Eric Gordon Barwick

5990020, Lance Corporal, 1st Battalion, Hertfordshire Regiment.

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

The grave of Lance Corporal Eric Gordon Barwick in the Florence War Cemetery, Italy.

Eric was born at Rooks Nest cottages, Walkern, the son of William & Alice Barwick. He 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. Eric married Elizabeth Johnston at the beginning of 1940.

His Battalion were serving in Italy and 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. Orders were issued that there was to be no battalion attack or reinforcements and if the castle was too strongly held the Company was to return to its former positions. They left at first light and arrived in the area of the castle at 08.00 am. As they approached the front of the castle it was found that the Germans had prepared for a assault by placing heavy 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)

Headstone Inscription: "We Loved You Dearly But Jesus Loved You Best. Your Loving Wife And Daughter Valerie, Mum, Dad, Sister And Brother"

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