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Horace Barks, OBE was Lord Mayor of Stoke-on-Trent in 1951–2.[1]

Horace Barks
Born 1895
Ipstones, Staffordshire
Known for Esperanto

Barks was born in the countryside near Stoke-on-Trent and came from a working class background. His experiences in World War I left him with pacifist beliefs. He was a member of the Labour Party (UK), the dominant party in Stoke-on-Trent during the twentieth century, and was committed to Esperanto.

Barks and his son were active in the Arnold Bennett Society. The reference library in the city is named after him.


Through Barks' influence "The Green Star", his local pub in Smallthorne, Stoke-on-Trent, acquired a sign in Esperanto. "La Verda Stelo", to give the pub its Esperanto name, is mentioned in a poem by Raymond Schwartz. Barks was involved with starting classes at the Wedgwood Memorial College in Barlaston, which remains an important centre of Esperanto education.[2]


  1. ^ People of Stoke-on-Trent
  2. ^ "A Tribute to a Noble Worker for Esperanto: Horace Barks", was included in (Esperanto) Rubenaj Refrenoj (Ruby Refrains), Gubbins, Paul (ed.), Berkeley: Bero Publishers, 2001

There are two posthumous autobiographical publications by Barks, both based on taped reminiscences.

  • Fragments of Autobiography, 1986
  • North Staffordshire regiments in the First World War: Part 1: The Military Experience of Horace Barks, 1914-1918 - Michael Occleshaw, Staffordshire Studies, Keele 1988.


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