William George Barker
William George Barker VC
Victoria Cross
The Victoria Cross is the highest military decoration awarded for valour "in the face of the enemy" to members of the armed forces of various Commonwealth countries, and previous British Empire territories....

, DSO & Bar
Distinguished Service Order
The Distinguished Service Order is a military decoration of the United Kingdom, and formerly of other parts of the British Commonwealth and Empire, awarded for meritorious or distinguished service by officers of the armed forces during wartime, typically in actual combat.Instituted on 6 September...

, MC & Two Bars
Military Cross
The Military Cross is the third-level military decoration awarded to officers and other ranks of the British Armed Forces; and formerly also to officers of other Commonwealth countries....

 (3 November 1894 – 12 March 1930) was a Canadian
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 First World War
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 fighter ace
Fighter Ace
Fighter Ace was a massively multiplayer online computer game in which one flies World War II fighter and bomber planes in combat against other players and virtual pilots...

 and Victoria Cross
Victoria Cross
The Victoria Cross is the highest military decoration awarded for valour "in the face of the enemy" to members of the armed forces of various Commonwealth countries, and previous British Empire territories....

 recipient. He is the most decorated serviceman in the history of Canada, and indeed in the history of the British Empire and Commonwealth of Nations.

Early life

Born on a family farm in Dauphin, Manitoba
Dauphin, Manitoba
Dauphin is a small city in Manitoba, Canada, with a population of 7,906 as of 2006. The nearby lake was given the name "Dauphin" by the explorer Pierre Gaultier de Varennes, sieur de La Vérendrye in 1741 in honour of the heir to the French throne...

, "Will" Barker grew up on the frontier of the Great Plains, riding horses, shooting, and working as youngster on his father's farm and sawmill. He was an exceptional shot, using a lever-action
Lever-action is a type of firearm action which uses a lever located around the trigger guard area, to load fresh cartridges into the chamber of the barrel when the lever is worked. Most lever-action firearms are rifles, but lever-action shotguns and a few pistols have also been made...

Winchester rifle
In common usage, Winchester rifle usually means any of the lever-action rifles manufactured by the Winchester Repeating Arms Company, though the company has also manufactured many rifles of other action types...

 that he had modified with his own peep sight. He was particularly adept at shooting on the move, even while on horseback. One biographer has suggested that he could have been a trick shooter in a circus. He was physically poised, emotionally intense, with wide-ranging interests, and had an innate flair for the dramatic act. He was a very good student in school, but had frequent absences due to farm and sawmill life; he was the hunter providing food for the workers in the sawmill while still a young teenager, and missed classes because of this obligation.

Barker fell in love with aviation after watching pioneer aviators flying Curtiss and Wright Flyer aircraft at farm exhibitions between 1910 and 1914. He was a Boy Scout at Russell, Manitoba
Russell, Manitoba
Russell is a town of 1,428 located in southwestern Manitoba, Canada, in the Rural Municipality of Russell. The town of Russell is located along Highway 16 and Highway 83, and is at the western terminus of Highway 45. Russell is approximately 15 km from the Saskatchewan border and 340 km...

, and a member of the 32nd Light Horse, a Non-Permanent Active Militia
Non-Permanent Active Militia
The Non-Permanent Active Militia was the name of Canada's part-time volunteer military force from the time of Confederation to 1940. The NPAM was composed of several dozen infantry battalions and cavalry regiments...

 unit based at Roblin, Manitoba
Roblin, Manitoba
Roblin is a town in Manitoba, Canada. It is surrounded by the Rural Municipality of Shell River.Including the surrounding areas of Shell River, Hillsburg, Park North, Shellmouth, and Boulton, the population is 2,636...

. He was in Grade 11 at Dauphin Collegiate Institute in the fall of 1914, just before his enlistment.

First World War

In December 1914, soon after the outbreak of the First World War and the subsequent call to arms in the Dominion of Canada, Barker enlisted as No 106074 Trooper William G. Barker in the 1st Canadian Mounted Rifles
Canadian Mounted Rifles
Canadian Mounted Rifles was part of the designation of several mounted infantry units in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.* The Canadian Mounted Rifle Corps, formed in 1885, now part of The Royal Canadian Dragoons...

