The End of 'The Kensingtons'

RBKC Local Studies

Colonel Barnett-Barker's Grave.
RBKC Local Studies

The 22nd Battalion never really recovered from the heavy losses it sustained and was disbanded on 5th February 1918. The Mayor of Kensington wrote to Field Marshal Douglas Haig on 6th February pleading for the Battalion to be kept together but it was too late.

Six weeks after the Kensingtons were disbanded, Barker was killed during the Second Battle of the Somme on 24th March 1918. The entry in the Brigade HQ diary reads simply, ‘Shells began to fall in and around Guendecourt at 5.45pm. Brigadier General R. Barnett Barker, DSO and Captain E. I. Bell, MC (staff Captain) were killed by a shell.’ It would be another eight months before the end of the First World War.

The 22nd Royal Fusiliers Old Comrades’ Association were still visiting Lietenant Colonel Barker’s grave in France as late as 1930.

This page was added on 09/12/2014.

Comments about this page

  • the 22nd battalion caused a severe amount of deaths. this is surprising considering that the majority if Kensington and Chelsea was mostly made up of the aristocracy and I personally would of thought that the gentry would have stayed at home whilst the war took place. the battalion was disbanded on 5th February 1918. Douglas Haig pleaded for the battalion to be kept together but he was too late. Barnett- Barker was killed six weeks later in the Second Battle of the Somme

    By Isabel Ahimie (01/07/2015)

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