Bridge of Weir

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John Lyle Barr2ND LT J LYLE BARR R.F.A.

Second Lieutenant John Lyle Barr

"C" Battery, 157th Brigade,
Royal Field Artillery

died of wounds 26th July 1916

aged 26

Abbeville Communal Cemetery
St Machar's Church Memorial, Bridge of Weir
St Andrew's Church Memorial, Buenos Aires
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 members of the family which developed a successful business in Glasgow as James Barr and Son, Chartered Surveyors.

John Lyle Barr was born on 17th January 1890 at 53 Hamilton Drive, Glasgow, the son 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.

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 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.

Before the war, Lyle Barr had been working for eight years with Agar Cross & Co in London and Buenos Aires. The company were importers of machinery into South America. He returned to Scotland and received his commission on 31st March 1915 and was enlisted into the Royal Field Artillery. He entered the theatre of war in France on 2nd March 1916. He was a Forward Observation Officer for the RFA in support of 35th Division which, in the Battle of the Somme on 20th July 1916 was tasked with an assault near the village of Guillemont. Different sources quote him as being in the 157th Brigade or the 159th Brigade of the R.F.A. They were both part of the 35th Divisional Artillery deployed on the Somme in July 1916 and often interchanged personnel and batteries. John Lyle Barr159 Brigade, R.F.A. map showing a field of view from their position during the Battle of the Somme. Lyle Barr will have observed this prospect.

Lyle Barr died from wounds sustained, on 26th July 1916, the second of the three Barr brothers to fall. He is buried in Abbeville Cemetery, which served No 2 and No 5 Stationary Hospitals to which many seriously wounded casualties of the Somme battlefield were evacuated.

Their mother Mary Barr was very involved in raising money for the war effort. Already a widow, 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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