Educated: Marlborough College, Pembroke College, Cambridge
Married:1935 Barbara Cottrell, with whom he had three daughters and one son.
1932-39: Diplomatic Service -Foreign Office Baghdad, Lisbon
1939-45: Offices of War Cabinet
1942-45: Personal Assistant to Lord President of the Council (Clement Attlee)
1945-46: Assistant Secretary HM Treasury
Oct 1946-Feb 1948: Personal Assistant to Prime Minister, Clement Attlee
1948-59: Assistant Under Secretary of State Colonial Office
1959-63: Deputy Under Secretary Colonial Office
1962: Member UK delegation to EEC negotiations
1963: Retired from Civil Service
1963-66: Vice-Chairman and Financial Director Harveys of Bristol
1963-80: Director Royal Group of Insurance Companies (Deputy Chairman 1972-80)
1967-69: Chairman Jones Templeton & Co
1966-80: Director Doulton & Co (Deputy Chairman 1969-80)
1966-71: Director Limmer Holdings Ltd (Chairman 1971)
1971-83: Director Tarmac PLC
1983-84: Director Tarmac Roadstone Holdings Ltd
1972-84: Director Donald Macpherson Group
1974-75: Chairman Conservative Commonwealth and Overseas Council
1970-77: Member of Council of Westfield College, London
1978: Honorary Fellow of Westfield College, London
Publications: "Europe and the Developing World"
Honours: CMG (1949), CB (1956) and KCMG (1961).
The papers cover a number of important aspects of Barnes' work as Personal Assistant to Clement Attlee, while Lord President of the Council during World War II and Prime Minister after the War, and his concern with Colonial and Common Market affairs both in his official capacity as Assistant (later Deputy) Under-Secretary of State at the Colonial Office and later through the Conservative Commonwealth and Overseas Council.
This collection of papers of Sir William Gorell Barnes was deposited at Churchill Archives Centre by his widow in 1988.
The papers were generally in good order and condition when deposited at Churchill Archives Centre.