. The regiment went to England in June 1915 and then to France on September 22 of that year. Barker was a Colt machine gunner with the Machine Gun Section of the 1st Canadian Mounted Rifles until late February or early March 1916, when he transferred as a probationary observer to 9 Squadron
No. IX Squadron RAF
No. 9 Squadron of the Royal Air Force was the first in the service to receive the Panavia Tornado, which it currently operates from RAF Marham, Norfolk.-First World War:...

 of the Royal Flying Corps
Royal Flying Corps
The Royal Flying Corps was the over-land air arm of the British military during most of the First World War. During the early part of the war, the RFC's responsibilities were centred on support of the British Army, via artillery co-operation and photographic reconnaissance...

, flying in the BE-2.

Western Front 1916-17

He was commissioned as a second-lieutenant in April and was given five days leave in London to acquire an officer's uniform and equipment. On his return, he was assigned to 4 Squadron
No. IV Squadron RAF
No.4 Squadron, of the Royal Air Force operated the Harrier GR7, GR9 and T10 from RAF Wittering until January 2011.-Formation and First World War:...

 and on 7 July transferred to 15 Squadron, still flying in the BE-2. On 21 July Barker claimed a Roland scout "driven down" with his observer's gun, and in August claimed a second Roland, this time in flames. He was Mentioned in Despatches around this time. He officially qualified as an Observer on 27 August and on 15 September he worked for the first time with Canadian troops, including his old regiment. On 15 November Barker and his pilot, flying very low over the Ancre
The Ancre is a river of Picardy, France. Rising at Miraumont, a hamlet near the town of Albert, it flows into the Somme at Corbie. It crosses no départements other than the Somme.-See also:* Battle of the Ancre Heights...

 River, spotted a large concentration of German troops massing for a counter-attack on Beaumont Hamel. The crew sent an emergency Zone Call brought to bear all available artillery fire in the area onto the specified target. The force of some 4,000 German infantry was effectively broken up. He was awarded the Military Cross
Military Cross
The Military Cross is the third-level military decoration awarded to officers and other ranks of the British Armed Forces; and formerly also to officers of other Commonwealth countries....

 for this action in the concluding stages of the Battle of the Somme.
In January 1917, after spending Christmas on leave in London, he commenced pilot training at Netheravon
Netheravon is a village and civil parish on the River Avon, about north of the town of Amesbury in Wiltshire.-Notable people:The writer Frank Sawyer , although born in Bulford, spent most of his life in Netheravon as river keeper River Avon and died on the banks of the river near the parish church...

 soloing after 55 minutes of dual instruction. On 24 February 1917 he returned to serve a second tour on Corps Co-operation machines as a pilot flying BE-2s and RE-8s with No.15 Squadron. On 25 March Barker claimed another scout 'driven down'. On 25 April 1917 during the Arras Offensive
Battle of Arras (1917)
The Battle of Arras was a British offensive during the First World War. From 9 April to 16 May 1917, British, Canadian, New Zealand, Newfoundland, and Australian troops attacked German trenches near the French city of Arras on the Western Front....

, Barker, flying an RE 8
Royal Aircraft Factory R.E.8
The Royal Aircraft Factory R.E.8 was a British two-seat biplane reconnaissance and bomber aircraft of the First World War designed by John Kenworthy. Intended as a replacement for the vulnerable B.E.2, the R.E.8 was more difficult to fly, and was regarded with great suspicion at first in the Royal...

 with observer Lt. Goodfellow, spotted over 1,000 German troops sheltering in support trenches. The duo directed artillery fire into the positions, thereby avoiding a counter attack.
After being awarded a bar to his MC in July, Barker was wounded in the head by anti-aircraft fire in August 1917. After a short spell in the UK as an instructor, Barker's continual requests for front line service resulted in him being transferred to become a scout pilot, being offered a post with either No. 56 Squadron or with No 28 Squadron. He chose command of C Flight in the newly formed 28 Squadron
No. 28 Squadron RAF
No. 28 Squadron of the Royal Air Force operates the Merlin HC3/HC3A from RAF Benson.-World War I:No. 28 Squadron of the Royal Flying Corps was formed on 7 November 1915. Initially a training squadron it became a fighter squadron equipped with the Sopwith Camel.After the end of World War I No. 28...

 flying the Sopwith Camel
Sopwith Camel
The Sopwith Camel was a British First World War single-seat biplane fighter introduced on the Western Front in 1917. Manufactured by Sopwith Aviation Company, it had a short-coupled fuselage, heavy, powerful rotary engine, and concentrated fire from twin synchronized machine guns. Though difficult...

