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William George Barras. RNVR, Staff Surgeon.

William was born in Govan, Lanarkshire, Scotland on March 30th 1868, the son of Doctor James Barras and Rachel Anderson Hyde.

He was recorded on the 1871 Scotland census, along with his parents and younger twin sisters, and 3 house staff at 2 Osborne Terrace, Govan aged 3.

In the following 10 years the family moved to number 4 Osborne Terrace and the family increased in size with another 2 sisters, with William in school aged 13.

A further 10 years later and on the 1891 census William was still living at his parent’s home, aged 23 along with 3 younger sisters and 2 house staff, at 4 Osborne Terrace. William

had followed in his father’s footsteps and was a registered general practitioner.

*After graduating, he worked in all fields of medicine. He ran a successful private medical practice in Govan, became Deputy Medical Officer, Police Casualty Surgeon and Bacteriologist to Govan municipality as well as a Physician at the Elder Infirmary.

When not busy with his professional work he regularly got involved with Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve activities, taking great pleasure in being aboard ships. He had already travelled to Canada with them before the First World War and when called up at the outbreak of the war naturally joined them as a Staff Surgeon. He was aboard the Lord Nelson during the Dardanelles sea campaign and also took part in the Battle of Jutland.

On several occasions he had a remarkable escape from death: he had been serving near both the Bulwark and the Formidable when they exploded. Unfortunately his good fortune did not see him safely through the war,

*Photo source and information -

A further image of William was found in the British Newspaper Archives.

(#58 - 47/843)


1871, 1881, 1891 and 1901 Scotland census

Scotland, Select Births and Baptisms, 1564-1950 - Ancestry

UK & Ireland, Medical Directories, 1845-1942 Wellcome Trust; London, England; Collection: The Medical Directory, 1905; Reference: b21330724_i13765759

UK, Navy Lists, 1888-1970

Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland, Electoral Registers, 1857-1962 The Mitchell Library; Glasgow, Scotland; Reference Number: 324421/7401

National Archives of the UK; Kew, Surrey, England; Admiralty and predecessors: Office of the Director General of the Medical Department of the Navy and predecessors: Service Registers and Registers of Deaths and Injuries. Registers of Reports of Deaths

CWGC Register

England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966, 1973-1995

Scotland, National Probate Index (Calendar of Confirmations and Inventories), 1876-1936

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