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Author Talk with Shannon King

November 11, 2023: For Remembrance Day, we usually scan photographs from our archives to add them to our military album here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/…

However, today we are instead spending some time researching the recently identified young man in these archival photographs: Lance Corporal Dennis Jeremiah Barry. Thanks to the Mahone Bay Legion, we now know his name and information about his service in the First World War. Today, we take the time to learn a little more about his life before he enlisted.

Upon further research, we now know he lived in Blockhouse with his parents, James Barry and Charlotte (Oickle) Barry, both from and still living in Maitland when they were married in Mahone Bay in 1884. This Maitland is located between Bridgewater and Mahone Bay and had many Barry’s living in that area (and still do!), as it obvious from the “Barrys Corner” you can still see labelled on Google Maps today.

Dennis was born in Maitland in 1897 but in just a few years in the 1901 census, Dennis was recorded as being 4 years old and living with his father and mother in Blockhouse with his siblings: Florence, Joseph, Elsie, and Leda.

Just a few months before the 1911 census is recorded, his father, James Barry, who was a farmer, passed away at the age of 51. In the 1911 census, at the age of 14 (just 4 years before Dennis enlisted), Dennis is still listed as living in Blockhouse with his mother Charlotte (Oickle) Barry, now listed as the Head of Household, and his two brothers, Joseph and Ralph, and two youngest sisters, Elsie and Leda. His older sister Florence is no longer living with them, as she married Norman Henry Zwicker in 1909. His older brother Joseph is 22 years old at the time and seems to be supporting the family along with help from Dennis and their sister Elsie. Joseph is listed as a farmer and lumberman, Dennis at the age of 14 is listed as a farmer as well, and their sister Elsie is 18 and working for another family, likely as a cleaner and/or caretaker for children.

According to Gary Silliker from the Mahone Bay Legion, “Lance Corporal Dennis Jeremiah Barry, 733655… enlisted in the 112th Bn on 29 December, 1915, in Lunenburg. He declared that he was a farmer and that his mother, Mrs Charlotte Barry, was his next of kin. Dennis was posed to the 25th Bn for service at the front. He was wounded (shrapnel to his left arm) on 17 August 1917 during the Battle of Hill 70. Dennis was killed on 12 October, 1918, at Paillencourt during the Battle of Cambrai.

His death is recorded amongst the CEF casualty reports; it notes: “Killed in Action – While his battalion was proceeding to the front line this non-commissioned officer was hit in the face, neck and legs, by an enemy shell and instantly died.” His remains are buried in plot 2 F 18 in the Canada Cemetery in Tilloy-les-Cambrai, France.”

If you’re walking by the museum today, you’ll see Dennis Barry’s photograph in our memo board on the front lawn. Lest we forget.

Every Halloween for the past couple years we have been adding a ghost story video to our playlist of local supernatural stories on our Youtube and Facebook pages. If you have a ghost story you want to share with us either in writing or an audio/video recording, please message us! We won’t share your name or the address. Want to remain completely anonymous? Fill out an anonymous online form here: https://forms.gle/CWm3PhLbNJNyEcpXA