Skip to main content

Westminster Abbey and Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The Abbey and St Margaret's Church are currently closed for general visiting but we remain open for worship and you are welcome to join us at our daily services.

The Abbey is also open for individual prayer from 10:30am - 12:30pm, Monday to Saturday.

Ernest Harry Barnes

Ernest Henry Barnes, M.B.E., always known as Harry, was buried in the south cloister of Westminster Abbey, near the door to the Song School. The grave is marked "H.B. 1985". On the wall nearby is a slate tablet with the inscription, cut by John Nash:

To the Glory of God and in grateful memory of HARRY BARNES 1909-1985 who for more than forty years faithfully served this collegiate church as chorister & lay vicar

He was born on 11th February 1909 son of Benjamin Barnes. He served as a chorister from 1922-1924 having sung for a while under Sir Sydney Nicholson in the Abbey Special Choir. He played the violin at the lying in state of Queen Alexandra in the Abbey in 1925. Later he helped to teach the choristers and was a Lay Vicar in the choir from 1936-1977. He sang at the 1937 and 1953 coronations and at several royal weddings. At the Royal College of Church Music he also trained boy choristers. In 1956 he married Anne Riglin in the Abbey and their son Rupert was baptised at the Abbey. He died on 21st February 1985. Anne died in September 1993 and was buried with her husband.


11th February 1909


21st February 1985




Cloisters; South Cloister

Memorial Type


Material Type


Ernest Harry Barnes
Ernest Harry Barnes memorial

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

Image © 2021 Dean and Chapter of Westminster

Related commemorations

It’s a privilege to live and work here – the Abbey really is the heart of the country and its history.

Martin - The Dean’s Verger

Twitter logo Tweet this