Barnes, Henry Gorell

Elder son of the Rt Hon Sir John Gorell Barnes PC, late President of the Probate, Divorce and Admiralty Division of the High Court of Justice. His mother was Mary Barnes, daughter of Thomas Mitchell of Arthurlie. His younger brother, the Hon. Ronald Gorell Barnes, also came to Winchester for a year before going on to Harrow. Henry Barnes came to Winchester from Summerfields in Short Half 1895 and in 1899 went to Trinity College Oxford, where he took his degree in 1903 and afterward studied at Harvard University.

He was called to the Bar by the Inner Temple in 1906 and acted as secretary to his father. He was also secretary to the Royal Commission on Divorce of which his father was chairman. He succeeded to his father’s title in April 1913 and lived at 14 Kensington Park Gardens with his mother and sister. He spoke in the Lords several times in debates on legal matters, and in May 1914 introduced a bill to give legal force to the recommendations of the Divorce Commission which his father had chaired.

Some time before the outbreak of war he had joined the Royal Field Artillery, London Division. He joined his unit in February 1915, and in March went to the front to command 19th Battery. He was awarded the D.S.O. in November 1916 for a skilful reconnaissance under heavy fire near High Wood in September, previously having been mentioned in Despatches.

In December 1916 he returned to England on leave and was away a month, returning to his division near Verbrandemolen, where he was wounded by shell-fire whilst reconnoitering a position for his Battery. He was transferred to a field hospital at Remy Farm, Poperinghe where he died two days later.

He was buried in Grave IC.B.20 of the Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery and is also commemorated in the war memorial at Harvard University. In his will be left several bequests to members of his unit: £50 each to his groom, Driver Rayner, his servant, Gunner Hill, Trumpeter Purchase and Gunner Patterson, the latter “in grateful recollection of many happy days spent together at the OP and especially on September 16th last”.

War: World War 1

  • Surname: Barnes
  • Forenames or initials: Henry Gorell
  • House: E
  • Years in School: 1895-1900
  • Rank: Major
  • Regiment: Royal Field Artillery
  • Date of Birth: 21st January 1882
  • Date of Death: 16th January 1917
  • How Died: Killed in Action
  • Location in War Cloister: Outer A4
  • Decoration: D.S.O.