Arnold Alfred Barraclough GC (EGM exchanger)

b. 12/01/1900 Jhansi, India. d. 03/05/1974 Lancing, Sussex.

DATE AND PLACE OF GC ACTION: 18/19/04/1930 Chittagong (then India).

Arnold Alfred Barraclough (1900-1974) was born on 12th January 1900 in Jhansi, India, the son of Joseph Benjamin and Florence Adelaide Barraclough (nee Rollings). Soon after his birth, the family returned to England, and he was christened at Victoria Road Congregational Church, Southsea on 27th July 1900. The family then moved north, and Arnold attended school at Central High School in Leeds. He enlisted in January 1918 in Bedford serving in “A” Company of the 52nd (Young Soldiers) Battalion, The Royal Fusiliers as a Lance Corporal which were quartered at Newmarket in 1918. This Battalion was a Training Reserve Battalion.

Arnold A Barraclough GC

He was posted to the Western Front and was only there six weeks before being badly affected by mustard gas and by shrapnel wounds in his legs. Hospitalised at first in France he was soon sent back to hospital in Wales where he remained until 1919 and was subsequently discharged from the Army. Following the war, he returned to his previous occupation of electrician, and in 1921 he married Lilian Norah Phyllis Green, who was a cook. They went on to have eight children, Edward, Phyllis, Ivy, Ronald, Daphne, Arnold, Audrey and Brian.

Arnold chose to re-enlist in the Indian Army and was part of the Assam-Bengal Railway Battalion. He would serve in India until 1948. During disturbances in Chittagong (now Bangladesh) on 18th-19th April 1930, armed raiders attacked the police armoury and telephone exchange, seizing all the available arms and ammunition, destroying communications and terrorising the population. Sergeant Barraclough took a Lewis gun and, accompanied by the Superintendent of Police, brought the gun into action and engaged the raiders at close range. Although heavily fired upon, he went on firing until the raiders dispersed and fled into the jungle.

The London Gazette published the award of the Empire Gallantry Medal of the Military Division on 25th November 1930. Arnold served in World War II mostly in Burma. In 1940, his EGM was automatically exchanged for the new created George Cross. Sadly, his wife Lilian passed away in 1943. In May 1948, Arnold relinquished his commission and retained the rank of Honorary Captain. In 1953, he chose to return to England for his retirement and settled in Lancing, Sussex. Whilst he was serving in India, he would always spend his 4 months leave every 2 years back in England.

Arnold died on 3rd May 1974 in Lancing, and following a cremation on the 10th May, his ashes were scattered in July 1975. There is an entry in the Book of Remembrance. Arnold’s medals including his GC, General Service Medal 1914-18, Victory Medal 1914-18, 1939-45 Star, Burma Star, War Medal 1939-45, 1953 Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal, George V Efficiency Medal (Territorial) and George V Jubilee Medal are proudly held by the Barraclough family.