Wilford Keith Barr



May 15, 1897

Born in Clayton, Ontario to David and Grace Margaret (nee Thull) Barr


Oct 29, 1917

Medical examination conducted under the MSA (Military Service Act) of 1917 in Ottawa, Ontario.  He was declared fit for service 

His brother, David, reported for his medical exam under the MSA 9 days earlier


Jan 3, 1918

Conscripted under the MSA into the 1st Depot Battalion, Eastern Ontario Regiment in Kingston, Ontario

Ø      Number 3055348

Ø      Next of kin given as Mrs. D. Barr, mother, RR No. 2, Clayton, Ontario

Ø      Previous occupation given as Farmer

Ø      No previous military experience given

Ø      Religion given as Presbyterian 

His brother, David, was conscripted in Ottawa 3 weeks later


Feb 21, 1918

Embarked SS Melita in Halifax, Nova Scotia as part of the 1st Depot Battalion, Eastern Ontario Regiment’s 3rd Draft


Mar 4, 1918

Disembarked in Liverpool, England and the draft proceeded to Seaford.  On arrival in Seaford, the entire draft was absorbed into the 6th Reserve Battalion for additional training.  Wilford joined his brother David in the 6th Reserve Battalion as he had arrived the previous month


Aug 9, 1918

Transferred to the 21st Battalion and proceeded to France, joining the No. 2 CIBD (Canadian Infantry Base Depot) in Etaples, France and TOS (Taken On Strength) the 21st Battalion.  By this time David had not only preceded him to the 21st Battalion, but had been killed in action the previous day.  Wilford effectively was the reinforcement that replaced him.


Aug 13, 1918

Left the CIBD to join his battalion


Aug 15, 1918

Joined the 21st Battalion Rear Details near Roiseres, France as part of a draft of 48 reinforcements.  At this time the battalion was fighting in the front lines near Marcelcave.


Aug 17, 1918

The rear details joined the main body of the battalion in Guillaucourt when they were relieved from the front line action.


Aug 27, 1918

Private Wilford Barr was killed in action during the advance on the Sensee River, near Vis-en-Artois, just 10 days after joining the battalion, in his first action against the enemy.  He was buried in the Vis-en-Artois Cemetery, Haucourt, France.  A large number of the graves in this cemetery have 2 soldiers per plot and Private Barr is buried with a 20th Battalion man.

Following the war the British War Medal, Victory Medal, and Memorial Cross were sent to his mother, Mrs. Grace Barr, RR No. 2 Clayton, Ontario

The Plaque (Dead Man’s Penny) and Scroll were sent to his father, D.E. Barr, at the same address



During the Remembrance Day ceremonies in 2008, Veteran's Affairs Canada conducted a vigil each night for the week leading up to November 11.  This vigil consisted of projecting the names of every Canadian soldier who is listed with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission on various buildings and monuments across Canada, and in London England.  The photo below shows Pte Wilford Barr's name being projected on the outside wall of Canada House in London England.


Private Wilford and David Barr are both honoured on the Clayton, Ontario War Memorial

Return to Tribute list