M. D. Barkley.
Before coming up to Huntingdon he served in the War
office in London. He was a great friend of the Earl of Sandwich, and at the
outbreak of war was his Estate steward, a post he held since 1907.
His name appears in the first Gazette of the 1/1st Huntingdonshire Cyclist Battalion printed in the winter of 1914 as a Major. By 9-10-1914 at Filey, where they patrolled the coast he was a Captain in charge of A company.
7/8/14 - Good - Bye - Territorials leave Huntingdon.
Since the beginning of the week the headquarters of the
Hunts Cyclist Territorials at Huntingdon has been seen of the greatest
activity, and many recruits were accepted. The whole of the two Huntingdon
companies were paraded on Tuesday evening, and again on Wednesday previous
to the church parade. Further equipment, including trenching tools - a
sort of combination of small pick and spade - was issued, and the whole of
the men and their equipment were carefully inspected. Early this
(Thursday) morning they were paraded and Marched to the Huntingdon Great
North Region Station, ready for conveyance to their appointed station.
Soon after 8.00 the railway station was surrounded by a large crowd. The
Earl of Sandwich, in uniform, arrived by motor, and Mrs. Howard Coote and
party were present in their car and Mrs. Barkley had also driven to the
station. At 8:30 the train arrived, partly filled by the St. Neots
contingent, under Lt. K. Hunnybun. The engine drew out and coupled on to
the luggage vans standing in the dock and these were backed onto the front
of the train. Meanwhile the two Huntingdon companies had arrived singing
loudly and had been welcomed by cheering from the crowd. Safely in the
trying the greater part of the "terriers" removed their coats,
while at least two heads were hanging out of each open window and other
faces were pressed against the glass. The shunting of the luggage was not
yet complete and the interval was spent in the singing of "are we
downhearted?" And popular songs learnt at Skegness during the recent
camp and the shouting of "good - byes" to relatives and friends,
who were either lining the railings of the up platform, or standing on the
down platform at the carriage doors. At 8:40, when the train began to
move, handkerchiefs were waved from the windows and both soldiers and
crowd re doubled their cheers, which were continued until last of the
train had passed under the bridge. The officers in charge were Captains M.
Barkley, and A. R. Lowe, and Lieuts. J. M. S. Gardner, while Captain Cook
joined the battalion later.
From a local paper dated 28/7/1916 Monday's "Gazette" contained the following:- Hunts. Cyclist Battalion: Captain (temporary Major) M. Barkley to be Major (May 13).
He was promoted to a Major in the Huntingdonshire Cyclist Battalion, from the rank of Captain, by 9th January 1915. This was announced in “The London Gazette”. He was Captain (temporary Major) made Major circa July 1916. ref A = Major by 12/12/1914. By the 9/6/1917 he had returned to light duties and was to remain at that state for 2 months, he held the rank of Major. Major by July 1916.
Lieutenant Colonel M. D. Barkley - Under Battalion
orders, issued by Lieutenant Colonel M. D. Barkley, officer
In 1920 he was Lieutenant Colonel commanding officer of the Huntingdon Territorial Battalion. His previous service had led him to the Boer war in South Africa with the Gloucestershire Yeomanry, he was badly wounded and sent home. During his time in South Africa he was also associated? / transferred to the Wiltshire Yeomanry.
He had retired by July 1926.
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