Thomas Pettigrew BARCLAY

Regiment:               Royal Scots, 9th Btn  

Rank & Number:
      Private 5459, 352139  

01 October 1879; Burnfoot, Fairlie  

                       10 June 1938; Fairlie Pier, Fairlie  

Other:                      Brother of Robert Barclay  

THOMAS PETTIGREW BARCLAY was born 01 Oct 1879 at Burnfoot, Fairlie, to parents Robert, a millstone builder, and Barbara Hunter (who married in Paisley on 4 Dec 1868).  He was found drowned at 1pm on 10 Jun 1938 in the water at the north east end of Fairlie Pier, at the landing stage, having last been seen alive at 9.45am the previous day (aged 58, gardener, widower of Annie McEachan, residence The Garage, Beech House, Fairlie).  

He married Annie McEachan at Glasgow on 26 Apr 1901.   In July 1915, he set up the Fairlie Cigarette and Tobacco Fund to raise money in the village to provide tobacco, cigarettes and other small treats to local men serving abroad or in hospital.  

In the 1891 Census, Thomas, aged 11, is living Burnfoot, Fairlie with parents Robert (46, b. Fairlie, mason) and Barbara (49, b. Nitshill, Renfrew), siblings Jane (21), Alexander (14), Grace (7), Robert (11 days) and maternal grandmother Jane Pettigrew (76).  

In the 1911 Census, aged 31 and a gardener domestic, he’s living Creich Cottage, Fairlie with wife Annie (35, m. 9 years, 3 children) and children Robert R (9), Janet (7) and Thomas (3).   In the 1920 Valuation Roll, he’s a gardener, occupier of Gardeners House, Creich Cottage  

Attested to Army Reserve 4 Dec 1915 and mobilized 13 Jun 1916 (aged 36, gardener, residence Creich Cottage, Fairlie).  He served with the Expeditionary Force in France from 27 Sep 1916 to 28 Nov 1916; and was discharged 12 Apr 1917 (Silver War Badge; wounds).  The Largs & Millport Weekly News reported in Nov 1916 that he had been severely wounded in the head, shoulder and back.  His medal index card shows he received the British War and Victory medals.

Extracts from the Largs & Millport Weekly News:-  

26 February 1916       
Fairlie Cigarette And Tobacco Fund:  This fund, which owes its origin to the thoughtfulness of Mr. Tom Barclay, completed its first six months of usefulness in January, and during that period has sent out 124 parcels, chiefly of cigarettes and tobacco, to the Fairlie lads who are helping to defend Britain’s honour at the front.   . . . . .  Letters of thanks have lately been received from Trooper Wm. Balchin, Gunner James Ramsay, Private T. McLaughlin (Dardanelles Force), Private Alex. McLean (Salonica), Gunner Tom Messenger, Private John Boyd, Driver John Fraser, Corpl. Duncan Douglas (France), Sergt. A. Davis, Private John McLaughlan, Dan McCallum, and David Thomson (hospital).  

17 June 1916

Fairlie Cigarette And Tobacco Fund:  Another member of the Committee, Mr. Tom Barclay, to whom also the fund owes its origin, has joined the ranks of His Majesty’s Army, and he left for Ayr on Tuesday.  Than Mr. Barclay the soldier has no warmer friend, and now that he has joined the ranks we feel sure that he will give a good account of himself.  Our very best wishes go with him.   . . . . .    Letters of thanks have been received recently from James Ramsay, Wm. Ramsay, John Currie, John Ward, A. Erskine, James Smith, Tom McLaughlin, Charles Rodger, Tom Messenger, Hugh Burden, Wm. Balchin, Tom Miller, Wm. Stewart, John Fraser, Duncan Douglas, Dan McCallum, Allan McCallum, Alex. McLean, Alfred Davis, Arthur Crawford, and a postcard from Robert McLachlan, who is a prisoner of war in Germany.  

14 November 1916     
Toll Of War:  Mrs Barclay, Creich Cottage, Fairlie, has been advised that her husband, Private Thomas Barclay, R.S.F., has been admitted to the Base Hospital suffering from wounds in the head, shoulder and back.  Prior to enlisting in June, Private Barclay was a zealous worker for the funds providing comforts for the soldiers, and in expressing the hope that he may have a speedy and sound recovery, we are stating the feelings of the whole community.  

20 January 1917
Private Thomas Barclay, who was severely wounded a considerable time ago, has arrived home for ten days furlough.  That he may derive much benefit from his stay is the hearty wish of everyone.  

31 March 1917           
Corporal Park and Private Thomas Barclay, who were each seriously wounded in the fighting last autumn, have now been discharged from the army.  

1 December 1917       
The collecting boxes distributed through the local shops to provide smokes for our men at the front have been opened this week by the secretary and treasurer, Mr. Thomas Barclay, and we understand a nice little sum has been received.  

4 October 1919          
Fairlie “Comrades”:  A general meeting of the Fairlie ex-soldiers was held in the Village Hall last Tuesday evening for the purpose of talking over the desirability of forming a Discharged Soldiers’ Society.  After some discussion, the meeting unanimously agreed to form a Fairlie Post of “The Comrades of the Great War”.  Mr. C.H. McNair, jr., was elected captain of the post, and Mr. Thomas Miller secretary and treasurer.  The following were elected as members of committee – Messrs. A. Crawford, J.M. Currie, T. Barclay, W. Wilson and Wm. Ramsay.  After the post had been formally established, it was agreed to seek ground on which to erect a club-room, and if this could be found, to commence raising funds for the purchase of an Army hut.  At the close of the meeting, about thirty ex-service men enrolled as members.

Back to list of soldiers names


Fairlie Community Association SCIO
Scottish Charity No. SC028785