Honorary Second Lieutenant William Barrow,
Royal Air Force
William Barrow was born in Hunslet on 4th May 1900, making him one of the youngest men to be included on the Roll of Service from Scholes.
He was the son of Percy Barrow, a locomotive driver, originally from Worcester, who later became a driver of a steam road roller, and his wife, Mary Hannah Davies, the daughter of a blacksmith, who married in August 1899 at St Peter’s Church at Hunslet Moor. William Barrow was their only child.
When William Barrow was a young child, the family moved away from Hunslet and went to live at St James’s Terrace in Wetherby. Percy Barrow died in 1916, at the age of 42, and his widow and son moved to Scholes between then and 1918, when Mrs Barrow appears for the first time on the electoral roll in Scholes. The first house they occupied was on Main Street, then known as Town Street, but by the mid-1930s they had moved into a house on The Avenue.
William Barrow was deemed to be enlisted when he was 17 ½ and was mobilised as a conscript on 26th January 1918, three months before his 18th birthday. Initially, he was called up for service with the West Yorkshire Regiment, and he reported to the depot, which at that time was operating at Ripon. He had to interrupt his studies at Leeds University where he was studying to become a chemist. Within a month, he had transferred to the Royal Flying Corps as a Private Class 2 and had been posted to No. 1 Officers Technical Training Wing at St Leonards on Sea, about a mile away from Hastings on the Sussex coast. He remained at St Leonards for 6 months, during which time the Royal Flying Corps was merged with the Royal Naval Air Service to form the Royal Air Force as a separate service, before being posted to No. 1 Training Depot Station as a Flight Cadet on 29th August 1918.
William Barrow was in training to become a pilot when the war ended in November 1918. He was sent to Clipstone Camp near Mansfield in Nottinghamshire in March 1919 to have his discharge processed. He was granted the honorary rank of Second Lieutenant on 4th April 1919.
After he came home, he returned to his studies at Leeds University, where he had worked as an Assistant Tinctorial Research Chemist between September 1916 and his call-up in January 1918.
Instead of following a career in chemistry, William Barrow became a motor engineer, and eventually became the proprietor of the Grand Garage on Cross Harrison Street, directly behind the Grand Theatre in the centre of Leeds, taking it on after the previous owner voluntarily wound up his business.
In 1928 William Barrow married Freda Mary Glasby. The couple lived on The Avenue in Scholes, along with the widowed Mrs Barrow. Freda Glasby’s brother, Charles Glasby had been killed in France in 1916 as a Lance Sergeant with the London Irish Rifles. He is buried at Cabaret Rouge British Cemetery, Souchez.
Shortly before the Second World War, William Barrow, who was now living in Harrogate with his wife and mother, put the Grand Garage into voluntary liquidation. During the war, the Barrow family provided accommodation for Civil Servants working in the town for the Air Ministry.
During the 1940s, the Barrows moved from Harrogate to Portsmouth. Mary Barrow died there in 1948, and William Barrow died in 1976, also in Portsmouth. Freda died in Honiton in Devon in 1991.