Topic: Walter Barraclough (1894-1969)

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Walter Barraclough was wounded at the second Battle of the Somme on 29 October 1918 during World War I (1914-1918). Later in his life he would talk to his family about his terrible experiences in the trenches; of the mud, snow and bitter cold whilst the injured and dying surrounded them. Walter was my first cousin twice removed - Debbie McCauley.

Walter Barraclough (1894-1969)

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Walter Barraclough was born at ‘Larkspur’ Katikati on 10 February 1894 (reg. 1894/4519). His parents were William and Mary Ann Barraclough (nee Hamilton) who married in Tauranga on 2 August 1883 (reg. 1883/1779).

Walter appeared in a 1914 photograph of Waitekohe No. 3 School in Katikati which can be accessed by clicking here.

Walter joined up to serve in World War I (1914-1918) (Service No. 13/2297). At the time he was a farmer working for Smith Brothers in Te Puke. He became a Trooper and embarked with the Auckland Mounted Rifles on 9 October 1915 from Wellington, destination Suez, Egypt.

Later he became a driver, serving in Egypt between 1915 and 1916, and then in France from 1916.

On 25 April 1916 he was in trouble for for being ‘absent without leave’, on 21 November 1916 for using ‘insolent language’, on 21 August 1917 for ‘neglecting to obey an order’, and again on 30 September 1918 for being ‘absent from parade’.

Two years later, on 3 April 1918, it was reported that Walter was ill with a dose of measles.

Later that same year he was wounded at the second Battle of the Somme (1918) on 29 October 1918. His wound appears to have turned septic as he was reported as being seriously ill on 3 March 1919.

In January and February of 1919 Walter appears to have been suffering from a serious case of influenza, no doubt part of the 1918 influenza pandemic. He spent time recouperating in a French hospital.

Walter used to talk to his family about his terrible experiences in the trenches; of the mud, snow and bitter cold whilst the injured and dying surrounded them.

On 11 September 1919 Walter was discharged from service on account of his being no longer physically fit due to illness contracted while on active duty. His intended address was c/o Mrs J Govan in Tuakau [Note: this is most likely another relative of mine, my third great aunt Sarah May Govan (nee McCauley) (1875-1947) who was the wife of John Alexander Govan (1873-1918). John died during the 1918 influenza pandemic, on 18 November 1918, in Tuakau - Debbie McCauley].

When Walter returned to New Zealand he worked at a Tuakau quarry for a number of years as well as on railway construction.

He moved back to Katikati and there married Kathleen Ivy Lecky on 21 September 1932 (reg. 1932/5373). They raised five children together:

  1. Donald Edward Lecky (1928-1995). Born on 20 October 1928. Donald married Margaret Jones. He died at age 66 in 1995 (reg. 1995/56194).
  2. Claude Barraclough (1932-2008). Born on 16 December 1932. Claude married Evelyn Govan, later divorcing. He died at age 75 in 2008 (reg. 2008/20042).
  3. Richard Desmond Barraclough (1933-2011). Born in Papakura, Auckland, on 8 December 1933. He married Cherie Venn. He died in Whakatane on 1 April 2011 (reg. 2011/7791).
  4. Margaret Barraclough. She married William Mansel.
  5. William Harry Barraclough. He married Sally Cockell.

As a couple, Walter and Kathleen worked on the farm of Archie Andrews on Thompsons Track Road in Katikati

Walter died, aged 74, on 29 July 1969 and was buried in Katikati Cemetery (reg. 1969/33438). Two obituaries are available for him [source unestablished]:

OBITUARY: MR W. BARRACLOUGH Mr Walter Barraclough, who was born in Katikati 75 years ago lived there most of his life, died recently. His father, a bushman, lived in MacMillans Road when he was born. He had three brothers and three sisters, and the family went to school in Katikati. Walter Barraclough went into the bush when he left school and also worked in the east coast main trunk railway. He left Katikati with the 6th Hauraki Regiment for the First World War, fought in the French campaigns, and was awarded the Military Medal for gallantry. Back home he worked on the railway construction again and when that was completed did farm work. He married Miss Ivy Lecky, and the couple were for many years on Mr Archie Andrews Thompson’s Track Road property. Mr Barraclough worked for some of the time in the Whangamata district before returning to Katikati where he lived until his retirement. He was a great pig hunter all his life, and knew the bush intimately. Mr Barraclough hunted for pigs regularly until he reached the age of 70, when he reckoned he would leave the sport to the youngsters. He is survived by his wife, a daughter and three sons. 

