|6 Oct 2023
We are sorry to hear that Patrick Brinsley Barnes always known as Brinsley passed away in Victoria, Australia on 5th October 2023 at the age of 94 years. At Bradfield he was a keen sportsman enjoying Athletics, Cross Country and 2nd XI Football in 1945-6 as well as being a Corporal in the Junior Training Corps. He came to Bradfield with a hearing impairment which at the time was referred to as a "handicap" but his family said as was the case throughout his life, his deafness did not hold him back. When he left Bradfield in 1946 the Headmaster wrote on his school report "Bradfield and Barnes both deserve great credit for surmounting the handicap of deafness and making a first class success of his school career. He is a boy of fine character whose future I shall watch with interest. Good luck to him."
His son Richard said "Judging by the many stories he told his children and grandchildren, Dad's time at Bradfield was happy. Both because it was the norm in a boys' boarding school in those years, and because of the war-time privations, things were spartan; but there was clearly a strong spirit of camaraderie. Dad told a nice story about how once a week, the head required the day-boys to bring some food from home as a contribution to Cook's larder. It seems that the resultant "day-boys' stew" was loathed by all!
As they were war years, there was serious military training; these lads were to assist the home-guard should the need arise. Dad told us that one evening, in darkness, he and another boy were creeping towards the encampment of an "enemy" group of boys as part of a reconnaissance. They were hiding under a bush when a car pulled up and a master got out to relieve himself. Realising there was a chance of an unfortunate incident, the master called out that anyone hiding there should speak up. But of course Dad and his pal, within earshot of the "enemy", dared not - thus experiencing an unpleasant shower!"
In brief, Brinsley's adult life was long and fulfilled. In 1950 he migrated (alone) to Australia. In 1954, he married Barbara Gunter (who died in 2009). They had four children, Richard, Patrick, Timothy and Jacinta.
He spent his working life as a manager and company secretary in the wool-shipping business, retiring at the age of 72. He was highly regarded for his thoroughness, decency and integrity. His greatest pride was that, having come to Australia as a rather lonely young man, he found a life partner and began a dynasty of four children and nine grandchildren."
Brinsley was always engaged with the College and back in 2020 said of his education: "My college education was in the humanities and stood me in good stead for lifetime managerial roles in Australia since 1950".
Picture of Brinsley Barnes aged 93 years of age.