Barnes Family and Pembroke Dock Naval Shipyard.

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George Barnes started working in the Dockyard at Pembroke Dock as a laborer on 9/4/1813, aged 26, this was prior to the official start of the dockyard as H.M. Dockyard Pembroke was formally established by Order in Council of 31st October 1815. “By this time the construction of a '74' and four frigates was well under way in the area immediately to the east of Carr Rocks and the first houses of what was to become the town of Pembroke Dock were already completed on what is now Front Street, along the shore just east of the dockyard. The first four houses were built in 1814 and occupied by the Foreman of Shipwrights, the Foreman of Blacksmiths, the Issuer of Stores and, predictably, a publican.”

George was married in 1809 to Martha Philips and had 3 children by the time he started at the Dockyard, all of whom are shown as being born in nearby Monkton, just outside of Pembroke town, children born after this date are all shown in St Marys parish (Pembroke Dock). He became a watchman on 6/2/1814 and his Quarters wages  Christmas 1815 was 11 pounds 15s 0d. By 1828 he was earning 69 pounds 15s 7d a year and by 1845 was Sergeant of Police and living on Queen St E in Pembroke Dock. “This was Admiralty land and if it was not intended to be 'Officers' Country' in the stratified Victorian society it soon became just that. 'Queen Street or Officers' Row' (now Cumby Terrace) consists of houses a good deal larger than most in Pembroke Dock of the period. The Dockyard Police spend a great deal of their time and supplemented their incomes conducting 'respectable citizens' around the Dockyard”. In 1851 he is shown as a widowed pensioner and 10 years later is still living at 15 Queen St on the Dockyard Superannuation List. He was a Committee member of The Pembroke Dock Provident Society.

His son John became a Shipwright in the Dockyard and by 1900 is shown as a (retired) Ship Right Officer living in Carmarthen County.


His son Benjamin became an RN Engineer and is shown as retired by 1880 and living at Portsea, Hampshire  in “a big house in Portsmouth and had many flunkeys, and finger bowls and the like on the dining table according to his nephew Fred  who visited at one time.” He lived at 36 Lion Terrace just south of the Dockyard, nearby on Lion St lived the Finch family. Abram Finch was a Policeman in Portsmouth dockyard and after his wife died moved to Pembroke Dock and married Benjamin’s niece Emily, daughter of George. Abram later moved into the Barnes home at 1 Dimmond St and looked after Martha into her 80s.


His son George also became a Shipwright in the Dockyard and by 1880 was living with his family at 1 Dimmond St, Pembroke Dock. Georges (jnr) son Frederick also worked in the Dockyard as an Electrical fitter he was a Freeman of the Borough and “very clever and inventive, A man born before his time. He invented an excape hatch for a submarine.(The idea was turned down but was later used in the Davis excape hatch). He was sent to South Africa to install electricity in the Naval Dockyard at Simonstown. This was before the Boer War and when electricity was still in its infancy.” In turn his sons Lionel and Frederick also worked in the Dockyard and were apprentice Shipwrights in 1901. Interestingly their sister Gertrude married William Rawls who also became a Dockyard Policeman in Pembroke Dock and ended his career in Portsmouth Dockyard in 1934.



H.M. Dockyard Pembroke A Brief History by J.S.Guard

Barnes family history by a Grandchild of Frederick George Barnes

Pembroke People by Richard Rose

1841, 51, 61, 71, 81, 1901 Census of Great Brittan

Pembroke Dock (St Marys) Parish Registers