Wreath laid at grave of former South Yorkshire police officer killed during World War 1

Mr Bark's grave
Mr Bark's grave
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South Yorkshire Police staff have laid a wreath at the grave of a former police officer killed in battle 98 years ago.

Francis Bark died in May 1918 at the age of 26, after going to the aid of a comrade in a gas attack.

Respects paid at the grave of Mr Bark

Respects paid at the grave of Mr Bark

He was awarded the Military Medal following his death for his bravery.

Details of his death were discovered when the medal was found in a police store, with no records of why it was there.

Research was carried out and it emerged that Mr Bark, from Curbar, joined Sheffield Police in May 1913 and qualified a month later, working as a constable until the start of the first World War.

Mr Bark enlisted in Sheffield and joined the Battalion of the Sherwood Foresters, serving in Egypt and France.

In April 1918 their gas canisters were damaged during shell fire, with 50 of the soldiers, including Mr Bark, losing their lives.

He was awarded the Military Medal for 'his bravery in rescuing a comrade during a gas attack, at the cost of his own life'.

Gary and Marie Allen, who both work in South Yorkshire Police's crime training department, visited Mr Bark's grave in northern France, to pay their respects and lay a wreath on behalf of the force.

A note on the wreath read: "Your bravery will never be forgotten. Your medal is with your police family.”

Marie said: “It was very emotional laying the wreath for Frank. He's so far from home.

"We have common ground with Frank, as he started out as a police officer in South Yorkshire like me and Gary both did.

"Gary and I will probably return to see Frank in 2018, which is 100 years since he died.”