Thomas Hedley Barry 1891-1970

Thomas Hedley Barry, (1891-1970), industrial chemist. He was born at Fulham, the first son of Thomas David Barry and his wife Sylvia (nee) Ware. He suffered polio as a child and was forever lame. He was unmarried. Nothing is known about his education, but in both world wars he worked in Royal Ordnance establishments engaged in manufacuring high explosives. Between the wars he worked in the oil and colour industries specialising in printing inks. He was the co-author of Fats : Natural & Synthetic, 1924, and co-author of Chemistry of Natural and Synthetic Resins (1926). (One of the Benn series of Oil and Colour Chemistry Monographs).This led to his election as a Fellow of the Royal Instution of Chemistry. He also wrote Natural Varnish Resins, 1932 and Varnish Making, 1934. He also wrote a number articles in technical journals, and was a frequent expert witness in court cases.

He came to Bridgwater in 1951 as librarian at the R. O. F. Puriton, and lived at the Crofton Hotel. He was a keen music lover and contributed numerous articles, signed “T. H. B.”, to the pages of the Bridgwater Mercury. He was a member of the Bridgwater Music Club, and the Bridgwater Society of Writers. He was greatly interested in the 18th century poet and historian John Oldmixon, and wrote an extensive account of his work. He also wrote a statistical survey of the Parish Registers of St Mary’s Bridgwater for the Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure, which he completed in 1969. The papers relating to both these projects are in the Archive of the Blake Museum, Bridgwater. He died at Trinity Hospital, Taunton in December 1970 and cremated at Taunton Deane.

Acknowledgement. I am most grateful to Miss Pauline Round, of Southport who provided me with the biographical information, and his newspaper obituary on which this account is based. She knew him when she lived in Bridgwater. TW 2011.