James Clayton Barr

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
J. C. Barr in 1913

James Clayton Barr, CB (1856 – 29 March 1937) was a Senior Commodore of the Cunard line.


He first went to sea in 1877 and served mainly in the South American trade. During the Boer War, he was in command of the Catalonia, requisitioned by the Admiralty and employed as a floating prison camp for captured Boers. He was Master of RMS Carmania from 1905 to 1914. In October 1913, while eastward bound, Barr responded to a distress call from the SS Volturno to pick up survivors.[1]

On 7 August 1914, Carmania was commissioned into the Royal Navy as an auxiliary cruiser under the command of Captain Noel Grant, R.N. Captain Barr was retained as navigator and advisor, with the acting rank of Commander, Royal Naval Reserve.

On 14 September 1914, while at sea in the South Atlantic, Carmania encountered and sank the German auxiliary cruiser SMS Cap Trafalgar, an armed merchant cruiser of the Imperial German Navy under the command of Korvettenkapitän Julius Wirth. As a result of that successful action, Barr was subsequently invested as a Commander of the Order of the Bath and was Mentioned in Despatches.

Released from the navy on health grounds, he rejoined Cunard as a relief captain and in 1915 and 1916 served as master of the troopships RMS Mauretania and RMS Saxonia. By June 1916 he was master of the RMS Carpathia.[2] He retired from Cunard later that year, and died on 29 March 1937, at the age of 82.


  1. ^ "Capt. Barr Cites Log On Volturno. Says Carmania's Part in Rescue Work Was Misrepresented in English Reports.". New York Times. October 27, 1913. Retrieved 2010-02-26. The Cunard liner Carmania arrived yesterday from Liverpool with forty-three survivors from the Volturno, including twenty-two women and children who had been rescued by the Leyland steamship Devonian and landed at Liverpool. 
  2. ^ "Cunard Captain's First Visit Here Since the War Began.". New York Times. June 24, 1916. Retrieved 2010-02-27. The Cunarder Carpathia arrived yesterday from Liverpool in command of Captain J.C. Barr, C.B., the Commodore of the fleet, who was the Staff Commander of the auxiliary cruiser Carmania when she fought and sank the German auxiliary cruiser Cap Trafalgar off the coast of Brazil early in the war. 

External links[edit]