Ernest Harry Barnes

The ashes of Ernest Henry Barnes, M.B.E., always known as Harry, were buried in the south cloister of Westminster Abbey, near the door to the old Song School. The gravestone is marked "H.B. 1985 A.B. 1993".

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

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