, which he preferred over the SE.5 of 56 Squadron. Although Barker was reportedly not a highly skilled pilot - suffering several flying accidents during his career- he compensated for this deficiency with an aggressiveness in action and highly accurate marksmanship.

The unit moved to France on 8 October 1917, and downed an Albatos DV on his first patrol, though Barker did not claim it as the patrol was unofficial. He claimed an Albatros of Jasta 2 (Lt. Lange, killed) on 20 October, and two more, of Jasta 18, on 27 October (Lt. Schober killed, Offstv. Klein, force landed).

Italian Front 1917-18

On 7 November 1917, No. 28 Squadron was transferred to Italy and most of the unit, including aircraft and with Barker temporarily in command, travelled by train to Milan. On 29 November he downed an Austrian Albatros D.III flown by Lt Haertl of Jasta 1 near Pieve di Soligo
Pieve di Soligo
Pieve di Soligo is a town with a population of 12,096 inhabitants. It located at the northern province of Treviso, near the border with the province of Belluno in Veneto, Italy.-Notable people:...

. A Jasta 39 pilot was shot down and killed and a balloon of BK 10 destroyed on 3 December.

One of his most successful, and also most controversial raids, fictionalized by Ernest Hemingway
Ernest Hemingway
Ernest Miller Hemingway was an American author and journalist. His economic and understated style had a strong influence on 20th-century fiction, while his life of adventure and his public image influenced later generations. Hemingway produced most of his work between the mid-1920s and the...

 in the short story, The Snows of Kilimanjaro
The Snows of Kilimanjaro
"The Snows of Kilimanjaro" is a short story by Ernest Hemingway. It was first published in Esquire magazine in 1936. It was republished in The Fifth Column and the First Forty-Nine Stories in 1938, The Snows of Kilimanjaro and Other Stories in 1961, and is included in The Complete Short Stories of...

, was on 25 December 1917. Catching the Germans off guard, he and Lt. Harold Hudson, his wingman, shot up the airfield of Fliegerabteilung (A) 204, setting fire to one hangar and damaging four German aircraft before dropping a placard wishing their opponents a "Happy Christmas."

Lt Lang of Jasta 1 was killed by Barker on 1 January 1918, and two balloons, two Albatros fighters (one flown by Feldwebel Semelock of Flik 51J) and a pair of two-seaters fell to Barker during February. Awarded the DSO, in March he claimed three more Albatros and an observation balloon.

Owing to his tendency to ignore orders by flying many unofficial patrols, Barker was passed over as when the post of Commanding Officer of No. 28 Squadron became vacant. Dissatisfied, he applied for a posting and joined No. 66 Squadron in April 1918, where he claimed a further 16 kills by mid-July.

On 17 April, he shot down Oblt. Gassner-Norden of Flik 41J, flying an Albatros D.III (Oef), over Vittorio. He then became Squadron commander of 139 Squadron
No. 139 Squadron RAF
No. 139 Squadron RAF was a Royal Air Force Squadron that was fighter unit in World War I and a bomber unit from World War II until the 1960s.-Formation and World War I:...

, flying the Bristol Fighter
Bristol F.2 Fighter
The Bristol F.2 Fighter was a British two-seat biplane fighter and reconnaissance aircraft of the First World War flown by the Royal Flying Corps. It is often simply called the Bristol Fighter or popularly the "Brisfit" or "Biff". Despite being a two-seater, the F.2B proved to be an agile aircraft...

. Barker however took his Sopwith Camel with him and continued to fly fighter operations. He carried out an unusual sortie on the night of 9 August when he flew a Savoia Polilia SP-4 bomber to land a spy behind enemy lines.

By this time, Barker's personal Sopwith Camel (serial no. B6313) had become the most successful fighter aircraft in the history of the RAF, having used it to shoot down 46 aircraft and balloons from September 1917 to September 1918, for a total of 404 operational flying hours. It was dismantled in October 1918, Barker keeping the clock as a memento - although he was asked to return it the following day. During this time Barker trialed a series of modifications to B6313, in order to improve its combat performance. The Clerget rotary engine's cooling efficiency was poorer in the hotter Italian climate, so several supplementary cooling slots were cut into the cowling. The poor upward visibility of the Camel resulted in Barker cutting away progressively larger portions of the centre-section fabric. He also had a rifle-type, notch and bead gun-sight arrangement replace the standard gun sight fitting.

