Edmond Elphinstone Barchard was born in Maresfield, Sussex, England, on the 7th October 1874, the youngest child of Elphinstone and Katherine Louisa Susan Barchard (née Barwell). His father was a barrister at law and the family was very wealthy! The family home was at Duddleswell, Maresfield, Sussex. Edmond Barchard had four brothers named Francis, born in 1863, Gerard, who was born in 1866, Arthur, who was born in 1868, and Reginald, who was born in 1873, and two older sisters, Ada, who was born in 1864 and Eleanor, who was born in 1870. Edmond and his six siblings all had ‘Elphinstone’ as their second forename!
Edmond left home while still a teenager and became an assayer and then a mining engineer. He travelled frequently, and extensively, throughout North America and Mexico, and travelled back to his native England on a regular basis.
On 9th October 1909, he married Mary Bernadette MacEachan, an American citizen, in El Paso, Texas. They had no children, and his wife was nine years younger than him. Some time after their marriage, they re-located to Columbus, Ohio, residing at 376. North Washington Avenue in the city, although Edmond frequently travelled abroad in the course of his profession, mainly to Mexico.
He had an income of $4,000 per annum, and in the spring of 1915, he decided to return to England and as a result bought himself a second cabin ticket for the May sailing of the
Lusitania, which was scheduled to leave Pier 54 in New York harbour at 10.00 a.m. on 1st May 1915.
Having boarded the liner in time for her sailing, he had to wait until just after noon before the liner actually left her berth and slipped out into the North River and the Atlantic Ocean. This was because she had to wait to embark cargo, passengers and crew from the vessel Cameronia, owned by the Anchor Lines, which had been requisitioned by the British Admiralty for war service as a troop ship, at the end of April.
Six days later, Edmond Barchard was dead, killed as the result of the torpedoing and sinking of the liner by Kapitänleutnant Walter Schwieger and the crew of the submarine
U-20. At that time, the Lusitania was only twelve miles off the coast of southern Ireland and only hours away from her Liverpool destination.
Barchard’s body was never recovered from the sea and identified afterwards and as a result, he has no known grave. He was aged 40 years.
On 1st April 1917, his widow married Charles G. Williams, a member of the bar of Columbus, Ohio. In 1920, she received £655 from Edmond’s will, and in 1925, she was awarded $10,000.00 by the Mixed Claims Commission for the loss Edmond.
Register of Births, Marriages and Deaths, 1881 Census of England & Wales, 1891 Census of England & Wales, Alabama Passenger Lists 1904 – 1962, New York Passenger Lists 1840 – 1957, Cunard Records, Mixed Claims Commission Docket No. 592, Deaths at Sea 1871 – 1968, Probate Records, PRO BT 100/345, Graham Maddocks, Geoff Whitfield, Lawrence Evans, Michael Poirier, Jim Kalafus, Cliff Barry, Paul Latimer, Norman Gray.
Copyright © Peter Kelly