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IN tribute to William McKinlay Barr (VR, January 12, 2013, vol 172, p 51), Andrew Barr writes: Willie Barr was born in Inverness, the second son of Andrew and Edith Barr – Andrew being the minister in the Old High Church. In 1926, the family moved to Helensburgh, where his father had been appointed as minister of St Andrews Church and, in due course, the family eventually consisted of four boys, Robert, Willie, Dick and Douglas.
After attending Larchfield School and the Glasgow Academy, Willie commenced studies at the Glasgow Veterinary College, where he completed his first two years before volunteering in 1943 for war service. He had been a keen dinghy sailor and, while attending veterinary college, had been an active member of the Clyde River Patrol. So it was natural that he should volunteer for service in the Royal Navy, but as a veterinary student he was placed in a reserved occupation that limited the options available to him. Willie decided on joining the Fleet Air Arm and, after completing basic training …
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