William Henry Barkwell


 Willam Henry Barkwell came to Hardenhuish in 1935. He was ordained Deacon in 1928 and Priested in 1929.
His daughter Helen wrote


William was Yorkshire born.  His father worked in the knife business in Sheffield.  He used his hands in the skilled work of fixing real ivory handles on cutlery.  There was a picture of him at his work in an old encyclopedia, I don't know what year, but he died before I was born.  I mention him because to know him, one would have to understand William and his background. William was a good scholar.  He had an enduring interest in music and was a gifted tenor who loved to sing.  He sang in the Sheffield productions of Handel's Messiah. 

He fought in WW1and was shot when he was in the trenches.  It was a flesh wound.  This experience gave him his interest in the military. He loved people and church life. After the war he was encouraged by his vicar to try to enter the ministry, but since he came from a working class family it seemed impossible at the time.  However there was a college, St. Chads, in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, financed by the church of England, which would accept him. The Church of England had also paid for several buildings in Regina, a College, a Bishops mansion, a Synod office, a chapel and buildings which housed a girls boarding school, run by Anglican nuns. These buildings are now protected by a "Heritage" designation, and while no longer in use as was intended, are preserved within a building project which is going on right now to build condominiums and apartments on the several acres of land on which these church buildings stood.


William, after receiving his LTh. degree from this college which some of the more condescending clergy have called, "the backdoor of the ministry" became a deacon and served under Canon Wells Johnson, in the parish of St. George in the city of MooseJaw.


After becoming a priest he opened up a new church in that city, where Al Capone was said to have run his liquor smuggling business when the USA had banned alcohol in those same years.  Later he was given a parish further south, Rock Glen, in the Diocese, but owing to it's close proximity to the border and the disturbances of "Rum Runners" he, being a city lad at heart tried to protect himself by purchasing two Alsation dogs.  The Rum Runners were enrolled I understand, by Al Capone.  They were given huge expensive cars which were then loaded with liquor and driven across the US-Canadian border at high speed and an armed accompaniment.  If the driver made it through, the car was given to him to keep. The route went through Rock Glen, and there were times when gun shots rang out as the gangsters were pursued by the Mounties. All of these events are things I just heard about as a child, and have entered into myth as the City of Moose Jaw has now promoted itself on the story and sponsors tours of the tunnels under the city where it is said the liquor was stored. However William, city boy from Sheffield, was distinctly uncomfortable in the loneliness, the cold winter, and his dogs who grew up to become too fierce for a vicar to keep.
It is here that my mother enters the picture.  She, Mabel Susan Waygood, was the good looking daughter of a cattle farmer from Hereford, England.  She, being of adventurous mind, answered a call that the Church of England put about every summer to enlist what they called "Vanners".  These women were to drive a van through the remote country that encompassed the Diocese of Qu'Appelle.  They called in at farms and put on church schools for the farm children.  Mabel stayed in Moose Jaw for the winter, taking a job for a woman who was running a boarding house.  This is where she learned to cook delicious Lemon Meringue Pies which were a prairie staple.  She was also introduced to corn on the cob. Here also she met William who fell in love with her immediately.


Additional Notes



William was born in 1893 and died in 1984. He came back to the United Kingdom (Liverpool) on board the  'Montrose'  on 11th January 1930. Mabel came back before him also on the 'Montrose' docking at Southampton on 6th September 1928 .

Mabel & William were married in Croydon some two years after William's return to the UK. They had three children.

At the outbreak of WW2 William and his young family moved from Hardenhuish to Bristol.

William was vicar of St. Oswald's Bedminster Down (Bristol) 1939 - 1945; Rector of Christian Malford 1951 - 1960 and became Rural Dean of Chippenham in 1951 and Honorary Canon of Bristol Catherdral from 1955 until 1960 when he became Canon Emeritus. He was also vicar of Wigtoft from 1961 - 1968. Upon his retirement (at age 75) he moved to Surrey.

Sadly Mabel died in 1960 whilst William was Rector of Christian Malford Church. She is buried at Christian Malford with a very simple headstone with just her initials upon it.  She was only 55 years old.