Hugh Cooper BarrBMJ 2011; 342 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.d2675 (Published 27 April 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d2675
- Robert Barr
Hugh Cooper Barr was a farmer’s son from Lanarkshire born in 1923. He attended school in Lanark and then George Watson’s College in Edinburgh. On finishing school and after an initial six months at Edinburgh University, he joined the Royal Air Force.
His flying training took place over the great plains of Canada, leaving him a lifelong affection for the country and flying. Coming top in his navigation exam allowed him to assume a role as a night fighter pilot. He joined 153 Squadron to fly Beaufighters. At that time they were based in Algiers flying convoy protection over the Mediterranean. He would regale us with tales of flying over to Gibraltar for lunch, crayfish, but few tales of the battle. One such was flying with two other Beaufighters over Malta to engage Italian bombers. At the limit of their range and fuel low, they dived, firing their cannon to see the bombers break and turn for home. No lives were lost that day, only lives saved.
He returned to the England to assume a role …