Eric Gorden Barwick

5990020, Lance Corporal, 1st Hertfordshire Regiment.

Killed In Action on the 25th August 1944 aged 24.

Eric was the son of William & Alice Barwick and the husband of Elizabeth Barwick. He was born at Rooks Nest cottages, Walkern and was later employed at Rooks Nest farm. He joined the Territorial Army in 1938 and was well known locally as both a church chorister and as keen member of the Boy Scout movement.
The Battalion was serving in Italy at the time of his death. Eric was part of No.2 Company which was sent forward to try and occupy the castle of Vincigliato where the Germans had positioned themselves. There was to be no battalion attack or reinforcements and if the castle was too strongly held the Company was given orders to return to it's former positions. They left at first light and arrived in the area of the castle at 08.00 am. They first approached from the front but it was found that the Germans had prepared for a frontal assault by placing Spandau machine guns in the moat and walls of the castle. The Company began to reconnoitre the castle but this drew fire from the occupying Germans and it was soon determined that both Artillery and Royal Engineer assistance would be needed as the castle was too strongly held. Orders were given for the Company to withdraw but as they did so they were hit by a barrage of mortar fire which resulted in several casualties, including Eric Barwick. At the time of his death he had a 14 month old daughter, Valerie, who he had never seen.
Eric is buried in Florence War Cemetery, Italy. (5.A.10)

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