Arthur Sidney James Barter

Date of birth: 24 August 1891
Place of birth: Sway
Service No.: 239800
Rank: Able Seaman
Vessel: HMS Bulwark
Battalion: Royal Navy
Died: 26 November 1914, aged 23 years
Commemorated: Portsmouth Naval Memorial

Arthur was the eldest of 4 siblings (plus an adopted sister) born to James and Elizabeth Kate Barter (nee Clark).

James was born in Boldre in 1864 and died in Sway in 1900.

Elizabeth was born in St. Denys in 1867 and she died in Southampton in 1938. They married in Sway in 1889. Elizabeth remarried in 1904, to Robert James Wall, in Sway.

Arthur was a barman prior to enlisting full-time into the Navy in 1909, and he was living at Portsmouth Naval Base at the 1911 Census.


  1. Arthur Sidney James
  2. Harriet Matilda Sophia b. 1894 Sway d. 1936 Southampton Married Ernest E. Stamp in Southampton in 1916.
  3. Alfred John b. 1895 Sway d. 1935 British Columbia, Canada.
  4. William Ernest b. 1898 Sway d. 1975 Aylesbury Married Beatrice D. Wyles in Southampton in 1920.
  5. Annie Louisa Lewington b. 1891 Sway Adopted by James and Elizabeth.

Bulwark was a London class battleship, which entered service with the RN in 1902. She sailed with the Mediterranean fleet until 1907 before coming home to home waters.

In 1912, the vessel was refitted and immediately became part of the 5th Battle Squadron. At the outbreak of war, the Squadron was attached to the Channel Fleet, patrolling the English Channel.

On 26 November, when anchored off Sheerness, a “large internal explosion” destroyed the vessel, killing 736 men.

8 of the fourteen survivors died later in hospital, between November 1914 and January 1918.
After an exhaustive enquiry it was decided that the explosion was caused by over-heating cordite charges that had been placed adjacent to a boiler room bulkhead.

Researcher: Mark Heritage
Published: 20/07/2015
Updated: Insert dates here

If you have any additional information about the person named above please complete the Comments section below.
If you have any more information about the above named person, or any other name listed on this website or Southampton’s Cenotaph, please email, or telephone 023 8086 9599 and we will contact you. Many thanks.

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