Worksop: Search for family of tragic soldier murdered following D-Day landings

Guardian News
Guardian News

An appeal has been launched to trace the family of a young Worksop solider executed by the Germans in World War Two.

William Barlow was just 21 when he was he was captured by the Germans on 8th June 1944, during the preliminary attacks following the D-Day invasion.

Pte Barlow along with his fellow private Evan Hayton, 20, from West Lancashire - who were both members in 6 Durham Light Infantry ( DL I) - should have been taken to a prisoner of war camp, as specified in the Geneva Convention.

Instead, along with a group of more than 20 Canadian troops, they were shot by German SS officers.

Pte Barlow was laid to rest in the Hottot-les-Bagues War Cemetery, near Bayeux in France.

The DLI Association now wants to honour the memory of the tragic pair.

It is planning a commemorative plaque to be unveiled in Normandy in June to mark the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings.

And they are trying to trace any family of Pte Barlow, who was the son of Herbert and Phoebe Barlow, who lived in Worksop.

Dr Grenville Holland ,from the DLI Association, said: “There is a detailed account of what happened.”

“Later on the report (on the incident) notes that the families of those two soldiers were told that they had been killed in action by the Army.”

“They did not tell the families that the men had been murdered in cold blood.”

“The families did not learn the truth about the executions until 1994 - 50 years later when the relevant war files were opened.”

“So far we have not been able to contact any members of the Barlow family but would like to do so in order to let them know about this commemorative bronze plaque which will provide a permanent record of the loss of this young soldier.”

“We would therefore be grateful if anyone can let us have any contact details of the Barlow family.”

If you are related to Pte Barlow or know any of the Barlow family contact Dr Holland on

Alternatively contact the Worksop Guardian on 01909 543011 or email