|Editor's note: The fact that there was no record of Archibald Barber's service intrigued Ross Vicars and he determined to find out his fate. Ross writes:
The School Log on 26th November 1915 records: "Heard that Archie Barber, an old boy, had been killed in action." So, how did we miss poor Archie from our research? I see he appears near the bottom of the Roll of Honour, one of several names that were added after the alphabetical list had been completed. The entry reads: Archibald Barber Pte 4965 3/4 Oxford and Bucks L.I.
There was nothing to say he had died or was wounded etc.. Archie appears in the 1891 census, the 4 year old son of James and Sarah Barber. He was born in Helmdon and is described as a Scholar. That explains why I couldn't find him in the School Register from 1894 onwards ....he'd started school by by April 5th 1891, the date of the 1891 census, and would have been in the previous register."
Every reference I have found for him refers to him as Archie and not Archibald so I think the Roll of Honour is wrong in that respect. The Headmaster at the start of WW1 had been replaced and I think it would have been Miss Barnes who completed the Roll in 1918 -1920 when it seems the last names were added. She wouldn't have known Archie so It can be assumed she thought his name was shortened from Archibald.
The birth of Archie John Barber was registered in Q2 1886 and his baptism recorded as:
||Archie John Barber
||Sarah Ann Barber
||20 June 1886, Helmdon, Northamptonshire, England
Archie appears in the 1901 census in Farthinghoe, working as a Gardener and in the 1911 census, married and living with his wife Ada and two daughters in Tadmarton and Swalcliffe parish, Oxfordshire - now a Domestic Gardener. However, having trawled through the various 1914 - 1918 records, there is no sign of him. But he miraculously reappears in the 1939 Register (along with wife Ada) - still living and working in Swalcliffe as a General Labourer.
An "In Memoriam" entry in the Banbury Guardian of 1947 reads - "In loving memory of my dear husband Archie Barber who passed away Jan 3rd 1944. From his devoted wife Ada. Loves Last Gift - Remembrance" There is another message in the same edition from "his children Ivy, Ruby and Billie and his loving grandchildren".