Having flown more than 900 combat hours in two and one half years, Barker was transferred back to the UK in September 1918 to command the fighter training school at Hounslow Heath Aerodrome
Hounslow Heath Aerodrome
Hounslow Heath Aerodrome was a grass airfield, operational 1914-1920. It was situated in the London borough of Hounslow, and in 1919 was the location from which the first scheduled daily international commercial air services took place.-1909-1914:...

. Barker ended his Italian service with some 33 airplanes claimed destroyed and nine observation balloons downed individually or with other pilots.

Victoria Cross

In London at RAF HQ, he persuaded his superiors he needed to get up to date on the latest combat techniques in France and he was granted a 10-day roving commission
Roving commission
A roving commission details the duties of a commissioned officer or other official whose responsibilities are neither geographically nor functionally limited....

 in France, wherein he selected the Sopwith Snipe
Sopwith Snipe
The Sopwith 7F.1 Snipe was a British single-seat biplane fighter of the Royal Air Force . It was designed and built by the Sopwith Aviation Company during the First World War, and came into squadron service a few weeks before the end of that conflict, in late 1918.The Snipe was not a fast aircraft...

 as his personal machine and attached himself to No. 201 Squadron RAF
No. 201 Squadron RAF
No. 201 Squadron of the Royal Air Force, until March 2010, operated the Nimrod MR2, based at RAF Kinloss, Moray. It is the only squadron affiliated with Guernsey, in the Channel Islands. This affiliation started in 1935 and is commemorated in the museum on Castle Cornet. Its history goes even...

, whose Squadron commander, Major Cyril Leman, was a pal from his days as a Corps Co-operation airman.
He was awarded the Victoria Cross
Victoria Cross
The Victoria Cross is the highest military decoration awarded for valour "in the face of the enemy" to members of the armed forces of various Commonwealth countries, and previous British Empire territories....

 for his actions on day 10, Sunday, 27 October 1918.

While returning his Snipe to an aircraft depot, he crossed enemy lines at 21,000 feet above the Forêt de Mormal
Forêt de Mormal
The Forêt de Mormal is a forest in France, near the Franco-Belgian border. It is best known to the British for its role in the retreat from Mons in August 1914. Its lack of passable roads forced I and II Corps of the British army to divide and the two corps did not reunite for some days.- External...

. He attacked an enemy Rumpler
The Rumpler Tropfenwagen was a car developed by Austrian engineer Edmund Rumpler.Rumpler, born in Vienna, was a designer of aircraft when on the 1921's Berlin car show he introduced the Tropfenwagen. It was to be the first streamlined car . The Rumpler had a Cw-value of only 0.28...

 two-seater which broke up, its crew escaping by parachute; {the aircraft was of FAA 227, Observer Lt Oskar Wattenburg killed}. By his own admission, he was careless and was bounced by a formation of Fokker D.VII
Fokker D.VII
The Fokker D.VII was a German World War I fighter aircraft designed by Reinhold Platz of the Fokker-Flugzeugwerke. Germany produced around 3,300 D.VII aircraft in the summer and autumn of 1918. In service, the D.VII quickly proved itself to be a formidable aircraft...

s of Jagdgruppe 12, consisting of Jasta 24 and Jasta 44. In a descending battle against 15 or more enemy machines, Barker was wounded three times in the legs, then his left elbow was blown away, yet he managed to control his Snipe and shoot down or drive down three more enemy aircraft {Two German pilot casualties were Lt. Hinky of Jasta 44, wounded; and Vfw. Alfons Schymik of Jasta 24, killed}. The dogfight took place immediately above the lines of the Canadian Corps
Canadian Corps
The Canadian Corps was a World War I corps formed from the Canadian Expeditionary Force in September 1915 after the arrival of the 2nd Canadian Division in France. The corps was expanded by the addition of the 3rd Canadian Division in December 1915 and the 4th Canadian Division in August 1916...

. Severely wounded and bleeding profusely, Barker force landed inside Allied lines, his life being saved by the men of an RAF Kite Balloon Section, who transported him to a field dressing station. The fuselage of his Snipe aircraft was recovered from the battlefield and is preserved at the Canadian War Museum
Canadian War Museum
The Canadian War Museum is Canada’s national museum of military history. Located in Ottawa, Ontario, the museum covers all facets of Canada’s military past, from the first recorded instances of death by armed violence in Canadian history several thousand years ago to the country’s most recent...

