PTE ROBERT BARR 15TH H.L.I.
1033 Private Robert Barr
15th Battalion, Highland Light Infantry
killed in action 18th November 1916
Munich Trench British Cemetery, Beaumont Hamel
Son of Matthew Barr and Jessie Johnstone
Windward, Bridge of Weir
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|
|Jane Adam||7||Jean||17||Jean||27||Kilmacolm, Renfrewshire|
|Matthew||5||Matthew||15||Matthew||25||Bridge of Weir|
|James||2||James||12||James||22||Bridge of Weir|
|Sarah S||7||Sara||17||Bridge of Weir|
|Robert||5||Robert||15||Bridge of Weir|
|Jessie||1||Jessie||11||Bridge of Weir|
|Martha||9||Bridge of Weir|
|William||7||Bridge of Weir|
- Commonwealth War Graves Commission
- Scottish National War Memorial
- Robert Barr birth certificate 23rd April 1895; Houston & Killellan. Regd. 14th May 1895.
- 1891 UK Census: Parish: Kilbarchan; ED:9; Page:9; Line:13; Roll: CSSCT1891_185..
- 1901 UK Census: Parish: Houston; ED:1; Page:20; Line:14; Roll: CSSCT1901_188.
- 1911 UK Census: Parish: Houston West; Page 9; Lines 13-22; 559/0B 001/00 009.
- War Diaries: 15th Battalion Highland Light Infantry: WO95/2393-3 National Archives. Sept 1916-May 1917
- 18th November 1916: TRENCHES in K35c: At 3.25am Battn. Received orders to attack enemy's position from K35d 3/9 to 35a 5/3 (both inclusive) at 6.10am. At 6am companies deployed. C coy left, D coy centre, A coy right, D coy distributed between the 3 coys. Snow was falling, this & frost combined showed the men up when getting over the top & enemy's snipers started shooting. Our barrage was to open at 6.10am. On our right in MUNICH TRENCH. Lifting to 150 yds WEST & beyond. (This refers to attack EAST by 97th Bde. on our right.) Till all guns fired on a consolidation line 200 yds. Beyond FRANKFORD [sic] TR. Our own barrage was directed on a line 150 yds south of & parallel to TEN TREE ALLEY. Finishing on TEN TREE ALLEY. This was 500 yds behind our objective & quite valueless for the purpose of keeping down the enemy's fire. N.B. when line was handed over to the Battalion, it was actually handed over approx. 300 yds in rear of the line we were supposed to have occupied. This was noted to higher authority, but the barrage was not dropped so as to fire on enemy's front line. Owing to barrage being too far advanced & enemy's snipers & machine guns & a heavy artillery barrage which they opened 6 minutes after ours commenced, we only advanced to points K35d, 25/87. D.1/7. C. 68/75. C53/71. C45/80. To C 25/86. These points were held as bombing ports. Enemy's heavy barrage continued all day & night, slightly more intense between 7 & 9 pm. As some of the enemy were seen in rear of our Companies, we asked the Brigade to allot a Company of the 1/DORSET REGT. as a mopping up party. We received 3 Officers & 3 Platoons, which reinforced the 3 leading Companies. Owing to frost & snow the Trenches began to get very muddy, making travelling difficult. Day was generally fine but cold.
- 30th November 1916: HALLOY: Casualties for month of November 1916: Killed: Officers 3, O.R. 25; Wounded: Officers 2, O.R. 102; Missing: O.R. 20; Died of wounds: Officers 1, O.R. 2; Wounded and missing: Officers 1; Wounded and at duty: Officers 2, O.R. 4; Missing believed killed: O.R. 1. TOTAL: Officers 9, O.R. 154. H.W. Davis Lt. Col. commanding 15th High. L. I.
- Paisley and Renfrewshire Gazette
- 21st November 1914: Robert Barr recruited during the past week to the HLI.
- 16th December 1916: WELL-KNOWN GOLFER KILLED. PRIVATE ROBERT BARR, H.L.I.: Mr. and Mrs. Barr of Mimosa, Bridge of Weir, have received official confirmation of the death of their son, Private Robert Barr, who was killed in action in France on Nov. 18th. The sympathy naturally felt for the loss suffered by a family well-known and highly esteemed in the village is increased by the fact that "Bobby" himself was held in high affection by a large circle of acquaintances. He was only 21. Before the war he was assistant professional to the Ranfurly Castle Golf Club, where his skill as a golfer, his keen interest in the game, and his readiness to help, his pawky good humour and quiet pluck won him the friendship and regard of all enthusiastic golfers. In illustration of his keenness it may be mentioned that three summers ago he went round the new course six times in one day, along with one of the members, Bobby's score for the six rounds being 477. He joined up with the Tramways Battalion of the H.L.I. at the beginning of the war, and had been over a year in the trenches without suffering a scratch when he met the death of a gallant soldier, a direct hit with a shrapnel shell as he went over the parapet for the last time. The same gay and brave spirit that marked him as a sportsman gained him the affection of his comrades in the trenches. - J. T.
- 23rd November 1918: IN MEMORIAM: In loving memory of Private Robert Barr, aged 21 years, 15th H.L.I., killed in action at Beaun Hammell, 18th November 1916; also Jessie, aged 17, died 15th July, 1916. Mimosa, Bridge of Weir.
- 22nd November 1919: IN MEMORIAM: In loving memory of Robert Barr, 15th HLI who fell in action near Beaumont-Hamel, 18th November 1916 age 21years, also of Jessie who died at Mimosa, Bridge of Weir aged 17years, Mimosa, Bridge of Weir
- 21st November 1914: Robert Barr recruited during the past week to the HLI.
- Kilbarchan Cemetery Monumental Inscription:
o In memory of JESSIE JOHNSTONE beloved wife of MATTHEW BARR who died 7th May 1924 aged 59 also their daughter JESSIE died 15th July 1916 aged 17 their son ROBERT killed in action at Beaumont-Hamel 18th Nov. 1916 aged 22 also SARAH SMITH BARR sister of MATTHEW BARR died 15th Dec. 1927 aged 60 the above MATTHEW BARR died 29th March 1928 aged 74.
- Image Source: Paisley and Renfrewshire Gazette.
- Medals: Victory, British War, 1915 Star.
TO CITE THIS PAGE: MLA style: "Bridge of Weir Memorial". bridgeofweirmemorial.co.uk. Date of viewing. http://www.bridgeofweirmemorial.co.uk/profile-barrrobert.html