Letters from Walter Shearsmith Barley

Scope and Content

Letters written by Walter Shearsmith Barley, from England and South Africa, to his mother and sisters, while serving in the Army in the South African War (1900-1901). Also, one photograph and one printed poem (1900), and typescript notes and background information compiled by the donor (1998).

Administrative / Biographical History

Walter Shearsmith Barley was born at Brigg, Lancashire, on the 30 April 1870. He was apprenticed as a painter and decorator and set up a business in Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire, after moving there in the 1890s. He joined the Lincolnshire Rifle Volunteers at Brigg (circa 1891) and transferred to the Frodingham company after the move. Barley was, therefore, a member of K Company, 1st Rifle Battalion (Lincoln), Lincolnshire Rifle Volunteers. The Volunteers became the Territorial Army in 1909.

When Volunteers were called for in December 1899 from all the Volunteer Battalions in the United Kingdom, Barley was one of those who volunteered and was selected. He served in South Africa from February 1900 to May 1901. After his return to England he resumed his trade and died at Scunthorpe on the 6 October 1910.

Access Information

Bodleian reader's ticket required.


Collection level description created by Marion Lowman, Bodleian Library of Commonwealth and African Studies at Rhodes House.

Administrative/Biographical History compiled using information provided by the donor.

Other Finding Aids

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Conditions Governing Use

No reproduction or publication of personal papers without permission. Contact the library in the first instance.