Son of David and Maud Barnacle. Gateway School 1930.
Walter Barnacle enlisted on the 15th November 1939, and served in India before his battalion was posted to Malaya. In December 1941 the battalion was attempting to slow down the Japanese invasion of that country. Because of the heavy casualties it had sustained during the early stages of the fighting, it was amalgamated with the 2nd Battalion East Surrey Regiment on the 20th December to form the “ The British Battalion”. This new battalion was involved in the fierce fighting during the Battle of Kampar between the 30th December 1941 and 2nd January 1942, during which time Lance Corporal Barnacle was killed. He is buried in Taiping War Cemetery, Malaysia, Special Memorial, 2. A. 18.
At the time of the Japanese invasion of Malaya, Taiping was on the British line of retreat down the west coast. Its normal garrison of one Indian Infantry Battalion had been augmented, a casualty reception station organised, arrangements made with the civilian authorities for the provision of 500 beds for military patients, and 20 Combined General Hospital (Indian Army) had been posted there.
During the fighting the Indian 6th and 15th Brigades used Taiping as a rest and re-fitment centre for a few days; and, as the withdrawal southwards developed, numerous Indian Army medical units worked there for short periods before each in turn had to move towards Singapore with the fighting forces.
Taiping War Cemetery was created by the Army after the defeat of Japan for the reception of graves brought from the battlefields, from numerous temporary burial grounds, and from village and other civil cemeteries where permanent maintenance would not be possible.
There are separate entrances to the two parts, the plots of Christian graves lying on the south-eastern side of the road and the Muslim and Gurkha graves on the opposite side. In the Muslim and Gurkha section the Stone of Remembrance stands in front of a high bank which forms the north-western boundary. The two small shelters in the cemetery have been constructed of local stone, and a low stone wall flanks the road on each side. There are now 864, 1939-1945 war Commonwealth casualties and 1 Dutch casualty commemorated in this site, more than 500 of whom are unidentified.