Private Charles Barsby was born on 5 November 1884, the son of George and Hannah Barsby. He joined the 1st Battalion North Staffordshire Regiment on 13 June 1916, and went out to Belgium the following January. He was killed by a bullet on 31 July 1917, on the opening day of the Third Battle of Ypres (Passchendaele). The battalion war diary says the North Staffs had taken up positions just south of the Ypres to Menin railway line near Mount Sorrel. The objective was to capture Jehovah Trench and if possible to push forward to the west side of Bulgar Wood. Despite a heavy German barrage, the attacking infantry reached Jehovah. But a company of Northamptonshires on the left had made slow progress through the mangled tree stumps of Shrewsbury Forest, leaving the North Staffs dangerously exposed. The war diary recorded: "The enemy opened heavy enfilading machine gun fire from Shrewsbury Forest to our left and also from Bulgar Wood to our front. This caused a great many casualties to this battalion, especially among the officers who were all either killed or wounded by 6.30 am, except two. The men however advanced beyond Jehovah Tr. and commenced to dig themselves in." It rained heavily that night and the following day: "Our new trenches and surrounding country quickly turned into a mass of mud and water which severely handicapped all movement." The North Staffs were relieved the following evening, suffering a total of 313, killed, wounded and missing. They had captured 40-50 German prisoners and one machine gun. Charles died during this action. He was buried on the battlefield but his grave was never found and so he is remembered on Panel 55 of the Menin Gate, and also on Ketton's war memorial. His left a widow, Agnes, who after the war was recorded as living at St Cuthbert's Stables in Leicester.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission incorrectly says he is remembered on Panel 35/37 of the Menin Gate
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