Arthur Stanley Barnes will be remembered for his selfless devotion to the cause of medical education in Birmingham. He was born at Altrincham, Cheshire, the third of four brilliant sons of John Barnes, clerk to the Birmingham School Board, and Jane Elizabeth Kerry, who at twenty-one had been headmistress of a Nottingham school. Of two brothers, one, Ernest, became bishop of Birmingham and a fellow of the Royal Society, and the other, Sir Sydney, secretary to the Admiralty.
From King Edward VI Grammar School he gained an entrance scholarship to Mason’s College, Birmingham, in 1893. After junior posts at Birmingham and at Brompton Hospital he spent two years at the National Hospital, Queen Square, where the teachings of those stalwarts, Hughlings Jackson, Gowers, Ferrier and Horsley gave him a life-long special interest in neurology.
Barnes then returned to Birmingham, where he held in turn the posts of pathologist, physician, honorary, and finally consulting physician. In 1914 he joined the R.A.M.C, as a temporary captain and was appointed neurologist to the Southern Command.
Like many teachers who had found learning easy he was more popular with his gifted students, but to him, above all his contemporaries, the present day student at Birmingham owes the excellent facilities of the modern school of medicine of which he was dean for ten years to 1941, after fifteen years of unremitting work and generous financial aid to its foundation. Barnes earned his doctorates of science and law. A friendly host, he took great interest in sport, and had the honour to be elected president of Warwickshire County Cricket Club shortly before his death at the age of eighty. He was unmarried.
Richard R Trail
[Birmingham Post, 12 Aug., 15 Sept. 1955; Brit.med.J., 1955, 2, 567-8 (p); Lancet, 1955, 2, 401 (p); Times, 13 Aug. 1955.]