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IN a further tribute to William McKinlay Barr (VR, January 19, 2013, vol 172, p 80), Ken Angus writes: Willie Barr was born in 1924 in Inverness, a son of the manse. When he was only two, his father answered a call from the parish of St Andrew in Helensburgh, then in West Dunbartonshire but now in Argyll and Bute. A third brother, Dick, was born there and after some years, Douglas completed the family. Mr Barr was very popular, being well known for his pawky sense of humour. The older brothers were free spirits and inclined to high jinks. In the manse garden were two trees, and on one occasion a horrified parishioner reported seeing Willie and his older brother Robert at the tops of them, throwing baby Douglas, who was squealing with delight, from one to the other!
The Second World War was under way when Willie enrolled in his first year at Glasgow Veterinary College, but as soon as he was old enough for National Service he decided to volunteer for the Royal Navy. Imagine his chagrin when he was told that being a veterinary student put …
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