Bridge of Weir

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2766 Private Frederic Train Barr

9th (Glasgow Highlanders) Battalion,
Highland Light Infantry

died 25th February 1915

aged 26

Gorre British and Indian Cemetery
St Machar's Church Memorial, Bridge of Weir
Glasgow Academy Memorial
Kilbarchan Cemetery

Son of James Barr and Mary Train
Rockcliff, Bridge of Weir

His Life

Brothers Fred, Lyle and Speirs Barr were all killed in World War I. They were sons of James Barr, founder of the successful Glasgow business of James Barr and Son, Chartered Surveyors.

Frederic Train Barr was born on 29th May 1888 at 53 Hamilton Drive, Hillhead, Glasgow, the fifth of eight children of James Barr from Glasgow and Mary Train from Ardrossan, Ayrshire who had married in Greenock on 30th April 1879.

In 1881, James (36), a civil engineer, and Mary (29) were living in Partick, Glasgow with their first child, Mary W, domestic servant Catherine Bankier, and nurse Jane Quintell.

In 1891, the Barr family of eight was living in 53 Hamilton Drive, Kelvinside. James senior was a Civil Engineering Surveyor and Valuator running his own business. Murdina Morrison was the domestic servant and Jessie Smith, nurse.

In 1901, the family, now of ten, was still in Hamilton Drive. They had two servants, Jane McLeod and Elizabeth Allan.

Fred, Lyle and Speirs Barr all attended Glasgow Academy.

By 1911 the family had moved to Rockcliff in Kilbarchan Road, Bridge of Weir. James senior had died on 28th July 1910, and the oldest son James (26) a valuator, was now head of the household. Fred (22) was a marine engineer, Robert was an apprentice measurer's valuator and Speirs was an apprentice to an iron and steel merchant. Mary, Janet and Lyle were no longer in the family home. A female student named Dunn from Earlston, Berwickshire, was visiting. Effie Nicolson was the cook, and Bessie McNeil the domestic servant.

Fred Barr served his apprenticeship with Bow, McLachlan & Co. marine engineers and shipbuilders, and then joined Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Co., (now BAe Systems, Govan yard) when he volunteered for active service on 7th September 1914. He was enlisted into C Company of the 9th Battalion (Glasgow Highlanders) of the HLI. He left for the front in France before 22nd November 1914 and qualified for the 1914 Star. He was killed in action at Cuinchy, a few miles east of Bethune, France on 25th February 1915, the first of the three Barr brothers to fall. The battalion war diaries do not list any casualties that day, but on the following day, 26th February, 7 casualties of shelling are noted, with others slightly injured by falling bricks. One newspaper report has Fred killed by the collapse of a wall. Perhaps he was an indirect casualty of a shell that triggered building damage.

In his will, Fred had named Anna Brown, Cruachan, Bridge of Weir - 23 years old in 1915 - as his executrix. She was the cousin of George William Fisher, also killed in the war.

Mary Barr, mother of the Barr boys, was very involved in raising money for the war effort. Already a widow before the war, she died at Rockcliff on 6th September 1918 aged 66. She didn't live to see the war end.


1881 Census 1891 Census 1901 Census 1911 Census Birthplace
Name Age Name Age Name Age Name Age
Mary W1 Mary W11Mary W21Glasgow, Lanark
Janet S9Janet S19Glasgow, Lanark
Ethel D8Ethel D18Ethel D28Glasgow, Lanark
James6James16James26Glasgow, Lanark
Frederic T2Frederic T12Fred T22Glasgow, Lanark
John L1John L11Glasgow, Lanark
Robt I9Robt I19Glasgow, Lanark
Wm S6Wm S16Bridge of Weir


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