Luka Babaritch

Luka Barbaritch
Sergeant Major Serbian Army.

War Plot
Division 72

Luka Babaritch  is buried in the War Plot in grave 16422.  The site is next to the hedge nearest the main part of the extension in the row in front of the narrow branch.

He died on the 3rd April 1918.

How Luka Barbaritch came to be in Reading is a mystery.   Details of his first name have been obtained from the cemetery burial records.  No other information has been found about him and because he was not a Commonwealth soldier his details are not to be found in the CWGC register, even though Serbia was one of our allies.

Douglas Walter Baker

Douglas Walter Baker
Flight Cadet 

Division 7


Douglas Walter Baker was accidentally killed whilst flying at RFC/RAF  Beaulieu, (a flying training school) in Hampshire on 26th October 1918.  His parents, Mr and Mrs Henry Baker, lived at 196, Kings Road, Reading.  Douglas was their youngest son.  Douglas is commemorated on the  family grave Number 12830, Berkshire Family History Society classification 7G20.   However, his registered war grave is in St. Paul churchyard, East Boldre.  Beaulieu flying school was based at East Boldre between November 1915 and 1919.

Details of his career  appeared in the Standard 9th November 1918.  Douglas joined up in September 1914 and after 5 months training went to France with the 1st/4th Royal Berkshire  (Territorial) Regiment in February 1915.  After eleven months on active service he was selected because of his previous mechanical training, along with a number of others, to return home and go into the workshops at Farnborough as a 2nd Air Mechanic.  He was very quickly promoted to 1st Mechanic.  In 1916 he was ill for four months with rheumatic fever.  Six months before the end of the war he volunteered for service as an officer in the RAF.  Having passed the Central Air Board in London he went for training as a pilot at Hastings, Bristol and Uxbridge.  Within three months he was sent to Beaulieu to qualify for his ‘Wings’.  On qualifying he would have gained an automatic commission.  Tragically it was on eve of finishing his instruction when the accident happened; he had been allocated his service machine .

Douglas Baker was spoken of very highly by his officers and tutors.  He was considered to have great promise as a pilot.   Douglas was very popular and had many friends.  Douglas lost his life so near to the end of the war, however, his parents may have been comforted by the words that concluded the article.  “It seems very hard to have one dear to us killed in England, but we must realise that the fact that he was doing his duty to his home and country just as much as the most renowned airman in France”.


Walter Barnes

Walter Barnes
Private 36433 (A Company)
9th Worcestershire Regiment

 Division 58

Walter Barnes, was the son of Charles and Susanna Barnes of 19, Mill Lane, Reading.   His wife was Caroline Ethel Barnes of 8 St. George Street, Reading. 

 Walter was at first reported missing in Mesopotamia on 14th September 1918.  On December 6th 1919, the Reading Standard, ‘In Memoriam’ column carried the confirmation that Walter Barnes, aged 28, had now been reported killed on the 14th September 1918. His relatives had waited over one year for official confirmation of his death. 

A verse from his wife accompanied the notice: 

“The passing of the sweetest soul that ever looked with human eyes.
Ah, true brave heart, God bless thee where so’er; in the great Universe today thou art.
Deeply mourned and never forgotten by his sorrowing wife.”

 Walter’s body was never identified and so he is commemorated on the Tehran Memorial, Iran.   Panel 3 Column 1.