Harry at 17
Sgt Harry Barrett MM
Died 7th December 2011
Harry in Broughton House
Harry was a Cpl in the 1/6th Bn who fought such a courageous rearguard action protecting the BEF during their withdrawal to the beaches at Dunkirk.
On the night of 20th May 1940, the 1/6th received a signal from Divisional HQ.
It said simply " Stand and fight, inform all ranks"
On the 21st May the Germans broke through part of the Brigade front and the 1/6th were ordered to counter attack and restore the position.
The 1/6th attacked with A and C companies up.
They crossed the start line near Froidmont at 1100 hrs and got as far as the railway line, just short of the canal where they were halted by strong enemy resistance.
The CO decided to use his carriers to try and break through.
Four of the carriers were immediately knocked out, but the carrier
officer, Lt W Nelson went fearlessly at the embankment in his own
carrier and engaged a machine gun post, which he put out of action.
The canal was still in the hands of the enemy and it was vital that it should be captured by nightfall.
The CO descided to put in a complete Bn attack at 2015 that night.
After a furious fight, the line of the canal was regained and B Coy were able to cross to the other side.
It was hard fighting all the way,and the 1/6th has 83 casualties,including 15 killed.
During this fight Cpl H Barrett fearlessly led his section into attacking a German machine gun post and succeded in capturing it, and taking prisoners.
He was awarded the Military Medal at the age of 18.