Fireman William Young Barker was killed when the steam ship he was aboard struck a mine on 20 September 1941, he was aged 31.
William was born in Todmorden in West Yortshire on 19 September 1910. His father David Henry was a foreman at one of the many cotton mills while his mother Lily cared for William and his elder brother John Greenwood Barker.
William married Gracie Parker at Todmorden on 13 October 1934. Their daughter Molly followed soon after. By the time of the 1939 Register he and Gracie are listed living at 9 Crescent Road, Sandown and he's earning a living as a master dairyman, either employed by or in partnership with his parents who have also relocated from Yorkshire to The Dairy, 91 High Street, Sandown.
The Register, taken on 29 September, evidences that by now William is also serving with the local detachment of the Auxiliary Fire Service and he appears in the list of Sandown's AFS personnel detailed in the diary of Chief Officer Wilfred Brown on 1 January 1940. By February Brown had Barker posted to the Grove Road Patrol Unit.
William was said to have possessed a fine singing voice and often joined the choir at the Congregational Church.