Born 20 May 1874 in India, the son of Henry Clements Barstow, a civil servant, and Cecilia Clementina Baillie. The Barstows were long-established and prominent merchants in York. Following his marriage to the only daughter of Sir Alfred Tristram Lawrence, 1st Baron Trevethin, George Barstow established a home near Builth and a connection with Wales. Barstow graduated from Emmanuel College, Cambridge, in 1895-96 with first class in both parts of the classical tripos and then entered the civil service. In 1898, he joined the Treasury where he was involved, before World War I, in the conversion of the Navy from coal to oil fuel. During the war and up to 1927, Barstow was responsible within the Treasury for supply. In 1927, he was appointed the government director of the Anglo-Persian Oil Company. He was also a director of the Midland Bank and Chairman of the Prudential Assurance Company.
In Wales, Barstow took a special interest in the Church in Wales and in higher education. He was principally responsible for reorganising the finances of the recently founded Church in Wales and for addressing its financial administration. He was a governor of Christ College Brecon and President of University College Swansea from 1929 to 1955. Appointed C.B. in 1913, Barstow was knighted in 1920. The University of Wales awarded him an honorary LL.D. in 1937.
In 1904, Barstow married Enid Lilian Lawrence and they had two sons and a daughter. He died at his home, Chapel House, Builth, on 29 January 1966.
Published date: 2001
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