Pte Archibald Barrow

Submitted by Laura Huxley and reproduced here with her permission.  Laura did the research as part of her school trip to France for the 90th Anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge.



March 30, 2007 

The research into the short life of Pte. Archibald Barrow became a family affair. Needless to say we have done much of our research via the Internet. We have also visited the Royal Canadian Legion (Branch 119) and well as the two War Memorials in the town of Ingersoll. We have been to the Woodstock Museum and to the Woodstock Public Library. I have been in contact with the Oxford Historical/Genealogy Society. The chief archivist, Mary Gladwin, at the Oxford County Archives in Beachville was very helpful as was technician, Vicki Wahl, at the Ingersoll Public Library. The kind folks at the Burgessville School Museum have dug up some information as well. We have purchased a copy of his military service records from Archives Canada in Ottawa. 

This is a summary of the information that we have uncovered about “our” brave Archie:  

He was born in Ingersoll, Ontario on October 10th, 1899. His father was Charles Barrow and his mother was Mary Barrow (nee Saunders). His father was a tailor at the business establishment of Smith and Kerr. He was the second youngest of the family of eleven children born between 1882 and 1902. The Barrow family lived on King St. West in Ingersoll. The family attended St. James Church (Church of England) in Ingersoll. 

His name appears on the register of an Ingersoll school in 1913.  

Archie was one of the younger members of the 168th Battalion (B Company) Canadian Expeditionary Force.  The Battalion was know as “Oxford’s Own.” We believe that he was not honest about his age when he enlisted on January 20th, 1916 in Ingersoll. His attestion papers indicate that he was a labourer born in 1898. He was unmarried.  He was 5'6" in height with brown eyes, dark hair and a medium complexion.  Private Barrow's regimental number was 675298. He had resided in Ingersoll all his life up to the time of his enlistment.  

He sailed on a steamer called the "Lapland" to England from Halifax in the fall of 1916 after training at Camp Borden. Upon arrival in England the 168th Battalion was broken up and Archie was sent first to the 39th Reserve Battalion and then to the 6th Reserve Battalion before finally being transferred to the 21st Canadian Infantry Unit in the battle zone.  

He died on April 9, 1917 during the Battle of Vimy Ridge. An Ingersoll newspaper of the time indicated that Archie was the first Ingersoll man of "Oxford's Own" to be killed in action. His obituary states that "he was well and favourably known, and possessed a disposition that really won him friends". He is buried in a mass grave at Zivy Crater Cemetery (#1323), Thelus, France.  

His father predeased him in March 1916 at the age of 61 and his mother died in January 1929 at the age of 73.  

Archie's name appears on Page 197 of the Canadian Book of Remembrance that is displayed in the Peace Tower in Ottawa. His name is also appears on a War Memorial in downtown Ingersoll and on a War Memorial in the Ingersoll Rural Cemetery.  A framed scroll in the foyer of RC Legion in Ingersoll includes his name as well. 

"Lest We Forget"


Thank you to Bruce Kettles for providing the service file from which the details below were taken


Oct 10, 1899

Born at Ingersoll Ontario to Charles and Mary (nee Saunders) Barrow


Jan 20, 1916

Attested into the 168th Battalion at Ingersoll Ontario 

Ø      Number 675298

Ø      Next of kin given as Mrs Mary Barrow, mother, of Ingersoll Ontario

Ø      Previous occupation given as Labourer

Ø      No previous military experience given

Ø      Religion given as Church of England 

Pte Barrow lied about his age, giving his birth date as October 10, 1898.  He had not yet turned 17 years of age.  Even with the date given only making him 17 years and 3 months, his form shows his “Apparent age” as being 18 years and 3 months.  His Company initially was in barracks and trained in Ingersoll


Jun 1, 1916

The 168th Battalion moved to London Ontario for further training.  From here, they proceeded to Camp Borden for more training.


Oct 30, 1916

Embarked the SS Lapland at Halifax Nova Scotia


Nov 11, 1916

Disembarked at Liverpool England and proceeded to the West Sandling Camp, near Hythe Kent


Dec 5, 1916

The 168th Battalion was absorbed into the 39th Reserve Battalion at West Sandling Camp


Jan 4, 1917

The 39th Reserve Battalion was absorbed into the newly formed 6th Reserve Battalion


Feb 1, 1917

Posted to the 21st Battalion


Feb 2, 1917

Arrived at the CBD (Canadian Base Depot) at the Rouelles Camp at Havre France and was TOS (Taken On Strength) the 21st Battalion


Feb 24, 1917

Left the CBD and joined the 2nd Entrenching Battalion at Hersin as part of a draft of 68 Other Ranks destined for the 21st Battalion


Mar 3, 1917

Left the 2nd Entrenching Battalion as part of a draft of 20 Other Ranks to join the 21st Battalion


Mar 6, 1917

Joined the 21st Battalion in Divisional Reserve at Bois des Alleux


Apr 9, 1917

Pte Barrow was killed in action during the attack at Vimy Ridge and was buried in a mass grave in what is known as the Zivy Crater at Thelus France. 


Zivy Crater Cemetery
Thelus France


Following his death the following were sent to his mother at Post Office Box 11, Ingersoll Ontario

British War Medal

Victory Medal

Plaque (Dead Man’s Penny) and Scroll

Memorial Cross

In addition, because she was a widower and dependent on her son’s support, she was granted a pension as a result of his service


In the photo above of the panel at the Zivy Crater where Archie is honoured, you will notice a small medalion.   That medalion was produced by the Princess of Wales' Own Regiment to honour the 21st Battalion and is carried by all members of the Regiment.  It was placed at the base of the panel by the photographer, who is a PWOR member.



Above is the War Memorial at Ingersoll Ontario with a close up below of the names of the Barrow men who served.  This photo is courtesy of John Sargeant

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