2ND 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
Abbeville Communal Cemetery
St Machar's Church Memorial, Bridge of Weir
St Andrew's Church Memorial, Buenos Aires
Glasgow Academy Memorial
Son of James Barr and Mary Train
Rockcliff, Bridge of Weir
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. 159 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|
|Mary W||1||Mary W||11||Mary W||21||Glasgow, Lanark|
|Janet S||9||Janet S||19||Glasgow, Lanark|
|Ethel D||8||Ethel D||18||Ethel D||28||Glasgow, Lanark|
|Frederic T||2||Frederic T||12||Fred T||22||Glasgow, Lanark|
|John L||1||John L||11||Glasgow, Lanark|
|Robt I||9||Robt I||19||Glasgow, Lanark|
|Wm S||6||Wm S||16||Bridge of Weir|
- Commonwealth War Graves Commission
- Scottish National War Memorial
- John Lyle Barr birth certificate, 17th Jan 1890. Regd Partick, Lanark 10th Feb 1890.
- 1881 UK Census: Parish: Partick; ED: 33; Page: 52; Line: 6; Roll: cssct1881_258.
- 1891 UK Census: Parish: Govan; ED: 43; Page: 58; Line: 9; Roll: CSSCT1891_308.
- 1901 UK Census: Parish: Govan; ED: 10; Page: 18; Line: 3; Roll: CSSCT1901_331.
- 1911 UK Census: Parish: Kilbarchan; Ward: Bridge of Weir. Page 1. Lines 21-29. 559/0B 004/ 00 001.
- London Gazette:
o 12 April 1915, Supplement: Issue 29125; page 3563-4: Royal Horse and Royal Field Artillery - The undermentioned to be temporary Second Lieutenants:- Dated 31st March 1915. John Lyle Barr.
- War Diary: 159th Brigade Royal Field Artillery
- 20.7.16: In action, MARICOURT: Lt Col. Dawson, Group Commander, B Group 35th D.A. (comprising 159 Bde & D/157) selected positions for batteries & Group HQs battn in OXFORD COPSE 300 yards west of MARICOURT. Batteries came into action at night.
- 21.7.16: In action. Batteries cut wire opposite MALTZ HORN FARM and GUILLEMONT. O.P.s unobtainable.
- 22.7.16: In action.
- 23.7.16: D/159 & D/157 heavily shelled sustaining about 15 casualties. Group Commander selected new positions for these batteries - to which they moved night 23/24th
- 24.7.16: B Group supported attack by 30th and 35th Divs on GUILLEMONT.
- 25.7.16: In action. Tasks generally as on 21st.
- 26.7.16: " "
- Paisley and Renfrewshire Gazette
o 5th August 1916: SECOND SON KILLED: Information was received last Friday by Mrs. Barr, Rockcliff, Bridge of Weir, of the death from wounds of Second-Lieutenant J. Lyle Barr, R.F.A., at No.2 Stationary Hospital, Abbeville, France. He was the third son of the late James Barr C.E., Glasgow, and was employed for eight years with Messrs. Agar Cross & Co., Ltd., for three years in London and five years in their Buenos Aires office. He was a keen sportsman and belonged to a Rugby team and the Tigre boating club in Buenos Aires. While playing for his team, his knee was badly injured, rendering him unfit for military service had he not undergone an operation on coming to this country. Lieut. Barr received his commission on March 31st, 1915, shortly after his elder brother Fred was killed in Cuinchy, France, whilst serving with the Glasgow Highlanders, and he proceeded to France with his regiment early in February of this year. He had only returned from hospital at Havre after a short illness when he received his wounds. Lieut. Barr's sunny disposition made him a favourite amongst his friends, by all of whom his death will be much regretted.
- St Machar's Church of Scotland Death and Interment Register:
o Barr, John Lyle; 2nd Lieut. R.F.A.; Rockcliff; Died of wounds 26 July 1916; Buried Abbeville, France; aged 26.
- Kilbarchan Cemetery Monumental Inscription:
o Sacred to the memory of JAMES BARR who died at Rockcliff Bridge of Weir 28th July 1910 in his 67th year and his wife MARY TRAIN who died at Rockcliff Bridge of Weir 6th Sept. 1918 in her 67th year
and his sons Private FREDERIC TRAIN BARR C. Company Glasgow Highlanders killed in action in France 25th February 1915 in his 27th year. 2nd Lieutenant JOHN LYLE BARR 159th Brigade Royal Field Artillery died of wounds at Abbeville France 26th July 1916 in his 27th year.
Capt. WILLIAM SPEIRS BARR 18th Highland Light Infantry died of wounds at Sorel-le-Grand France 23rd May 1917 in his 23rd year.
- Glasgow Academy Roll of Honour, Jackson, Wylie & Co., Glasgow 1933 o BARR, John Lyle: Gunner: Lieutenant: Royal Field Artillery: Died of Wounds, 26th July, 1916: France, 1916.
- Image Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/imperialwarmuseum/9364025613/ Copyright free. Accessed 25 January 2014.
- Medals: R.F.A. Victory, British War.
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