Born in 1914, John Barrs can be seen as the father of modern British Go. In 1930 he founded the first Go Club in the UK, it was called Linton House Wei-Chi Club. The Club ran until 1936 and had around 15 members.
The Second World War and weightlifting took him away from Go for a time. However in 1953 he returned to it, founding first the London Go Club and then the British Go Association (BGA). He represented the UK twice in the international amateur tournaments in Japan in 1963 and 1964, playing at the rank of 1 dan.
During the early years of the BGA he was recognized as the strongest player, and was de facto champion in seemingly all but one year until 1965. He was also President of the BGA until his death in 1971. An obituary was published in the British Go Journal
The BGA Archive contains a large box of his collection of Go Books and material. Amongst it are mentioned 2 of his works.
- The Game of Go; John Barrs; Ariel Productions Ltd, London; ? date; 20 pp; Grey (soft)cover (It seems likely that this is the Rules Booklet included with the Ariel Sets of 1970. However the description of the cover doesn't seem to match.)
- Learn to Play Go; John Barrs and Akio MATSUI; International Go Friends Union; 1962; 48 pp; softcover; 3 copies