, Ottawa, Ontario.

At a hospital in Rouen
Rouen , in northern France on the River Seine, is the capital of the Haute-Normandie region and the historic capital city of Normandy. Once one of the largest and most prosperous cities of medieval Europe , it was the seat of the Exchequer of Normandy in the Middle Ages...

, France, Barker clung to life until mid-January 1919, and then was transported back to England. He was not fit enough to walk the necessary few paces for the VC investiture at Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace, in London, is the principal residence and office of the British monarch. Located in the City of Westminster, the palace is a setting for state occasions and royal hospitality...

 until 1 March 1919.

Barker is officially credited with one captured, two (and seven shared) balloons destroyed, 33 (and two shared) aircraft destroyed, and five aircraft "out of control;" the highest "destroyed" ratio for any RAF, RFC or RNAS pilot during the conflict. The Overseas Military Forces of Canada recognized Barker as "holding the record for fighting decorations" awarded in the First World War.

Most Decorated Hero

Barker returned to Canada in May 1919 as the most decorated Canadian of the war, with the Victoria Cross, the Distinguished Service Order
Distinguished Service Order
The Distinguished Service Order is a military decoration of the United Kingdom, and formerly of other parts of the British Commonwealth and Empire, awarded for meritorious or distinguished service by officers of the armed forces during wartime, typically in actual combat.Instituted on 6 September...

 and Bar
Medal bar
A medal bar or medal clasp is a thin metal bar attached to the ribbon of a military decoration, civil decoration, or other medal. It is most commonly used to indicate the campaign or operation the recipient received the award for, and multiple bars on the same medal are used to indicate that the...

, the Military Cross
Military Cross
The Military Cross is the third-level military decoration awarded to officers and other ranks of the British Armed Forces; and formerly also to officers of other Commonwealth countries....

 and two Bars
Medal bar
A medal bar or medal clasp is a thin metal bar attached to the ribbon of a military decoration, civil decoration, or other medal. It is most commonly used to indicate the campaign or operation the recipient received the award for, and multiple bars on the same medal are used to indicate that the...

, two Italian Silver Medals for Military Valour, and the French Croix de guerre
Croix de guerre
The Croix de guerre is a military decoration of France. It was first created in 1915 and consists of a square-cross medal on two crossed swords, hanging from a ribbon with various degree pins. The decoration was awarded during World War I, again in World War II, and in other conflicts...

. He was also mentioned in despatches three times. The Canadian Daily Record, a publication of the Overseas Military Forces of Canada, wrote in December 1918 that William Barker of Dauphin, Manitoba was the Canadian holding the record for "most fighting decorations" in the war. No other Canadian soldier, sailor or airman has surpassed this record, and the Canadian War Museum exhibit, located in Ottawa, Ontario, states: "Lieutenant Colonel William G. Barker, one of the legendary aces of the war, remains the most decorated Canadian in military service." A plaque on his tomb in the mausoleum of Toronto's Mount Pleasant Cemetery, officially unveiled on September 22, 2011, describes him as "The most decorated war hero in the history of Canada, the British Empire, and the Commonwealth of Nations." Only two other servicemen in the history of the Commonwealth or Empire have received as many British medals for gallantry. These were Mick Mannock and James McCudden
James McCudden
James Thomas Byford McCudden VC, DSO & Bar, MC & Bar, MM was an English recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest award for valour in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces...

, and like Barker, both were "scout pilots" in the First World War. Barker, Mannock and McCudden each received six British medals, including the Victoria Cross. McCudden was also awarded a French Croix de Guerre. But with his three foreign medals and three British Mentions in Despatches, Barker received a total of 12 awards for valour.


Barker formed a business partnership, Bishop-Barker Aeroplanes Limited, with fellow Victoria Cross recipient and Canadian ace Billy Bishop
Billy Bishop
Air Marshal William Avery "Billy" Bishop VC, CB, DSO & Bar, MC, DFC, ED was a Canadian First World War flying ace, officially credited with 72 victories, making him the top Canadian ace, and according to some sources, the top ace of the British Empire.-Early life:Bishop was born in Owen Sound,...

 which lasted for about three years. In 1922 he rejoined the fledgling Canadian Air Force in the rank of wing commander
Wing Commander (rank)
Wing commander is a commissioned rank in the Royal Air Force and the air forces of many other Commonwealth countries...

, serving as the Station Commander of Camp Borden (1922 to 1924).

