Wendy Dorothy ORCHARD (née BARNES, aka Dorothy Wendy BARNES) [1916-2006]

Submitted by Admin on Mon, 02/07/2022 - 16:12
Wendy Dorothy
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Dorothy Wendy BARNES
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I read from The Hong Kong Letters, written by Mrs Shaddick, that Miss Wendy Dorothy Barnes was a good friend of Mrs Church.  

Miss Barnes was a broadcaster of RTHK from 1967 to 1975.  She had an extraordinary broadcasting career beginning in the 1940s, having worked in places including London, Singapore, Cairo, Cyprus, Malta and Nairobi before coming to Hong Kong.  For those who have an interest in Hong Kong history would know that her radio programme in HK, "Time to Remember", is a valuable oral history archive which is available online for free in the HK public libraries website.  

However, it seems that she had vanished into thin air after her retirement from RTHK as Acting Controller for English Radio Service in 1975.  Does anyone know about her?  What happened to her after RTHK?  I have also tried to find out her birth and death(?) dates/places but in vain.  As I would like to create a page for her in Wikipedia, any information about her would be greatly appreciated.  Thank you.  

I would love to know what happened to Wendy. I tried to find out when I was writing my book but couldn't. She knew David Dunlop as he had been on radio in Nairobi, but David died and I was too late. She was such a lovely and talented lady and it would be great to see  a Wikipedia page for her. I thught she was on some kind of secondment from the BBC. I have tried to contact the BBC about something else and found it difficult to raise anyone human to respond, but you might be lucky.  I have just checked my original letters and I have written Wendy was "lent to RHK by the BBC". Wendy was very kind to me - and enjoyed showing David and I around the New Territories and the night markets. She lived near me on the mid-levels. I do hope you find out more. 

Passenger List 10 June 1948 Singapore to Southampton

Wendy Dor. (sic) Barnes age 32 UK address 2 St. Dunnestanes (sic)  Road London W8

Passenger List Port Said Egypt to London August 1949

Miss W D Barnes 31 Government Official UK address 2 St. Dunstan's Road London

Passenger List Southampton to New York  21 June 1961

Miss Dorothy W Barnes 

New York State Passenger and Crew Lists London to New York arrival 3 June 1962

Wendy Barnes US address Sheraton Hotel Washinton USA Birth Date 10 April 1916 London

Birth Index no Wendy Dorothy Barnes but there is a Dorothy W Barnes born in Paddington London registered Apr-May-Jun Quarter. MMN Denton.

London Baptismal Records

Dorothy Wendy Barnes born 10 April 1916 and baptised St George's Church Tuffnell Park Islington London daughter of John George Barnes East India Merchant and Edith Barnes nee Denton

1939 Ration Book Census 2 St Dunstan's Road Fulham London

Edith L Raphael 56 widow

Dorothy W Barnes born 10 April 1916  age 23 single  Secretary (Film Magazine)

There are two additional people at the address but their names have been blacked out as was the case in many instances especially those in the armed services.

Electoral Register 1946 2 St. Dunstans Road Fulham

John G Barnes, Dorothy W Barnes, Rosamond Edith Barnes, Edith L Raphael.

Rosamond Edith Barnes born Fulham 1922 MMN Denton

Colin C Barnes born 1913 MMN Denton actor much travelled

Edith L Barnes married John Galloway Raphael 1931  London

Thank you so much for all the useful information provided, Mrs Shaddick and annpake!  Yes, Richard888, Miss Wendy Barnes was the lady who interviewed so many local and overseas personalities in her "Time to Remember" series on RHK.  

With all the new information received, I am quite sure that the "Dorothy Wendy Barnes" born in London in 1916 from the London Baptismal Records was Miss Wendy Barnes.  The fact that she was born in London is supported by an interview she gave to SCMP on 22-Sep-1968, in which the article reads, "Her home, however, is London ("I am very sentimental about it, because I know it very well - I was born within the sound of Bow Bells").  In another news article of SCMP, dated 12-Jul-1975 and entitled "Wendy Barnes joins BBC", it says, "She was due to return to the Colony for another year before retirement, but because of a job offer from the BBC decided to remain in Britain".  Assuming her retirement age was 60 in 1976, the year of birth of 1916, as indicated in the sources provided by annpake, should be correct.  

In fact, the name "Wendy" first appeared in 1907 in the FreeBMD database and was probably popularised by the Peter Pan novel in the 1910s.  Hence, it is possible that she was born "Dorothy Wendy Barnes", with "Wendy" originally intended to be a less used middle name, although her name appeared in the 1976 New Year's Honours List as "Wendy Dorothy Barnes".  

