Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Forgotten names added to South Yorkshire war memorial

The name of a navy airman who was executed by the Japanese in World War Two has been added to a Sheffield war memorial.

Ivor Barker was beheaded by two officers in a prison camp in Singapore two days after Japan had surrendered the territory in August 1945.

Mr Barker's niece, Sandra Smith, discovered that his name was not on the local war memorial.

After a campaign led by Ms Smith, Mr Barker's name has now been added.

A service of dedication has taken place at the site of the memorial at Christ Church, Hollinsend.

Mr Barker was captured after his plane was shot down during a raid on an oil field.

'Cruelly beheaded'

Ms Smith said that she only recently discovered the fate of her uncle, who was 21 when he was executed.

"His family were led to believe that his plane was shot down in the attack with no survivors," she said.

"However in 2008 as part of my family tree research I discovered that Ivor was one of the group known as The Palembang Nine, all of whom were cruelly beheaded by two Japanese officers, two days after the capitulation.

"This was a very sad discovery, my only consolation being that my grandparents and Ivor's seven siblings never knew the detail of his horrendous passing."

Members of Mr Barker's family were at the dedication service.

Two other local men who died in the conflict have also had their names added.

Thomas Croft, 29 and Stanley Davies, 24, were both killed during the invasion of Italy in 1944.

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