Barker was appointed acting director of the RCAF in early 1924 and he graduated from RAF Staff College, Andover
RAF Staff College, Andover
The RAF Staff College at RAF Andover was the first Royal Air Force staff college to be established. Its role was the training of officers in the administrative, staff and policy apects of air force matters.-Foundation:...

, in 1926. While waiting to start RAF Staff College Course No 4, Barker spent two weeks in Iraq with the RAF to learn more about the uses of air power. He formally reported on his findings to the Minister of National Defence, and informally to Brigadier General Billy Mitchell, of the US Air Service. One of his achievements in the RCAF was the introduction of parachutes. After leaving the RCAF he became the first president of the Toronto Maple Leafs
Toronto Maple Leafs
The Toronto Maple Leafs are a professional ice hockey team based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. They are members of the Northeast Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League...

 hockey club, and involved in tobacco
Tobacco is an agricultural product processed from the leaves of plants in the genus Nicotiana. It can be consumed, used as a pesticide and, in the form of nicotine tartrate, used in some medicines...

 growing farms in southwestern Ontario.

Barker continued to suffer from the physical effects of his 1918 gunshot wounds, his legs were permanently damaged and he suffered severely limited movement in his left arm. He also struggled with alcoholism
Alcoholism is a broad term for problems with alcohol, and is generally used to mean compulsive and uncontrolled consumption of alcoholic beverages, usually to the detriment of the drinker's health, personal relationships, and social standing...

 in the last few years of his life. He died in 1930 when he lost control of his Fairchild KR-21 biplane trainer during a demonstration flight for the RCAF, at Air Station Rockcliffe, near Ottawa
Ottawa is the capital of Canada, the second largest city in the Province of Ontario, and the fourth largest city in the country. The city is located on the south bank of the Ottawa River in the eastern portion of Southern Ontario...

, Ontario. Barker, aged 35, was at the time the President and General Manager of Fairchild Aircraft in Montreal
Montreal is a city in Canada. It is the largest city in the province of Quebec, the second-largest city in Canada and the seventh largest in North America...



His funeral, the largest national state event in Toronto
Toronto is the provincial capital of Ontario and the largest city in Canada. It is located in Southern Ontario on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario. A relatively modern city, Toronto's history dates back to the late-18th century, when its land was first purchased by the British monarchy from...

's history, was attended by an honour guard of 2,000 soldiers. The cortege stretched for more than a mile and a half, and included the Chief of the General Staff and his senior officers, the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario
Lieutenant Governor of Ontario
The Lieutenant Governor of Ontario is the viceregal representative in Ontario of the Canadian monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, who operates distinctly within the province but is also shared equally with the ten other jurisdictions of Canada and resides predominantly in her oldest realm, the United...

, the Mayor of Toronto, three federal government cabinet ministers, and six other Victoria Cross recipients. An honour guard was also provided by the United States Army. Some 50,000 spectators lined the streets of Toronto en route to Mount Pleasant Cemetery
Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Toronto
Mount Pleasant Cemetery is a cemetery located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.In the early 19th century, the only authorized cemeteries within the city of Toronto were limited to the members of either the Roman Catholic Church or the Church of England...

, where Barker was interred in his wife's family crypt in the Mausoleum.

In his hometown, Dauphin, Manitoba, an elementary school and the Barker Airport  (dedicated in 1998) are named in his honour. The Dauphin squadron of the Royal Canadian Air Cadets
Royal Canadian Air Cadets
Royal Canadian Air Cadets is a Canadian national youth program for persons aged 12 to 18. It is administered by the Canadian Forces and funded through the Department of National Defence with additional support from the civilian Air Cadet League of Canada...

 is named for Barker.
An elementary school at CFB Borden in Ontario was also named after Barker before its closure in the mid-1990s. During the week of 8 January 1999, the Canadian Federal Government designated Barker a person of national historic significance, while the Discovery Channel's Flightpath series, a television documentary, included an episode entitled "First of the Few", a biography of William Barker, broadcast in Canada on 27 April 1999. In 2003 History TV broadcast "The Hero's Hero - The Forgotten Life of William Barker."

Barker's only daughter, Jean Antoinette Mackenzie (née Barker), died in July, 2007. On 22 September 2011, a memorial at Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Toronto was unveiled to mark William Barker as the “most decorated war hero in the history of Canada, the British Empire, and the Commonwealth of Nations.”

External links

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