Thanks to Tony for this report …
Retired Abingdon churchman and scientist Dick Barnes, 96, received his British Empire Medal (awarded in HM The Queen’s New Year Honours) from the Vice-Lord Lieutenant of Oxfordshire, John Harwood today (26th June 2017). High Sheriff of Oxfordshire, Jane Cranston, complete in ostrich feathers, read the citation, “for services to the community in Abingdon”.
Dick Barnes is pictured with his British Empire Medal, with his wife Doreen (right) and daughter Ros Mennie.
Dick has served the church in Abingdon for more than 60 years, including 16 years as churchwarden. He led Morning Prayer at St Nic’s every Friday for 15 years. He was active in the Abingdon Archaeological and Historical Society, and was Secretary of the Friends of Abingdon. In 2008 Dick received the Berkshire Local History Association’s Judith Hunter prize for his extensive research into the long gone Fitzharris Manor.
Dick launched the village newspaper “Drayton Chronicle” in 1972, and more recently he was a member of the research team who produced the interpretative posterboards now on view at strategic sites around the town.
Equally worthy of recognition would have been Dick’s work on early pioneering computers, including the world’s oldest computer still in regular use. In 2012 he attended the launch at the National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park of the refurbished “Witch”, now billed as the world’s oldest working computer. He is the only one still alive of the three scientists who built it.
Dick’s wife Doreen deserves honours in her own right for her years of work for the Citizens Advice Bureau.