Salvation Army personal papers collections: The Barnett family

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

These are the personal papers of the Barnett family, Commissioners Alfred Harry and Clara Barnett and their daughter Major Hazel Barnett.

The papers comprise loose prints and photograph albums which relate to their work for the Salvation Army, and also their personal and family life. There are few notes to accompany the images but the majority relate to Alfred and Clara's appointments to India and China during 1924-1936, as well as Alfred's visit to America and Canada in 1960.

The records are arranged in chronological order as follows:

BAR/1 Assorted photographs

BAR/2 China and Indian sub-continent album i

BAR/3 China and Indian sub-continent album ii

BAR/4 Western India album

BAR/5 'Hazel - Sister Tutor'

BAR/6 America and Canada album

Administrative / Biographical History

Alfred H Barnett and Clara Burgess, also known by their adopted Indian names Gnana Dasen and Sromonie, married in India in January 1901. They had two children, Edward Edwin (b 1901) and Hazel Florence (b 1908).

Alfred Barnett (1875-1969) became an officer in 1895. He was appointed to South India in 1896 where he served for four years before resigning officership in 1901. He was reaccepted from Bath corps in 1903 and appointed to [South] India where he served as an assistant to Lt-Colonel Harry Andrews. He was also appointed to a Criminal Tribes weaving school for boys. During the first world war Alfred served as a chaplain with an Indian regiment in Mesopotamia for which he was later awarded an OBE. Following the war he was appointed to relief work in Serbia and then as an Under Secretary at International Headquarters. In 1924 Alfred was appointed Chief Secretary of the [North] China Territory where his duties included overseeing the evacuation of officers to Tientsin [Tianjin]. From 1929-1931 Alfred was appointed to Southern Africa before being transferred as Territorial Commander to the India West Territory in 1931. He returned to the UK in 1936 where he was appointed to the Men's Social Work Headquarters, a department he remained in until his retirement in 1947.

Clara (1876-1856) served several corps appointments in the UK before being transferred as an assistant to the Women's Training Home and Girls' Boarding School in Travancore, South India. She continued to share appointments with Alfred in India, China and Southern Africa until c1935 when she returned to the UK due to poor health. She continued to suffer poor health in later life and was partially cared for by her daughter Hazel.

Hazel became an officer in 1940. She was appointed to the UK Women's Social Work Department for four years, including an appointment at the Mothers' Hospital in London. She then undertook a year's Nursing Teacher Studies and in 1945 was appointed to two years post-war relief work in Hong Kong, then part of the South China Territory. From 1947-1948 she was appointed to Language Study and the Tientsin (Tianjin) Clinic in the North China Territory, before returning to Hong Kong for Clinic Work (1948-1949). After returning to the UK in 1949 she received a special non-residential appointment back at the Mothers' Hospital on account of her mother's illness. Clara died in 1956 and in 1958 Hazel was formerly transferred back to the Women's Social Work Department where she served as a midwife and tutor at the Mothers' Hospital until her retirement in 1968.

Conditions Governing Access

Open for research. The reading room of The Salvation Army International Heritage Centre is open Tue-Fri 9.30-4.00. It is advisable to make an appointment. Tel: 0207 326 7800; email: heritage@salvationarmy.org.uk.

Other Finding Aids

A multi-level description of this collection can be accessed in the International Heritage Centre's online catalogue: http://www.calmview.eu/SalvationArmy/CalmView/. A paper catalogue is available in the reading room of the International Heritage Centre.

Custodial History

Deposited in 2010 by Mrs Walker, the granddaughter of Commissioners Barnett.