Michael Barker (British Army officer)

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For other people named Michael Barker, see Michael Barker (disambiguation).
Michael Barker
Born 1884
Died 1960 (aged 75 or 76)
Allegiance United Kingdom United Kingdom
Service/branch Flag of the British Army.svg British Army
Rank Lieutenant-General
Unit Second Boer War
World War I
World War II
Commands held 2nd Battalion, York and Lancaster Regiment
British Forces in Palestine and Trans-Jordan
I Corps
Aldershot Command
Awards Companion of the Order of the Bath
Distinguished Service Order & Bar

Lieutenant-General Michael George Henry Barker CB DSO* (1884–1960) was a British Army general.

Military career[edit]

Barker was born 1884 in Wells District, Somerset. He joined the army as a second-lieutenant in the 4th (Militia) Battalion, the East Surrey Regiment on 28 February 1902,[1] before accepting a commission in The Lincolnshire Regiment in 1903.[2] He served throughout the First World War with the Lincolnshire Regiment and was awarded the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) in 1917. He commanded the 2nd Battalion, York and Lancaster Regiment from 1927 to 1931 before being promoted to Brigadier as a staff officer at Eastern Command. He became Director of Recruiting and Organization at the War Office in 1936[2] and British Forces in Palestine and Trans-Jordan in 1939.[3]

He served as commander of I Corps in 1940, before being replaced by Lieutenant-General Harold Alexander. His performance there was undistinguished; his subordinate Montgomery remarked that "only a madman would give a corps to Barker." His active military service was finished, and he served for a year as head of Aldershot Command before retiring from the army later that year.[2]

Barker died in 1960 in Colchester, Essex.


Barker was the father of Michael John Eustace Barker (1915-1995) who became, among other things, a merchant sailor, and who was, allegedly, the lover of Stephen Spender and, later, W.H. Auden for a time during World War II. "Jack", as he was known, wrote an autobiography, "No Moaning There!", published in 1962.[4]


  1. ^ "no. 27415". The London Gazette. 11 March 1902. p. 1735. 
  2. ^ a b c "Unit Histories, British Army officers.". Retrieved 2 November 2009. 
  3. ^ "Army Commands" (PDF). Retrieved 23 August 2014. 
  4. ^ http://audensociety.org/14newsletter.html#P55_34293


  • Biographical Dictionary of British Generals of the Second World War, Nick Smart. ISBN 1-84415-049-6.
Military offices
Preceded by
Robert Haining
General Officer Commanding
British Forces in Palestine and Trans-Jordan

Succeeded by
George Giffard
Preceded by
Sir John Dill
GOC I Corps
Succeeded by
Sir Harold Alexander
Preceded by
Sir Charles Broad
GOC-in-C Aldershot Command
Succeeded by
Sir Geoffrey Raikes