OBITUARY With the passing of Walter Barraclough, we have lost a man who had a very close link with the pioneering of Katikati. Born at ‘Larkspur’, he was the youngest child of the late Mary Anne (nee Hamilton) and William Barraclough. His father had come from England and was known as ‘a fine English gentleman’, a remarkable man who fitted in well with the quiet dignity of ‘Larkspur’. Later, when this well known homestead was burned to the ground, the Barracloughs moved to the homestead across the river at the end of Macmillan’s Road. Mrs Barraclough passed away when the young Walter was only two years old, and he was brought up by his elder sister. He attended No 2 School (now the Primary School) and Mr George Henry remembers that they used to sit together. After leaving school he worked on farms in the district, becoming well known as an honest and reliable worker, and when World War I came he raised his age to allow him to go overseas, apart from a period when he was wounded he served through the most part of the war. Returning to New Zealand he worked at a Tuakau quarry for nine years and then returned to Katikati. When he married his wife Ivy, it became legendary that they were the most handsome couple ever to be married in Katikati. For many years he worked at the Aongatete Sub-station, and later for the Public Works Department. He was also very much in demand when farmers needed extra help and would do his best to help at all times. As an outdoor sportsman he was outstanding, and he knew the harbour and bush better than any other man in Katikati. His strongest characteristic was the gift to be able to speak on any subject and one of the few times he took part in any public life he astonished his audience with his eloquence. Walter loved children and he made no effort to hide his pride when his daughter Margaret was crowned as Queen of the Carnival 16 years ago. His grandchildren too were a source of joy to him. The affection which the people held for him was shown by the large crowd which gathered to pay their last respects. His sister, Mrs Dorothy Curtis was present, but the other remaining member of the family, Mrs Charlotte Farrands was unable to travel. Both sisters live in Hamilton.

Kathleen died in Tauranga on 9 May 1980 (reg. 1980/32040). She was buried in Katikati Cemetery.



Births, Deaths & Marriages Online (New Zealand).

Cenotaph Record (Auckland War Memorial Museum).

Descendants of Stewart Hamilton (2012) by Barbara Hamilton.

Military personnel file (Archives New Zealand).

Military photograph courtesy of Margaret Lecky.

this page was archived at perma cc may 2017

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Walter Barraclough (1894-1969)

Note:Service Number: 13/2297
First Names:Walter
Last Name:Barraclough
Date of Birth:10 February 1894
Place of Birth:‘Larkspur’ Katikati
Country of birth:New Zealand
Date of death:29 July 1969
Place of death:Katikati
Place of burial:Katikati Cemetery
Occupation:Farmer and Soldier
Spouses name:Kathleen Ivy Lecky
Spouses date of birth:4 September 1905
Spouses place of birth:Waihi
Spouses date of death:9 May 1980
Spouses place of death:Tauranga
Spouses place of burial:Katikati Cemetery
Date of marriage:21 September 1932
Fathers name:William Barraclough
Fathers date of birth:1848
Fathers place of birth:Topcliffe by Thirsk, Yorkshire, England
Fathers date of death:17 September 1925
Fathers place of death:Waihi
Fathers nationality:English
Mothers name:Mary Ann Hamilton
Mothers date of birth:c1862
Mothers place of birth:Dungannon, County Tyrone, Ireland
Mothers date of death:16 May 1901
Mothers place of death:Katikati
Mothers nationality:Irish
Name of sibilings:Rachel (Tottie) Barraclough, Dorothy Barraclough, Margaret Ann Barraclough, John Barracough, Frances Alice Barraclough, Elizabeth Barraclough, James Barraclough, Charlotte Emily Barraclough, Jane Barraclough, Walter Barraclough, and Thomas Henry Barraclough
Name of the children:Donald Edward Lecky, Claude Barraclough, Richard Desmond Barraclough, Margaret Barraclough, and William Harry Barraclough
Military Service:World War I (1914-1918)