I am able to find that her younger sister Rosamond Edith Barnes (1921-2003) was an actress and BBC radio broadcaster and programme producer.  She was married to Alcywn Tom Davies and had issue(s).  There is even a page on her in IMDb and her gravestone was recorded at Billion Graves.  The links are below - 

IMDb page: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0055763/

Billion Graves: https://billiongraves.com/grave/Rosamond-Edith-Davies/46280342

I also manage to find that she has an entry in Radio Who's Who published in 1947, which is copied below - 

"BARNES, ROSAMOND.  Actress. b. London, 29th November, 1922 (Note: should be 1921 according to grave stone).  First broadcast in the Children's Hour in 1935 and is still connected with it.  Address: 2, St. Dunstan's Road, Baron's Court, W.6.  Phone: Riverside 2126.  Started her career at the age of four as the baby in Madame Butterfly!  When she was nine years old won the All-England Shakespeare Competition, and again two years later.  Started her professional stage career at the age of 12.  Joined the B.B.C. Schools Drama Rep. in 1941.  First broadcast in "Worzel Gummidge" and still playing the same part in the Gummidge series, and is known for her Wendy in the radio version of "Peter Pan" and Velvet Brown in "National Velvet".  Has appeared in films and many West End theatre productions.  Has made more than 750 broadcasts.  Is "Ethel" in the "Just William" series.  "

Link: https://archive.org/details/radiowhoswho00andr

As regards the sisters' elder brother, Colin Cardew Barnes (1913-1994), I could not locate information indicating that he was an actor.  I am still looking for more information about Miss Wendy Barnes.  I could not locate her name from the England and Wales Death Registration Index 1837-2007.  Perhaps she outlived her siblings.  

Wonderful information from Clithering posts. I have found this article - Monday, 6 July 1970, SCMP, Mainly for Women - The Equality Issue (3) - They aren't docile, quiescent society women and it is Valerie Davies talking to some of Hongkong's women. Angela Erest, Betty Church, Wendy Barnes and Susan Yuen. If you don't have the article, I'd love to send it to you. I'd just have to upload as a JPEG. It is just a short piece on how she finds being a professional woman in the 60s.




Colin Cardew Barnes described as an actor in a passenger list arriving in London from Montreal  in 1931

Passenger List 10 May 1947 he departed from London to South Africa with his wife Angela Margaret Barnes 34 and two daughters Veronica Marion Rosamond Barnes  age 2 and Carolyn Angela Wendy Barnes age 1. His intended country of future permanent residence South Africa  and his occupation paper salesman. He died in Crodon Oxfordshire 3 May 1994. He appeared in the 1939 Census at 276 Pershore Road Birmingham, date of birth 13 April 1913 occupation Clerk in paper trade. Birth registered Paddington Quarter 1 1913

Today, I searched from the database of England Death Records, 1998-2015 that there was an "Ms Wendy Dorothy Orchard", who was born on 10 April 1916 and died in Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, on 11 February 2006.  Given that her birth date is the same as the "Dorothy Wendy Barnes" from the London Baptismal Records database, and that the death place is the same as Rosamond Edith Barnes (who also died and was buried in Chipping Norton), I strongly believe that the "Ms Wendy Dorothy Orchard" is the one we are looking for.  

If true, the good news is that we have finally gathered her birth and death info.  The bad news is the confirmation that she has passed away for more than a decade.  Furthermore, given the change of surname, it is assumed that she got married at some point in time.  However, I could not locate the name of her husband, nor the year she got married.  Of course, my assumption could be wrong and I may have identified a wrong person as Miss Wendy Barnes.  

My gratitude to Ms Shaddick and Ms Pake for your ongoing interest in the topic!  For the SCMP article of 6 Jul 1970, thank you.  I already have a copy of it, as I have gathered the SCMP clippings on her.   


Here is how the story ends – 

In retirement, Miss Barnes resided in England, probably London.  In 1995, she was married to retired Hong Kong civil servant Mr William Derrick Orchard, with the marriage registered in London.  It seems that Miss Barnes had been in a relationship with her future husband for quite a long time, as both of them were among the victims of an investment fraud as reported by SCMP on 10 July 1985. 

Sadly, Mr Orchard passed away in London on 1 June 1998.  In her final years, she moved to live near her younger sister, Rosamond, in Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire.  Rosamond predeceased her in 2003, before her own death in Chipping Norton on 11 February 2006, aged 89.