George Barnes b 1926 was the son of George and Lizzie Barnes and nephew of Hugh Alexander. George senior, formerly of the 4th, 8th and 14th Hussars was one of ‘The Old Contemptibles’ who fought and was wounded in the Battle of Mons 1914, later to serve in Mesopotamia and Persia. He was an accomplished violin maker, which he indulged as a hobby, intriguing George junior from an early age.  The following poem was written by Hugh Alexander for his nephew’s third birthday in 1929.



You are a pretty little boy

Your heart is always full of joy

It takes a lot to make you cry

Georgie Barnes


Every morn at break of day

To Daddy’s bed you make your way

And chase his beauty sleep away

Georgie Barnes


Some funny things you say and do

Each day you pick up something new

To-day’s a birthday for you

Georgie Barnes


You laugh and chatter all day long

Ramona is your favourite song

For fiddles too, your taste is strong

Georgie Barnes


At imitation you are quick

With a bit of wood and a bit of stick

Your elbow learned the fiddler’s trick

Georgie Barnes


Bright has been your three years span

Who knows what waits you as a man

So be as happy as you can

Georgie Barnes


With best wishes from

Uncle Hugh


And what became of Georgie Barnes?  Having attended Methodist College Belfast, he followed the Barnes’ tradition of service and enlisted in the Irish Guards in 1944.  Following war service, in 1947 whilst serving in Palestine he was seriously wounded in a terrorist explosion.  Having been initially laid out with the dead he was found to be still alive.  His wounds were horrendous, necessitating major surgery and grafts, requiring 9 months in hospital, followed by years of rehabilitation after discharge from the army. He later worked as a Civil Servant, married, and had a family.  He died aged 79 one week after the passing of his beloved wife Daphne.




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *