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.

Rolls and Awards

Roll of Honour

  • Rank: Lieutenant
  • Date of Death: 12 May 1917
  • Unit: 58th Australian Infantry Battalion

First World War Embarkation Roll

  • Rank: 2nd Lieutenant
  • Date of embarkation: 25 September 1916
  • Place of embarkation: Melbourne

Collection Items

Photograph

DA16049

Portrait of Lieutenant (Lt) Wilfred Griffith Barlow of Elsternwick, Victoria, and 58th Battalion. A school teacher with the Victorian Education Department prior to enlistment, Lt Barlow had ten years service with Junior and Senior Cadets and in the Citizen Forces with 66th and 65th Infantry. He...

DA16049

DA16048

Portrait of Lieutenant (Lt) Wilfred Griffith Barlow of Elsternwick, Victoria, and 58th Battalion. A school teacher with the Victorian Education Department prior to enlistment, Lt Barlow had ten years service with Junior and Senior Cadets and in the Citizen Forces with 66th and 65th Infantry. He...

DA16048

Digitised Collection

Letters from Wilfred Griffith Barlow to Mr Goodsir Fowler, 1916-1917

Letters relating to the First World War service of Lieutenant Wilfred Griffith Barlow, 58th Infantry Battalion. In this series of letters to his friend, Goodsir Fowler, Barlow describes the conditions and experiences on the Western Front and the characteristics of the German Army opposing them....

RCDIG0000927

Letter to the widow of Wilfred Griffith Barlow, 1917

Letter relating to the First World War service of Lieutenant Wilfred Griffith Barlow. In a condolence letter to Barlow's widow, Lieutenant Colonel Charles Aloysius Denehy (the commanding officer of 58th Battalion) writes of Barlow's death at the Second Battle of Bullecourt on 12 May 1917. He...

RCDIG0001079

Private Record

Barlow, Wilfred Griffith (Lieutenant, b.1896 - d.1917)

Collection relating to service of Lieutenant Wilfred Griffith Barlow, 58 Battalion, France 1916-1917. Collection consists of four letters written during 1916-17 by Barlow to a friend, Goodsir Fowler, in Australia describing leave taken in England and action on the Western Front, France. Maker: Barlow, Wilfred Griffith

1DRL/0090 (With records)

Barlow, Wilfred Griffith (Lieutenant, b.1896 - d.1917)

Collection relating to the First World War service of Lieutenant Wilfred Griffith Barlow. Consists of a letter from Lieutenant Colonel Charles Aloysius Denehy (CO 58th Battalion), to Barlow's wife informing her of Barlow's death in action at Bullecourt on 12 May 1917. The letter, dated 7 October... Maker: Denehy, Charles Aloysius

PR00030 (With records)

Timeline

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