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, Ontario on February 1, 1897.  Dr. Barlow was the youngest of 5 children born to Harry Barlow and the former Mary Elizabeth Summers.  His fathers occupation was listed as a laborer on his birth record.  Dr. Barlow’s siblings were; Etta Annie Barlow, Emma Maud Barlow, Mable Edna Barlow and Josh W. Barlow (Josh died as a young child).  Dr. Barlow received his elementary and secondary education in Woodstock.  He graduated from Woodstock Collegiate Institute.

Dr. Barlow enlisted in World War I in Toronto 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.  He was listed as 5’11” tall, 145 pounds with brown eyes and dark brown hair.  Dr. Barlow was attached to the 19th Battalion of the Canadian Infantry.  He departed for England on the 7th of April, 1917 and travelled to France on the 27th of February, 1918.  Dr. Barlow was wounded in action during the Battle of Arras in France on the 17th of June, 1918.  He received a gunshot wound to his head and to his right hand.  The following day, Dr. Barlow was hospitalized at the No. 4 Canadian General Hospital in Basingstoke, England.  According to his medical file, he also suffered from trench fever in April of 1918.  Dr. Barlow’s unit was demobilized and he was discharged on the 30th of July, 1919

Dr. Barlow 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 at 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. She was the 4th of 10 children born to Benjamin Jeffrey Smith and the former Alice Maud Mary Laidley.  Her father was a station agent for the Canadian National Railway and her siblings were; Oswald Jeffrey Smith, Ernest Gilmour Smith, Hazel Constance Smith, Gordon Cecil Smith, Kenneth Findley Smith, Dorothy Helen Smith, Norman Patterson Smith, Wallace Graham Smith and Ruth Isabel Smith.

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 Summers Barlow, Robert “Blake” Barlow, Murray S. Barlow, William “Keith” Barlow and Bonnie Elizabeth Barlow.  All of their sons served during WWII.  Corporal William Keith Barlow was killed in action in Italy, during World War II.

Dr. Barlow retired around 1970.   He died at Public General Hospital in Chatham on the 1st of January of 1977.  Mrs. Barlow died at Public General Hospital on the 20th of August, 1980.  Dr. and Mrs. Barlow 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.

**Mrs. Barlow’s brothers Ernest and Gordon Smith both served during WWI.

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