Biography

Birth date: 1886
Birth place: Australia: Victoria, Richmond
Death date: 12 May 1917
Death place: France: Picardie, Somme, Bullecourt
Final rank: Lieutenant
Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918
Unit: 58th Australian Infantry Battalion

Wilfred Griffith Barlow was born at Richmond, Victoria, on 30 September 1886. He had been a second lieutenant in the 65th Infantry (City of Footscray) Regiment of the Citizens Forces, Australia's part-time army reserve force, and the 29-year-old school teacher enlisted as an officer with the Australian Imperial Force on 27 April 1916. Barlow departed Melbourne with reinforcements for the 58th Infantry Battalion aboard HMAT Shropshire on 25 September 1916.

After arriving in England in November 1916, Barlow and the other reinforcements spent the next few months in further training. In February the following year they joined the rest of the battalion on the Western Front and a few months later Barlow was promoted to the rank of honorary lieutenant. In several letters to a friend he made keen observations about the German army opposing them, commenting on their tactics, fortifications and organisation. Barlow also commented on the terrible conditions at the front, saying that he would fight again after the war to keep such a conflict away from Australia.

Barlow was killed during the Second Battle of Bullecourt on 12 May 1917 as the Australians and the British held off German attempts to retake the fortified village. According to the commanding officer of the 58th Battalion Barlow died after being badly wounded by a shell. He was originally buried near where he fell but the exact location of his grave was later lost. He was survived by his wife, Constance, and his four children. Wilfred Griffith Barlow is commemorated on the Villers-Bretonneux Memorial in France.

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Rolls and Awards

  • Rank: Lieutenant
  • Date of Death: 12 May 1917
  • Unit: 58th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Rank: 2nd Lieutenant
  • Date of embarkation: 25 September 1916
  • Place of embarkation: Melbourne

Collection Items

Timeline

Date of birth 1896
Date of embarkation 1916-09-25
Date of death 1917-05-12