Henry Barter was born in 1888 at St Helier, Jersey, the eldest son of Henry Barter and Eve Catherine (née Turner). There were at least three younger children. Henry senior died around 1900, and Henry and his next brother George Wilfred are recorded on the 1901 census as ‘inmates’ at the Jersey Industrial School at St Martins. The school records his date of birth as 15 March 1888.
Henry Barter joined the Royal Navy at the Boys’ Training Ship HMS ST VINCENT at Haslar on 24 May 1904, giving his date of birth as 15 April 1888 and his previous occupation as ‘tailor’. He then moved to the first class cruiser HMS ROYAL ARTHUR, deployed on the North America station, where he was rated Ordinary Seaman on his 18th birthday, and then to HMS PRINCE OF WALES where he served until the end of 1908, having been rated Able Seaman in February 1907. From February 1909 to April 1910 he was in the torpedo boat depot ship HMS HECLA and then undertook training at HMS VERNON to qualify as a Torpedoman. Further drafts followed in succession to the hulk HMS POMONE, the cruiser HMS VENUS and the depot ship HMS WOOLWICH where he was likely to have served in destroyers.
He was drafted to HMS DOLPHIN on 1 April 1914, and then alternated with drafts to the submarine depot ship HMS MAIDSTONE. His second period with HMS MAIDSTONE starting in October 1914 matches the commissioning date of HMS E15 and her joining the Eighth Submarine Flotilla. In April 1915, the depot ship HMS ADAMANT left the Eighth Submarine Flotilla in company with HMS E11, E14 and E15 to join the Mediterranean Submarine Flotilla. E15 was the first submarine to attempt to penetrate the Dardanelles in order to be able to disrupt the Turkish supply lines to the Gallipoli peninsula. The attempt failed when unexpected currents forced the boat aground, and she came under Turkish attack. The Commanding Officer and five of the crew were killed on 17 April 1915 and the remainder of the crew, including Henry Barter, were taken prisoner. A little over a year later, on 11 May 1916, he died in captivity.
Henry Barter is buried in Baghdad (North Gate) War Cemetery. He left a widow, Beatrice Mary Barter.