qld .

  2. Hi Jake – Thank you for your comment. How wonderful to have a “Dead Man’s Penny” for Arthur. Would you be willing to digitise the Penny and allow us to include it in his biography with acknowledgement. We have tried hard to find a photo of Arthur but have not been successful. Do you know if there is a photo of him in existence? We could include a call-out in our next eNews asking if anyone is researching the Barker family for you. If you would like us to go ahead with the call-out could you please send me your email address to:

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