Joseph Barr is an ancestor in a round about way, but I found his story so interesting and poignant I wanted to share it.
He was born on 4 January 1897 at the family home, which were workers' cottages at Blantyre Works in Blantyre Parish. His parents were Joseph and Isabella (Muir) Barr. and Joseph worked as a laborer at the foundry. Joseph was the couple's middle child. He had an older brother named Hugh and his sister, Mary, was born in 1898. In 1901 the family lived at 74 McAlpine's Buildings and his father cut steel castings all day long in the hot factory.
|Glasgow Road in 1903; photograph courtesy of The Blantyre Project|
In 1911 the blended family lived at 293 Glasgow Road and Joseph was still working at the steel works. Later that month, Christina's daughter, who was named Isabella Laird Muir, married Charles Findlay in the Barr home. Charles Findlay was the great grandson of my great great great grandparents, Robert and Henrietta (Brown) Muir.
On 24 October 1917 Private Joseph Barr used a British Army form to write a will. He was one of over 26,000 Scottish soldiers to do so. In it he left everything to his sister, Mary Barr, who lived at Burnside Cottage with her father and step-mother. Burnside Cottage in Springwell was also the home home of Joseph's step-sister and first cousin and her husband, Charles and Isabella Laird (Muir) Findlay.
|Will of Private Joseph Barr, written in his own hand; image courtesy of|
On 11 December 1917 Joseph Barr was either killed in action or died from wounds sustained in battle. (The documents are contradictory on this point.) He death occurred five days before the Armistice of Erzincan, which officially brought an end to the hostilities in the Middle Eastern theater.
My supposition is that Joseph died from wounds received in the Third Battle of Gaza, which was fought in October and November, culminating in the capture of Beersheba. If he was killed in action, it would have been been two days after the Ottoman Army surrendered Jerusalem. British General Allenby walked into the walled city on 11 December and reviewed the troops with much ceremony later in the day.
Joseph Barr was buried in the Kantara War Memorial Cemetery in El-Qantarah el-Sharqiyya, Egypt. His name is also engraved on the Blantyre War Memorial.
|Blantyre War Memorial, High Blantyre; photograph courtesy of Scottish Mining Website|
This is my entry for Amy Johnson Crow's 52 ancestors in 52 weeks challenge.
 I can find no connection between Isabella and Christina Muir to "my" Muir line.
Joseph Barr was born on 4 January 1897 in Blantyre to Joseph and Isabella (Muir) Barr. In 1915 he enlisted in the 1/8 Battalion, Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) and saw action in Gallipoli, Egypt, and Palestine. He was killed in action or died of wounds received in battle on 11 December 1917 in Palestine. He is buried in the Kantara War Memorial Cemetery in Egypt.
Other posts about ancestors who served in World War I.