Barnard Halsey Tyrwhitt-Drake (22 August 1882 – 25 January 1936)

This is the fifth in the series on the men who rang in the officers’ peals of 1919.

A fairly young man in army uniform, but also a clergyman's "dog-collar", his cap has the cross pattee badge of the Royal Army Chaplains' Department

The Revd Barnard Halsey Tyrwhitt-Drake, taken from the photo of the band which rang the peal attempt on 3 May 1919 (he is front right on the full photo)

Tyrwhitt-Drake was from a family that had provided several MPs for Amersham, with the family’s principal seat being Shardloes.  They descended from Sir Richard Drake, cousin and agent to Sir Francis Drake.  Like many upper-class families, they also provided a number of military officers, and clergy.  Barnard Halsey Tyrwhitt-Drake was the grandson of an army officer who fought at Waterloo and subsequently became one of the family’s MPs.  His father, William Thomas Tyrwhitt-Drake entered the clergy, and was the Vicar of Great Gaddesden when Barnard was born on 22 August 1882.  He was educated at Tyttenhanger Lodge, St Alban’s,  Haileybury College, and then went up to Pembroke College, Cambridge in 1901, and it was there he really took up ringing (he had had some lessons at home).  After graduation in 1904 he was admitted to Wells Theological College for ordination training.  He was ordained deacon on 21 December 1905 and priest in 1906, both in Wakefield Diocese, serving a curacy at Almondsbury, Huddersfield, until 1909.  He then had a year in South Africa with the Railway Mission in the Diocese of Grahamstown, before returning to Hertfordshire for a further curacy at Hitchin until 1912, then Sandy, Bedfordshire, before taking up his first incumbency at Thundridge at the end of 1914.  He married Dorothy Doncaster at Ewell, Surrey, on 11 November 1914.  He was elected president of the Hertford County Association in early 1916.

He was interviewed by the Chaplain General on 27 May 1916 and accepted for service as a Chaplain to the Forces, which began on 19 June 1916, initially at Clipstone Camp in Nottinghamshire and then the Royal Engineers training centre in Newark, before proceeding to France on 20 June 1917.  He was invalided home sick in April 1918, and decided not to his extend his contract when it expired on 20 June 1918 as he was needed in his own parish.

After the war he remained at Thundridge until 1925, then three years at Wiggington, Hertfordshire, followed by a move to Norfolk, first six years in Watlington, then in 1934 to Walsoken where he died on 25 January 1936.  He and Dorothy had had three children: Barnard Peter in 1915, Dorothy J in 1917 and Guy W in 1922.


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