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» Andrew Norman BARNARD
 
 

Andrew Norman BARNARD

Service number 38675

Born: 1905
Died: April 23rd 1940

Norman was born in the summer of 1905 in Headington, Oxford to Andrew Bigoe Barnard and Florence Anne (nee Worrall). His father was Deputy Commissioner for Police in Bengal.

Norman matriculated in 1924.

He married May Valentine Wagemans of Ghent, Belgium. They had several children,

On his retirement, Andrew Barnard bought Withersdane Hall, Wye, Kent, a substantial and elegant property. On his death in 1928, Norman, known to everyone as ‘Chippy’, inherited it. With May, he presided over a gilded era of garden parties and social events.

Norman was a career soldier in the Royal Irish Fusiliers who had been working in the Committee of Imperial Defence before the outbreak of war and lived with his family in London. In 1939 he was deputed to work in the underground War Cabinet rooms. As a German invasion and air attacks on the capital seemed possible, he moved his children out to Withersdane where they were billeted with a group of young evacuees from east London.

On Monday April 22nd 1940, Norman and his wife May visited the children on a rare day off, planning to drive back to London after dinner. At Charing Hill, on the return journey, he blacked out. The car hit the kerb and left the road. May suffered a broken leg.

Major Andrew Barnard, ‘known and loved by everyone’ said the Wye Parish Magazine, died of head injuries in Ashford Hospital, later that evening. He was buried next to his father in Wye churchyard.

The following October Withersdane ceased to be a private residence and became the Divisional Headquarters for the operation to repel the expected invasion of Kent, firstly, to the 43rd Wessex Division, then the 56th (London) Division, housing the divisional general and the intelligence section.

After the war, his widow accepted an offer of £10,000 for the house and estate from Wye College.

He is buried in the churchyard of SS Gregory and Martin at Wye.

Probate was granted to his widow, May Valentine Barnard, then living at 29, Elvaston Place, Kensington. His estate totalled £15,696-0-9.

In 1947, she married John C.W.S. Erle-Drax of Bilting, Wye.
 

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