Ronald Barnes, 3rd Baron Gorell

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Ronald Gorell Barnes, 3rd Baron Gorell (16 April 1884 – 2 May 1963) was a British peer, Liberal politician, poet, author and newspaper editor.

Life and career[edit]

Ronald barnes baron.jpg
Ronald Gorell Barnes, 3rd Baron Gorell

Gorell was the second son of John Gorell Barnes, 1st Baron Gorell, President of the Probate Divorce and Admiralty Division of the High Court of Justice.

Gorell was educated at Winchester College, Harrow School and Balliol College, Oxford.[1] While at Oxford, he played first-class cricket for the University cricket team. After leaving Oxford, Gorell played with MCC for 13 seasons, 431 runs and 43 wickets in his 19-match career. In 1909 he was admitted to Inner Temple, to practice as a barrister, and worked as a journalist for The Times from 1911 to 1915.[1] During World War I he served in the Rifle Brigade, where he reached the rank of Captain, was mentioned in despatches and, in 1917, received the Military Cross.[1]

Barnes succeeded as third Baron Gorell on 16 January 1917 after his elder brother was killed in the First World War and took his seat on the Liberal benches in the House of Lords.[1] In July 1921 he was appointed Under-Secretary of State for Air in the coalition government of David Lloyd George, an office he held until the government fell in October 1922. He was the founder of the (Royal ) Army Education Corps in which he enabled the army "to take an immense step forward; the biggest it has ever taken" (Field Marshal Sir Henry Wilson, Chief of the Imperial General Staff). Barnes' autobiography is One Man, Many parts. He is credited with probably saving the British Armies in 1918 and greatly affected their rescue from Dunkirk in 1940. He was Chairman of the Litratature Guild. He was instrumental in saving 8000+ children from Nazi Germany with the Kindergarten trains.

Gorell was invested as an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1918 and as a Commander of the same order in 1919.[1] He was also invested as an Officier of the Order of Leopold in 1919.[1] He was later editor of the Cornhill Magazine from 1933 to 1939.[1] He was President of the Royal Society Teachers from 1929 to 1935,[1] and co-President of the Detection Club with Agatha Christie from 1956 to 1963.

Lord Gorell married Maud Elizabeth Furse Radcliffe (1886–1954), eldest daughter of Alexander Nelson Radcliffe and Isabel Grace Henderson, in 1922. He died in May 1963, aged 79, and was succeeded in the barony by his eldest son Timothy John Radcliffe Barnes.

See also[edit]


Gorell wrote fourteen works of fiction, mainly detective stories, and several collections of poetry, published by John Murray.

  • In the Night (1917)
  • DEQ (1922)
  • Venturers All (1927)
  • The Devouring Fire (1928)
  • He Who Fights (1928)
  • Devil's Drum (1929)
  • Red Lilac (1935)
  • Wild Thyme and other stories (1941)
  • Murder at Mavering (1943)
  • Luck and other new stories (1948)
  • Let Not Thy Left Hand (1949)
  • Earl's End (1951)
  • Where There's a Head (1952)
  • Murder at Manor House (1954)
Political offices
Preceded by
The Marquess of Londonderry
Under-Secretary of State for Air
Succeeded by
The Duke of Sutherland
Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Henry Barnes
Baron Gorell
Succeeded by
Timothy John Radcliffe Barnes


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Lundy, Darryl. "Ronald Gorell Barnes, 3rd Baron Gorell". The Peerage. Retrieved 22 September 2011. [unreliable source?]


External links[edit]