- Born: 21 March 1888, Wilmslow, Cheshire 2,8
- Marriage: Elsie Margaret Alexander on 5 April 1924 8
- Died: 4 February 1964, King Edward VII Hospital, London aged 75 2,20
Cause of his death was Cancer.
From The Times, February 6, 1964
Sir Thomas Barnes, G.C.B., who died on Tuesday at the age of 75, was
Solicitor to the Treasury and King's Proctor from 1934 to 1953. He
had previously been Legal Adviser to the Ministry of Shipping,
Assistant Solicitor to the Board of Inland Revenue, and Solicitor to
the Board of Trade.
Thomas James Barnes was the son of Thomas Barnes, of Sunningdale, and
was born on March 21, 1888. He was educated privately, and on March
23, 19069, was articled to R.J. Ball, of 37, Cursitor Street, London,
and was admitted as a solicitor in March, 1911. In September, 1914,
he joined the R.N.V.R., and after some months of training was posted
to Dover Patrol, and during nearly the whole of the war he was engaged
in mine-sweeping and patrol work there and of the East Coast.
He was invalided out of the Navy in 1918, in the rank of lieutenant,
R.N.V.R., and was made shortly after Legal Advisor to the Ministry of
Shipping. One effect of his naval service he seems never altogether
to have overcome, for from that time onwards he was the victim of a
form of claustrophobia, which made railway travelling a positive
torture to him. The following year he was appointed an Assistant
Solicitor to the Board of Inland Revenue, and in 1920 Solicitor to the
Board of Trade. In the meantime he was understood to have had the
offer made to him of a partnership in an important firm of City
solicitors, which he seriously considered, but decided to continue his
In 1934 Sir Maurice Gwyer, K.C. (afterwards Chief Justice of the
Federal Court of India), who since 1926 had been Solicitor to the
Treasury, was made First Parliamentary Counsel, and Barnes, at the age
of 45, was appointed to succeed him. He was the first solicitor to be
appointed to that office. In this onerous and responsible post Barnes
fully maintained, and indeed greatly enhanced, the reputation he had
gained in the offices he had previously held. During the Second World
War were added the duties of His Majesty's Procurator General in
connexion with Prize, and every day new problems presented themselves
regarding the Defence of the Realm, compulsory acquisition of land for
purposes of the war, and claims of all sorts by and against the
Besides being an exceptionally clear-headed man whose mind went
straight to the heart of the problem, Barnes worked at a considerable
speed; and another advantage he had was that his solicitor's training
enabled him to visualize a question from the point of view of the
individual, and not merely from the standpoint of an official. His
department was recognized as being one of the best organized in the
Service, and Barnes was as popular with his staff as he was with his
Among the responsibilities which he undertook during this period of
office were all the arrangements for the first two major Tribunals of
Inquiry, the Budget leak of 1936 and the Lynskey Tribunal of 1948.
In recent years he had done much important work in helping with the
revision of Canon Law of the Church of England.
He was knighted in 1927, created K.C.B. in 1938, and raised to G.C.B.
Barnes married in 1924, Elsie Margaret, daughter of John Alexander.
Educated at Mercer's School. Articled to a partner in the firm of HC
Coote and Ball. for five years. Followed his father into the Lord
Chancellors Department. In 1920 was appointed solicitor to the Board
of Trade. H M Procurator General (1934). Appointed KCB in 1938 and
promoted GCB in 1948. Awarded CBE.
Death place found as St. Bartholomew's Hospital in DNB and the Probate Calendar.
Noted events in his life were:
1. He appeared on the census in 1891 in Bagshot Road, Sunninghill, Berkshire.
2. He appeared on the census in 1901 in Gresham Road, Staines, Middlesex.
3. He appeared on the census in 1911 in Oakdene, Sunningdale, Berkshire.
4. He served in the military in 1914 in Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve.
5. Promotion: 1915, Chief Petty Officer.
6. Promotion: 1916, Sub-Lieutenant.
7. Wounded: 1916, Dover Patrol.
8. He was discharged from the military in May 1917.
9. Knighthood: 1927.
10. Resided: 4 February 1964, 28 Whitehall Court, London. 13
11. He was cremated on 10 February 1964 in Sunninghill Parish Church. 20 Cremation
A memorial Service was to be held at a later date.
12. He had an estate probated on 22 April 1964 in London. 13
Thomas married Elsie Margaret Alexander, daughter of John Alexander and Unknown, on 5 April 1924.8 (Elsie Margaret Alexander was born in 1883 in Hampstead, London,23 died on 28 June 1964 in London 13 and was buried in 1964 in Sunninghill Parish Church.)
Marriage date found as 24 May 1924 in DNB.