Henry Summers Barlow 
Location served:
Chatham, Merlin  
Years in Practice:
1924 to 1970
Area of Specialization:
Family Medicine  


Dr. Henry Summers Barlow was born in Norwich on February 1, 1897. He was the youngest of 4 children born to Harry Barlow and the former Mary Summers.  His siblings were; Etta Annie, Emma Maud and Mable.  Dr. Barlow received his elementary and secondary schooling in Woodstock.  He graduated from Woodstock Collegiate Institute.

Dr. Barlow enlisted in World War I on the 23rd of March, 1916.  On his Attestation Paper, he listed his address as 24 Woodycrest Avenue in Toronto and his profession was listed as a salesman.  Dr. Barlow was attached to the 19th Battalion and he saw action in France as a Sergeant. He had the honour of ‘trooping the colours’ for the British Royal Family at the end the war.  Upon his return to Canada after World War I, Dr. Barlow enrolled in the The University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine in 1920.

He married Alice Margaret Smith on the 5th of March, 1920 in Toronto.   Mrs. Barlow was born in Embro, Ontario on the 13th of November, 1896, the daughter of Benjamin Jeffrey Smith and the former Alice Maud Mary Laidley.  She was the 4th of 10 children and her siblings were; Oswald, Ernest, Hazel, Gordon, Kenneth, Dorothy, Norman, Wallace and Ruth.  Her father was a station agent for the Canadian National Railway.

Dr. Barlow graduated M.B. in 1924, and Dr. and Mrs. Barlow moved to Merlin where he opened a general medical practice. According to the 1928 Ontario Medical Register, Dr. Barlow became a member of the College of Physicians and Surgeons on the 14th of June, 1924.  Dr. Barlow remained in Merlin until 1938, at which point he moved his medical practice to Chatham. According to the 1941 Shepherds City of Chatham Business Directory, Dr. Barlow’s office was located at 219 King Street West. According to the 1946-1947 Shepherds City of Chatham Business Directory, Dr. and Mrs. Barlow resided at 142 Victoria Avenue and their phone number was 2411.

Dr. Barlow was a lecturer in pediatrics at the Public General Hospital, and St. Joseph’s Hospital. He was a member of the Kent County Medical Society, and was also a member of both the Ontario and Canadian Medical Associations.

Throughout his medical career, Dr. Barlow took additional courses in ‘allergy.’  Eventually, he became a member of the Canadian Academy of Allergy and in 1945 he was named a Fellow to the American College of Allergy.

When Dr. Barlow had spare time, he enjoyed collecting stamps. He also loved to spend time at his cottage on Lake Nipissing.  He built an in-board boat. Dr. Barlow was a member of the Kent Club, a Stamp Club and Rotary.

Mrs. Barlow volunteered her time with the Junior Hospital League at the Public General Hospital.  She acted as the President from 1951 until 1953.

Dr. and Mrs. Barlow had five children: Douglas, Blake, Murray, Keith and Bonnie.  All of their sons served during WWII.  Their son, Keith was killed in action in Italy, during World War II.

Dr. Barlow retired around 1970.   He died on the 1st of January of 1977.  Mrs. Barlow died on the 20th of August, 1980.  They were buried at Maple Leaf Cemetery.

*Dr. Barlow and his 4 sons also appear on the ‘Gathering Our Heroes’ website paying tribute for their military service to Canada.

**Dr. Barlow’s son, Dr. Robert Blake Barlow also appears on the Chatham-Kent Physician Tribute website.