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
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
SERVICE RECORD 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.
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.