Barlow, Sir James Alan Noel, 1881-1968 (2nd Baronet and civil servant)
- Existence: 1881 - 1968
Alan Noel Barlow was born in London on 25 December 1881, the eldest of the five children of Sir Thomas Barlow (1845–1945), who was created baronet in 1901, physician to the royal family, and his wife, Ada Helen (1843–1928), daughter of Patrick Dalmahoy, writer to the signet, of Edinburgh. He was educated at Marlborough College and Corpus Christi College, Oxford, of which he was a scholar and later an honorary fellow, and took a first in literae humaniores in 1904. In 1906 Barlow was appointed to a clerkship in the House of Commons but a year later Sir Robert Morant selected him as a junior examiner in the Board of Education. Here he rose to be private secretary to the parliamentary secretary in 1914, but not before he had married, on 6 April 1911, Emma Nora (1885-1989), the daughter of Sir Horace Darwin; they had six children. In 1915 Barlow was transferred to the Ministry of Munitions as private secretary to Christopher Addison in his capacity first of parliamentary secretary and then of minister. In 1917 Barlow was promoted to deputy controller of labour supply and a year later to controller of the labour department. He became well versed in the problems of industrial relations, and so after the war it was natural that he should join the newly founded and much overstretched Ministry of Labour, where he was initially responsible for demobilization and training before securing in 1924 a major promotion to principal assistant secretary in charge of the industrial relations department. After 1929 Barlow's main responsibility reverted to training where he established a core of efficient and well-respected government training centres which could be, and were, rapidly expanded in war. In 1933 Barlow was selected to be principal private secretary to the prime minister, Ramsay MacDonald. The appointment was not a success and in 1934 Barlow was transferred to the Treasury, as under-secretary in charge of the supply divisions and thus public expenditure, a responsibility he retained when promoted to third secretary in 1939 and second secretary in 1942. During the war he also assumed responsibility for, and thereby became a member of an interlocking range of committees concerned with, the machinery of government. Barlow retired from the Treasury in 1948. He was appointed CBE (1918), CB (1928), KBE (1938), KCB (1942), GCB (1947), and succeeded his father as second baronet in 1945. In his home county of Buckinghamshire, as well as being a keen gardener, Barlow farmed several hundred acres near Wendover; and it was at his farm, Boswells, that he died on 28 February 1968.
Found in 10 Collections and/or Records:
One letter from Thomas Barlow (1948); 1 letter from Alan Barlow (1936). With these are a printed memoir of Alan Barlow and order of service for his memorial service (1968), and 3 letters to Meynell from Nora Barlow.
Two letters from Alan Barlow to Ida Darwin dated 26 December 1910 and 29 January 1914. The letters make reference to family matters and in particular time spent with Ida's son Erasmus.
Single studio portrait photograph (by H. H. Hay Cameron) of Alan Barlow as a boy.
Contains 30 letters from Nora to Ida Darwin sent between 12 January and 23 December 1912.
Includes a letter from Alan Barlow to Ida and letters from Frances 'Fanny' Farrer, [Mary] Farrer, Gulielma Lister and Evelyn Whitehead to Nora.
Contains 36 letters from Nora to Ida Darwin sent between 6 February and 25 December 1913.
Includes letters from Alan Barlow and Ruth Darwin to Ida, a letter from Nora to Horace Darwin, and letters from Jeanie Adam, Esther Barlow, Jim Butler, Mary Childers, Ruth Darwin, Noel Farrer and Celia Newbolt to Nora.
Contains 49 letters from Nora to Ida Darwin sent between 1 January and 29 December 1915. Amongst news of family and social engagements, the letters make reference to Zeppelin raids on London in September and October 1915 and of work undertaken by Nora in the Chemical Department at Bedford College.
Includes letters from Isobel Addison, Alan Barlow, Erasmus Darwin and Gwen Raverat to Nora, and letters from Ella Coltman and Ruth Darwin to Ida.
Contains 31 letters from Nora to Ida Darwin sent between 14 January and December 1937. Amongst news of family and social engagements, the letters give an account of the coronation of George VI and of a visit to Ireland. Contains enclosure of pressed sample of Connemara Heath (formerly Menziesia Polifolia) from Achill Island, Ireland.
Includes letters from Alan Barlow and Thomas Barlow to Ida.
The collection consists primarily of letters from Ruth Darwin to members of her family but predominantly to her sister (Emma) Nora Darwin, and correspondence and papers arising out of Ruth's work with the British Committee of the French Red Cross in France in 1917-1919.