18TH OCTOBER 1915 AGE 19


Private Charles Barnes came from Hook, a small community in Wiltshire where his father was a farm labourer. He served in the 5th Battalion the Wiltshire Regiment, which was formed in Tidworth in August 1914. This is probably when Charles Barnes joined them, quite early in the month too because the volume of recruits was so large that late comers joined the 6th Battalion.
The 5th Battalion sailed for Gallipoli in July 1915, going ashore at Cape Helles on the 17th. They were involved in fierce fighting at Sari Bair at the beginning of August. In a subsequent Turkish counter-attack, sometime between the 9th and the 11th, it is estimated that half the regiment was wiped out.
By October the regiment were in Lala Baba, constructing fire trenches, the War Diary records Barnes' anonymous death:
"... work on new fire trenches was continued. Early this morning one man was killed in the trenches. Our trenches are becoming more exposed owing to the fact that the majority of the trees are deciduous and are rapidly shedding their leaves."
5th Battalion Wiltshire Regiment War Diary 18 October 1915

Barnes' inscription contains the single word, "Inasmuch", note the quotation marks. I am assuming that it is a quotation from the Bible. Cruden's Complete Concordance gives seven occurrences of the word. Initially Matthew 25:40 was the front runner. Jesus tells those who have helped the hungry and the sick, prisoners and the lonely that:
"Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."
However, it's possible that Private Barnes' mother, who confirmed the inscription, was referring to 1 Peter 4:12/13.
"Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy."