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Shiel Ronald P Barry (1880 - 1916)

He was born in Lambeth London in 1880, became an actor like his father, and married the actress Dorothy Minto in 1907 in London. He died/missing in action on 7 October 1916 in the Battle of the Somme while serving with the 1/12th London regiment. It is most likely that he died during the Battle of Le Transloy [1-18 Oct 1916] (although cannot confirm). He is commemorated at the Theipval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme in northern France.

Liverpool Daily Post, "Shiel Barry Killed"

Mr. Shiel Barry, who has been killed in action, was an actor of whom Liverpool playgoers have pleasurable recollections. Two years ago he was a member of the Repertory company, and was an actor of remarkable promise. He was the son of the late Shiel Barry, and that faculty for vivid characterisation which marked the father, the son had inherited. He will be remembered most vividly by his Repertory performances of Miles Dixon in Gilbert Cannon's play of that name. He was also very successful in "A Florentine Tragedy" and in the "Man From Blankey's." Among other plays in which he had opportunities, which he made the most of were "Candida" and Lady Gregory's Irish production "The Shadow of the Glen." The dead actor was only thirty-four years of age, and began his career as a call-boy at the Lyceum.

Known: 26/10/1916



Birmingham Gazette, "The Last Call"

Miss Dorothy Minto's husband, Mr. Shiel Barry, who has been killed in action, was one of the most promising of our younger actors, having inherited a faculty for weird characterisation from his father, the late Shiel Barry, who played the Miser in "les Cloches de Corneville" more than 3,000 times. Although Mr. Barry was only in his 34th year, his experience of the stage was exceptionally long and varied. Beginning at 15 as a call-boy at the Lyceum, he made his debut two years later at a leading theatre in Berlin with Forbes Robertson's company. For several years he acted with Lewis Waller and Sir Herbert Tree, and he made a hit with Sir George Alexander as the uncanny Egyptian in "Bella Donna." Shortly before the war he joined the Liverpool Repertory Company. Miss Dorothy Minto was playing the title-part in "Prunella" when she married Mr. Barry, who was acting with Mr. Waller at the Lyric. The wedding was known only to a few persons, and the bride and bridegroom continued to appear at their respective theatres without indulging in a honeymoon.

Known: 26/10/1916

Exhibition in the Playhouse foyer for Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme

Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer, "The Roll of Honour"

Lieut. Shiel Barry, London Regt., who fell in action on October 7, was well known in the theatrical world for his excellent work on the stage. A son of Shiel Barry, the original Gaspard of "Les Cloches de Corneville," he made his first appearance with Sir J. Forbes Robertson and Mrs. Patrick Campbell in Berlin, in 1899. At the beginning of 1906 he joined Mr. Lewis Waller, and for three years appeared in almost all the productions with which Mr. Waller as associated. One of Shiel Barry's greatest successes was at the St. James's Theatre, when he played Ibrahim in "Bella Donna." He joined the Liverpool Repertory Company in 1913. After training with the Inns of Court O.T.C. from January until October last year he was gazetted to the Royal Fusiliers.

Exhibition in the Playhouse foyer for Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme

Liverpool Daily Post, "The Stage and the War"

The Stage can afford to be proud of its record in the war. The number of actors of military age and military fitness now pursuing their profession is nil, and many men over military age who felt themselves fit have scorned to take advantage of their years. Captain Holmes Gore, who will be well remembered as the Admiral in "The Flag Lieutenant," after a period of strenuous training with a Volunteer corps, was quickly promoted captain on joining the Army, and was one of the first to fall in the ill-fated landing at Suvla Bay. Lieutenant Mackinder, also past military age, was one of the first theatrical victims of the war. Basil Hallam was killed only a few weeks ago,and to-day the death is announced of Mr. Shiel Barry, the son of the late Mr. Shiel Barry, who created the part of the Miser in "Les Cloches de Corneville." Other actors have risen to distinction in the Army, and have, so far, escaped unhurt. One of them, Captain Charles Kenyon, who appeared in the original cast of "Peg o' My Heart," went out to the Mediterranean, and is now at home. A tribute should be paid to the many humble members of touring companies who, at the outbreak of war, went without a second's hesitation and enlisted, not for the duration of the war but in the Regular Army. I knew one man in a small company who joined the day after war was declared. He was taken into the Army Service Corps and was soon promoted sergeant. He was wounded at the front. When I saw him he was in hospital and was proudly declaring to the nurse, "Sister, I never lost so much as a jam pot." One of the veterans of the stage is not content to remain and delight us with his art. Sir Frank Benson is working in a canteen in France.

Known: 25/10/1916