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Reginald Walter Ralph Barnes
Nickname Reggie
Born 13 April 1871
Died 1946
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch Flag of the British Army.svg British Army
Years of service 1890–1921
Rank Major-General
Unit King's Shropshire Light Infantry
4th (Queen's Own) Hussars
Imperial Light Horse
17th Imperial Yeomanry
2nd Imperial Yeomanry
17th (Duke of Cambridge's Own) Lancers
10th (Prince of Wales's Own) Royal Hussars
Commands held 2nd Imperial Yeomanry
10th (Prince of Wales's Own) Royal Hussars
116th Brigade
32nd Division
57th (2nd West Lancashire) Division
West London Division

Spanish–American War
Second Boer War

First World War

Awards Companion of the Distinguished Service Order
Knight Commander of The Most Honourable Order of the Bath
Croix de Guerre
Other work Deputy Lieutenant
Justice of the Peace

Major-General Sir Reginald Walter Ralph Barnes (1871–1946) was a cavalry officer in the British Army. He served in several regiments, and commanded a battalion of the Imperial Yeomanry, the 10th (Prince of Wales's Own) Royal Hussars, the 111th Brigade, and three divisions.

During his career he served in the Spanish–American War, the Second Boer War and the First World War. Becoming a Companion of the Distinguished Service Order, and a Knight Commander of The Most Honourable Order of the Bath. He was also awarded a French Croix de Guerre.

History[edit | edit source]

Early life[edit | edit source]

Reginald Walter Ralph Barnes was born 13 April 1871, at Stoke Canon Exeter, the son of Prenbendary R H Barnes. He was educated at Westminster School, before in December 1888, becoming a second-lieutenant in the 4th Battalion, King's Shropshire Light Infantry, at the time part of the militia.[1][2] He was promoted to lieutenant in September 1889.[3] Then in December 1890 he transferred to the regular army, dropping down a rank to second-lieutenant, when he joined the 4th (Queen's Own) Hussars.[4] He regained his substantive rank of lieutenant in May 1893.[5]

Spanish-American War[edit | edit source]

His first experience of war came in November 1895, when he was attached as an observer, of guerrilla warfare, to the Spanish Army during the Spanish–American War. Together with his fellow 4th Hussars officer, a twenty-one year old Winston Churchill. Churchill was an accredited journalist for the London Daily Graphic newspaper, sending them dispatches from the front. But both officers were also under orders from Colonel Edward Chapman, the British Director of Military Intelligence to "collect information and statistics on various points and particularly as to the effect of the new bullet its penetration and striking power".[6][7] Returning to England Barnes became the regimental adjutant, from May 1896 for the next four years.[8][9]

Second Boer War[edit | edit source]

In 1899, the now Captain Barnes was seconded as adjutant to the Imperial Light Horse in South-Africa.[10] In October 1899, he was present at the Battle of Elandslaagte, the Battle of the Tugela Heights in February 1900, which was part of the relief of Ladysmith. That was followed by the relief of Mafeking, in May and June 1900. Next were operations in the Transvaal around Pretoria, and the battle of Belfast in August.[1] His participation in the war was recognised by being created a Companion of the Distinguished Service Order.[11]

As the nature of the war changed into one of attrition, in May 1901, he became a local major and second in command of the 17th Battalion Imperial Yeomanry.[12] Which was soon followed, in July 1910, by his promotion to temporary lieutenant-colonel and commanding officer of the 2nd Battalion Imperial Yeomanry, until March 1902.[13] As well as his DSO Barnes was also mentioned in dispatches for his service in South-Africa.[14]

Between wars[edit | edit source]

In the post Boer War period, Barnes carried out several non regimental staff duties. On 1 May 1904, he became the Aide de Camp to General The Viscount Kitchener in his position as Commander-in-Chief, India, until to January 1906.[1][15] He then became an instructor at the Cavalry School, until December 1907, when he was promoted to major and transferred to the 17th (Duke of Cambridge's Own) Lancers.[16] He remained with his new regiment until October 1909 and was the employed by as the Assistant Military Secretary to the Governor and Commander-in-Chief, Malta Leslie Rundle.[17][18] That posting lasted until February 1911, when he was promoted to lieutenant-colonel and given command of the 10th (Prince of Wales's Own) Royal Hussars.[19]

First World War[edit | edit source]

