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James Barmby

 James Barmby

Person details

Forename(s) James
Surname Barmby
Rank Major
Regiment Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry
Age 37
Death Killed in action
Place of Death Western Europe > Italy
Date of Death 19/01/1944
Year of Entry 1919
House Letter C
School Notes
Comments Only son of F.J. Barmby, Tutor of C Social and Sub-Warden

Father of RJ Barmby (H Social 1956)

War Memorial Fund (1943) Ctte minutes 29.5.1946: 'Applications on behalf of thirteen boys were considered. Twelve of the candidates were sons of ORs who had been killed in the war and one a nephew - [due] 1956 Barmby, RJ, 11th birthday 8 Sept 1953.'
Commonwealth War Graves Commission Link
Military Decorations
Album Number 21
Previous Regiment
Burial or Cemetery Italy > Minturno
Archives Correspondence file in OR files in Radley Archives
Post School Corpus Christi College, Oxford, 1924; Nigerian Colonial Service, 1928. Married Joy Strange in 1939, and had 2 children
Prep School
Prisoner of War
Radlein Obituary March 5 1944. In January, 1944, killed in action. Major James Barmby. Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry (T.A,R.O.) (Barmby's. C, 1919-1921). Jim Barmby came to Radley as an Exhibitioner in September, 1919, from Cothill. He arrived no stranger, as he was the only son of Mr. F. J. Barmby, the Sub-Warden, who did not try the experiment of placing him in another Social, but shared the duties of Social Tutor and father. This led to no difficulties for father, son, or Social; all were completely happy in the arrangement. Jim was always popular. His greatest interest was cricket which he played really well. After leaving Radley, cricket continued to be his great joy every season, including recently during the war, and it was one of the sources of his many staunch friendships. He was on the classical side at Radley, and studied intelligently and hard enough to enjoy classical and modern literature particularly under the late W. R. Smale. He was in Smale's Sixth for several years and there existed the happiest relationship between master and boy. Smale often gave Jim that high-ranking name "one of my favourite pupils". School days are indeed happy days when humour and good-fellowship abound in class, on the pitch, and in the Social. Jim contributed to all these so fully that wherever he was they were found in overflowing measure. After making the fullest contribution to Radley, Jim left in July I924, and went up to Corpus Christi College. From being a typical Radleian, he became typical of Oxford's best in the mid-twenties period. In the delightful atmosphere of one of Oxford's smaller colleges, he flourished exceedingly, equally popular with Senior Common Room and in Junior Common Room. A small college is often in difficulties to complete crews on the river as well as teams for all the games, and Jim sportingly became a wet-bob for a term. He did not take to his thwart quite as to his bat but fitness, keenness and fine physique assured that he was no failure. In his frst term, he and a contemporary O,R were recruited by R.F. Symonds, also an O.R, to join the Oxfordshire Territorial Battalion, 4th Oxf. & Bucks Light Infantry. He was commissioned early in 1925, and at the annual camp at Weymouth. August 1925, the Oxford City Company was officered entirely by Old Radleians. Jim had done well in the O.T.C., and was from the first a popular and successful subaltern, finding much enjoyment in the work. His efforts, until he went on the T.A.R.O. in 1928, were a useful national service. The term "national service" is at a premium in these days, but in the twenties every young man from a good O.T.C. who gave his spare time to the under-strength and little encouraged Territorials, was indeed doing his bit. Jim was also an ideal candidate for the Colonial Service, and he joined the Nigerian Service in 1928. He learnt to love the Service and the life, whilst enriching it with his sense of right, his sense of humour, and his good judgement in great and small things. His friends could see this when he came on leave to renew his acquaintance with them, and with England and cricket. A few years before the war he was given a post at the Colonial Office and settled in London. And in 1939. he married Joy Strange, who survives him with two children. When war broke out he felt that at the age of 33 he should serve in the army. In due course he was released by the Colonial Office and embodied from the T.A.R.O. in his rank of Lieut. in 1940. His old battalion returned from Dunkirk with two officers and a handful of men, and he was among the first officers posted to it. He immediately became a Company Commander and a Captain. He stayed with the battalion on home service until September 1943, being promoted to Major and to second-in-command in 1942. He gave splendid service and was a most popular officer, which was no surprise to the handful of officers and men who remembered him from 1929. He was glad to go overseas last September. After a period in North Africa, he went recently to a battalion of his regiment in Italy, There he was killed in January.
More than the usual number of Radleians, including staff and college servants past and present, mourn him, because he was first a child at Radley, and then a boy for five happy years, and then, when he was an O.R and his father had retired and settled in Oxford, he was a frequent visitor, and part of that permanent element that means so much to Radley. In mourning a son at Radley, as typical and as popular as any has ever been, we sympathize most sincerely with Jim's mother and sister, who are so well-known to several generations, and with his widow.
Service Number 31676
Place of Birth