Just another name?

Discussion in 'Your Collectibles' started by Kyt, Oct 14, 2007.

  1. Kyt

    Kyt Άρης

    Several months ago I bought the 3 volume The RCAF Overseas, and inside I found the name of the previous owner:



    The books were a bargain, and the signatures (all three volumes had the owner's name inscribed) didn't mean anything.

    However, whilst writing an email thanking the seller for the excellent service etc, I happened to mention the inscribed name. It turned out that the books belonged to her uncle, and she happened to mention that he had been in the RAF, and the RCAF. It sounds like she was very fond of her uncle, but didn't have a lot of details about him. So after being given his full name, I did a bit of digging and was amazed at the (little) info I found. The next post details what I found.
  2. Kyt

    Kyt Άρης

    Group Captain Dr Ian Hamilton Barclay

    Born April 1915.

    London Gazette 34568 8 Nov 1938
    Ian Hamilton BARCLAY, M.B., B.S., is granted a short service commission as a Flying Officer for three years on the active list with effect from 26th Oct. 1938 and is seconded for duty at the Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

    He was then promoted:

    LG 34927 20 Aug 1940
    Flying Officer Ian Hamilton BARCLAY, M.B., B.S. (23369) is promoted to the rank of Flight Lieutenant. 1st Aug. 1940 (seniority 1st Aug. 1939).

    And again:

    LG 35383 16 Dec 1941
    Flt. Lt. to be Squdron Leader. (temp.):
    I H. BARCLAY, M.B., B.S. (23369).

    LG 36726 29 Sept 1944
    Transfer to reserve.
    Flt. Lt. (temp. Sqn. Ldr.) I. H. BARCLAY, M.B.,B.S. (23369) (and called up for air force service).1st Aug. 1944.

    He left the RAF sometime in 1945, and then emigrated to Canada. His RCAF career is patchy.

    He enlisted in the RCAF on 13 November 1948 (service number 30183) and was retired on 26 November 1968.

    He was Wing Commander by 1955.

    Reference to a Group Captain I H Barclay assuming the duties of Regional Surgeon (SOMS - Staff Officer Medical Services), in Metz, effective 15 Jul 66 on transfer from Regional Maritime Command (RCAF).

    And the clincher:

    Ian Hamilton Barclay
    General practitioner Wiltshire (q Durham 1938; DTM&H), d 24 March 1999. He joined the Royal Air Force and escaped from Rochelle on a coal boat to Cardiff. He also served in west Africa. He worked in private practice after the war until he emigrated to Canada in 1948 where he served with the Royal Canadian Air Force until his retirement as group captain at 53. When his father died in 1968 he and his wife returned to England to clear up a complicated estate, which took so long that they stayed. In retirement to Wiltshire he worked as a locum GP for 12 years until his eyesight became inadequate for driving. He leaves a wife, Sally. [Sally Barclay]


    Escaped from Rochelle implies being a member of the RAF BEF in 1940!!

    So, from a simple inscription from some books bought on ebay, I discover that I own volumes owned my a man who had a long and distinguished career in two air forces. Quite a man.

    So - just another name? Definately not. He may not have been written about in the books, but he's left his mark, at the very least through this forum. RIP Group Captain Barclay.
  3. morse1001

    morse1001 Guest

    Interesting story! Any useful pictures?
  4. Kyt

    Kyt Άρης

    No pictures of Barclay, but the three volumes have loads. Will have a scanning day soon
  5. morse1001

    morse1001 Guest

    I have a book which dates from 1840 - so you can imagine its not about aircraft - and one of the previous owners signed his name and put "carpenter" below his name.

    Given that, in 1840, the book cost 12/5, it was a lot of money to pay for a book. so he must have saved up for it and it was a very important book to him.
  6. Kyt

    Kyt Άρης

    I've a number of books with previous owners' name(s) in them - nothing as old as yours Morse - and I've often wondered who they were, what they thought of the book, and what happened to them.

    I do like to think that there's a continuity between the author, the seller, the first buyer and finally me.

    What's the book, Morse? The oldest books I have are a couple of histories of India - both published a year or two before the Mutiny, and I love the smugness in them. Were very tatty (thus cheap), but with a lot of TLC, some restitching and new leather bindings, and they don't look half-bad.
  7. Antipodean Andy

    Antipodean Andy New Member

    Good researching there, Kyt.

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