On the outbreak of war the 10th Hussars were stationed in South-Africa.[20] The regiment sailed for Britain arriving 22 September 1914 and were assigned to the 6th Cavalry Brigade.[21] They then travelled to the Western Front as part of the 3rd Cavalry Division, therefore missing the early stages of the conflict. On 20 November the same year the regiment came under command of the 8th Cavalry Brigade.[22] While under Barnes command the regiment fought in the First Battle of Ypres and the Second Battle of Ypres. He was then, in April 1915, promoted to brigadier-general and given command of the infantry 116th Brigade, part of the 39th Division.[23] His brigade was formed from the 11th, 12th and 13th Battalions, Royal Sussex Regiment and the 14th Battalion, Hampshire Regiment.[24] In 1916 Barnes was invested into the Order of the Bath in June and promoted to temporary major-general in November, giving up command of the brigade.[25] His promotion to substantive major-general came in May 1918,[26] during this time he commanded the 32nd Division one of Kitchener's new army division's and the Territorial Force's 57th (2nd West Lancashire) Division.[1]

Post war[edit | edit source]

In the immediate post war period Barnes was awarded several honours. In January 1919 he was appointed the Colonel of the Regiment to the 4th Hussars.[27] In June he was given command of the Territorial West London Division,[1][28] and invested as a Knight Commander of The Most Honourable Order of the Bath.[29] He was also twice awarded the French Croix de Guerre.[30] He finally retired from the army in March 1921.[31]

Away from army life he resided at Oakhay Barton, Stoke Canon in Devon, married Gunhilla Wijk, a widow, in 1919 and was appointed Deputy Lieutenant for Devon in August 1927.[32] Until his death in 1946. He also became a Justice of the Peace, their son Second-Lieutenant Reginald Ralph Barnes, of the Coldstream Guards, was killed during the Second World War.[1][7][33]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 "Reginald Walter Ralph Barnes". Anglo-Boer War. http://www.angloboerwar.com/index.php?option=com_grid&gid=22_uw_0&p=2. Retrieved 9 October 2013. 
  2. "No. 25880". 4 December 1888. https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/25880/page/ 
  3. "No. 25976". 20 September 1889. https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/25976/page/ 
  4. "No. 26119". 4 December 1890. https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/26119/page/ 
  5. "No. 26405". 23 May 1893. https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/26405/page/ 
  6. Stafford, David. "Churchill and Secret Service". New York Times book review. http://www.nytimes.com/books/first/s/stafford-churchill.html. Retrieved 9 October 2013. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 "R W R Barnes". King's College London. http://www.kcl.ac.uk/lhcma/locreg/BARNES.shtml. Retrieved 9 October 2013. 
  8. "No. 26751". 23 June 1896. https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/26751/page/ 
  9. "No. 27203". 19 June 1900. https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/27203/page/ 
  10. "No. 27263". 4 January 1901. https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/27263/page/ 
  11. "No. 27306". 19 April 1901. https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/27306/page/ 
  12. "No. 27329". 2 July 1901. https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/27329/page/ 
  13. "No. 27357". 20 September 1901. https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/27357/page/ 
  14. "No. 27305". 16 April 1901. https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/27305/page/ 
  15. "No. 27716". 23 September 1904. https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/27716/page/ 
  16. "No. 28087". 9 December 1907. https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/28087/page/ 
  17. "No. 28462". 3 February 1911. https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/28462/page/ 
  18. "No. 28316". 10 December 1909. https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/28316/page/ 
  19. "No. 28462". 3 February 1911. https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/28462/page/ 
  20. Rinaldi 2008, p.385
  21. Rinaldi 2008, p.134
  22. Rinaldi 2008, p.49
  23. "No. 29140". 23 April 1915. https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/29140/page/ 
  24. "39th Division". The Long Long Trail. http://www.1914-1918.net/39div.htm. Retrieved 14 February 2012. 
  25. "No. 29882". 26 December 1916. https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/29882/page/ 
  26. "No. 30716". 31 May 1918. https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/30716/page/ 
  27. "No. 31197". 21 February 1919. https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/31197/page/ 
  28. "No. 31417". 24 June 1919. https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/31417/page/ 
  29. "No. 31395". 6 June 1919. https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/31395/page/ 
  30. "No. 13649". 9 November 1920. https://www.thegazette.co.uk/Edinburgh/issue/13649/page/ 
  31. "No. 32274". 29 March 1921. https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/32274/page/ 
  32. "No. 33304". 19 August 1927. https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/33304/page/ 
  33. "Barnes Reginald Ralph". Commonwealth War Graves Commission. http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2119445/BARNES,%20REGINALD%20RALPH. Retrieved 13 October 2013. 
  • Rinaldi, Richard A (2008). Order of Battle of the British Army 1914. Ravi Rikhye. ISBN 978-0-9776072-8-0.

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