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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

12th Bn Royal Irish Rifles man

David McCallion

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Hello again chaps

need some help ref

Robert BARR 12th Bn Royal Irish Rifles possibliy Sergant

from Hope Street Ballymena

as ever relevant search required mic soldiers records etc

again another walk in at event and would be nice to help out the family

I know that Des this is your specific area

can you help

Yours greatfully as all ways Davey

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His MIC is probably

Robert Barr landed France 5 Oct 1915. 1916 Star

He did become a sergeant.

Service no 12/18872

Class Z discharge, but no SWB noted

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There is the service record of a Robert Barr of 138 Queen St, Ballymena, but he is, I think a different chop. Became a POW

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There are two sets of papers for a Robert,one is for the above 12/18872,who was born in Galgorm, Co. Antrim around 1888. Joined 12th and became Sgt around early 1916.

The other is for 18/316,initially as a Rfn in the 18th,then to the 12th Jun 1915. He lived at 138 Queen St, Balleymena with his parents Will and Ann. He was wounded on the first day of the Somme,and later transferred to the Tank Copr 12 Bn. Missing in Sept 1918,found to be a POW in Germany,and repatriated in 1918,discharged 1919.

I know which one you want it to be !


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Robert Barr who was wounded on 1st July

News has been received by Mr. William Barr, Queen Street, Harryville that his son Rfn. Robert Barr of the 12th RI Rifles (CAV) has been wounded on the shoulder and leg and is in a casualty clearing station in France. he enlisted about the end of June 1915 and has been at the front eight months. Before enlistment he was a fitter in Mr. David Christie's Foundry and was a member of the Harryville UVF. (1st July reference)

Mr. William Barr, 138 Queen Street, Ballymena, has received a letter from his son Pte. R. Barr, Tank Corps, stating that he is a prisoner in Germany and is well. Pte Barr who has ben ‘mising’ since 2nd September, enlisted in June 1915 and served for some time with the Royal irish Rifles, being wounded in the Battle of the Somme in July 1916. Before enlisting he was a fitter in Mr. David Christie’s Foundry and a member of the Harryville Company of the UVF. (1918 reference)


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NCOs (all men who had enlisted in 'first rush' - I think around mid-September 1914 ... Robert Barr here although address given as Princes Street, islikely to be your man becaudse Hope Street is just a wee side entry off the main Princes Street.

Sgt. Norman Henry, Bridge Street

Sgt. J. H. Wright, Carniny

Lce-Sgt. Robert Baird, Albert Place

Lce-Sgt. Samuel McGarry, Patrick Place

Cpl Robert Barr, Princes Street

Cpl. Samuel Cumming, The Bottom

Cpl. Wm. Grant, Railway Cottages

Cpl George Montgomery

Lce Cpl. Alex Greer, Mill Street

Lce Cpl. James Watson, Broughshane Street

Lce Cpl. Thomas Nesbitt, Mount Street


THE following promotions have taken place in connection with the Ballymena recruits 12th Btn. RIR (central Antrims):- Sergts. J. H. Wright and Norman Henry; L/sgts. Robert Baird and Samuel McGarry; Corp. Samuel Cumming; Lcpls. Wm. Grant, George Montgomery, James Watson, Thos. Nesbitt, Robert Barr, Alex. Greer.

Ballymena Observer December 17, 1914

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In 1911 - William and Annie Barr were living at 34 Moat Road, Ballymena ( and I assume they moved to Queen Street by 1914)

According to census (which you can have a gander at yersel!) the Robert )son of William and Anne) was 13 in 1911, making him 16 in 1914 ... his being a member of UVF at an early age does not truly surprise me either! This seems to ne the Robert Barr in the picture.

Another possible candidate is a Robert Barr (26) at Bridge Street.

I can't find any Barr family at Hope Street in 1911 - just a 'middle name' for a little girl.

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A Robert Barr of no.16 Princes Street signs the cov. (as I say before Hope Street is offshoot of Princes Street). He may well be the guy who becomes a Sgt in R I Rifles.

Finally Robert Barr, private, Tank Corps is so commemorated on Wellington Street Presbyterian Church memorial.

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Hold the front page:-


Miss Barr, Princes Street, Ballymena, has received information that her brother, Sergeant Robert Barr RIR, previously reported missing, is a POW. He enlisted at outbreak war and went to the front with the Ulster Division. He was a tailor in the employment of Mr. Henry Compton, Church Street and a member of the UVF.

Ballymena Observer, May 31, 1918

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Just another snippet

Other Ballymena men home from the front are:- Sgt. R. Barr, R.Irish Rifles, Princes Street; Pte. Hugh Smith, Hope Street Terrace; Sgt. J. Nesbitt, Irish Guards; Cpl. Archie Devlin, R. Innis. Fus., Bridge Street and Rfn. W. J. Bankhead, R. Irish Rifles.

Ballymena Observer, October 12, 1917

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and finally (finally) ...

1st week July 1915 - 39th List - 1044 Patriotic Men

This week’s recruiting: 18th Btn. R.I.. Rifles - John Tuff, 1 King Street; John Davison, Whinfield, Clonavon; Robert Barr, 138 Queen Street; Samuel Currie, 8 Patrick Place; John Henry, 42 Queen Street; John Smith, 13 Patrick Place.

As you see, Queen Street Barr who joins tank corps joins in July 1915 ... the man who becomes Sgt. Robert Barr enlists mid-September 1914.

I would bet my bottom dollar they would be relatives of some kind.

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hey guys brilliant detective work thank you again can any one email me the mic and service records

would be very much appreciated

another happy ending to a person walking in off the street exhibition is going so well

and thank you to all those who helped with the research on this one and others

there is alot of people walking around happy because of your work

on their behalf thank you



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