Ken was born in Wigan in November 1938 and had two hugely successful careers both which involved things of import to him – people and the post. They benefited from it by enjoying themselves – having a good time – or learning and being better fitted for their jobs.
He retired to Highcliffe with his wife Doris of more than 50 years where they enjoyed many happy times together. He thoroughly enjoyed his time with his Army friends & would look forward to his ccouple of weeks each year back in uniform.
Of course it could have been the camaraderie in the mess away from home that had most appeal – Mike Bartlett (Don’s son) Don was ever the best of company at any event and in any circumstance.
Ken did not shy away from the task of taking the Group from the comfort and support of Mill Hill and its postal empathy to the unknown that was Grantham, and being part of a very large TA organisation.
At the same time he had to downsize the Group, from four to three Regiments and take manning from 75 officers and 750 soldiers to 55 and around 550 – and improve military skills!
Donald having good French found himself on Salisbury Plain riding on the top of tanks teaching the free Polish Army to drive & shoot.
Graduating from Sandhurst as a lieutenant he was posted to Singaport for several years before returning to England and demobilization.With the 1992 reorganisation Ken was promoted to Director and General Manager SWSW and moved to Gloucester.He returned to Manchester for his final appointment as DGM Royal Mail NWNW before retiring finally in 1998.He was a terrific entertainer with his tales and his singing of anything from light opera to naughty ditties – but without any rude words. He would tenaciously pursue a correct and just cause with all his guile and energy.“Having a bit tonight” meant “rolly polly” – which was whatever you wanted it to be! In the toughest days Ken was a man to be working for as he never let his team down, nor would he accept a less than satisfactory solution.They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. We will remember them Extract from ‘For the Fallen’ (1914) by Laurence Binyon (1869-1943) Ken Barker was one of a line of distinguished Post Office Directors to command the Postal and Courier Services TA.