Bridge of Weir

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1033 Private Robert Barr

15th Battalion, Highland Light Infantry

killed in action 18th November 1916

aged 21

Munich Trench British Cemetery, Beaumont Hamel
Kilbarchan Cemetery

Son of Matthew Barr and Jessie Johnstone
Windward, Bridge of Weir

His Life

Robert was born on 23rd April 1895 at Mount Pleasant, Bridge of Weir, the son of Matthew Barr from Bridge of Weir and Jessie Johnstone from Greenock who had married in Kilmacolm on 9th February 1883.

In 1891, the Barr family of five was living in Alexander's Land, Bridge of Weir. Matthew senior (37) was a stationary engine keeper. His wife Janet was 26. Matthew's brother William (26) and James McCulloch (21) were lodgers.

In 1901, the family of eight was living in a 3-roomed flat in The Mimosas, Bridge of Weir. Matthew senior was employed as a mechanical engineer. Eldest daughter Mary was a baker's shop assistant. The family had a lodger, William Mann, a mechanical engineer from Glasgow. Robert (5) was at school.

In 1911, the family, now of ten, was still in The Mimosas, with three of the family employed at the leather works. Matthew senior was engineer, eldest daughter Jean was a typist and clerk and Robert (15) a tanner. Matthew junior was a clerk at a distillery and James a clerk at a tannery. Sara was a dressmaker working from home, and the other three children were still at school.

Before the war, "Bobby" Barr was employed as Assistant Professional at Ranfurly Castle Golf Club.

Bobby volunteered on 21st November 1914 and was enlisted into the 15th Battalion of the Highland Light Infantry, raised predominantly from volunteers from Glasgow Corporation Tramways Department and nicknamed 'the Green Brigade'. A week earlier, Robert "Bertie" McDougall, the Professional at Old Ranfurly Golf Club, had joined the same battalion.

Private Robert Barr first joined the theatre of war on 23rd November 1915 in France, as did Bertie, and survived until 18th November 1916 when he was killed by shrapnel in the Battle of the Ancre at Beaumont Hamel, the final British offensive of the Battle of the Somme. Bertie was killed by a sniper's bullet on the same day. Bobby and Bertie, the promising young Bridge of Weir golfing professionals, are buried in the Munich Trench British Cemetery four graves from each other.


1891 Census 1901 Census 1911 Census Birthplace
Name Age Name Age Name Age
Jane Adam7 Jean17Jean27 Kilmacolm, Renfrewshire
Matthew5 Matthew15Matthew25 Bridge of Weir
James2 James12James22 Bridge of Weir
Sarah S7Sara17 Bridge of Weir
Robert5Robert15 Bridge of Weir
Jessie1 Jessie11 Bridge of Weir
Martha9 Bridge of Weir
William7 Bridge of Weir


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