Wednesday, 11 December 2013

From life on the sea to a war in the air: Edmund James Lee Barker's war

1427 2nd Air Mechanic Edmund James Lee Barker, Australian Flying Corps, 8th Reinforcements.

A group of Australian Flying Corps men awaiting embarkation.
Image courtesy AWM. Image C03972.

When he enlisted in the Australian Flying Corps on 5 January 1917 as a 30 year old married man, Edmund Barker had already experienced life at sea. He had served 18 months in the Royal Navy and been invalided out in 1904 when he was only 17. His attestation papers give no indication of his illness or condition, but 13 years later he was considered fit enough to head over to Europe to fight the Germans.
He and his wife Julia Campbell Skinner, whom he married in 1911, are recorded as living at 9 Davis Street, South Yarra at the time of his enlistment but on his return he set up an electrical contractor's business in Sydney Road, Coburg. He died at Coburg East in 1948 aged 61.

Sources include: Attestation papers, National Archives of Australia; Victorian Marriage Index, 1911/6359; 1919 electoral roll; Victorian Death Index, 1948/2559.

Group of Royal Flying Corps and Australian Flying Corps mechanics outside a workshop.
Image courtesy AWM. Image C03725.

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