Telling the whole story of Richard Meanley Anson

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Richard Meanley Anson, wearing the uniform of the 2nd Canadian Mounted Rifles, British Columbia Regiment, in 1915 or 1916. Image from Desmond Burton’s paper.

Desmond Burton has again been in touch, still pursuing his extraordinary research on the subject of his  Great uncle Richard Meanley Anson who died in a military hospital on The Somme 100 years ago, almost to the very day.

Richard was a Rushall lad who sadly gave his life in battle on the Somme in September 1916 – and many will remember Desmond Burton’s fine, exemplary and fascinating piece of research into the life and loss of this local hero.

Following contacts Desmond made with other readers and contributors including the wonderful Graeme Clarke as well as other members of the local history community the original research has been greatly expanded, and a new version is available which now stands at an astounding 28 pages. Just click on the link below, or peruse the gallery at the foot of this post.

Richard Meanley Anson Biography PDF – 3.8 megabytes

Desmond wrote:

Hello Bob

Thanks to your help last year I made some very useful contacts (particularly Graeme Clarke, who led me towards various sources like the Canadian War Diaries), and I have now been able to produce a much-expanded version of the article on my great-uncle, with details of his active service and the circumstances surrounding his death.

As it happens, today (16th September) is exactly 100 years since he was wounded at the Somme (and he died in hospital less than two days later), so I wonder if you might like to bring the new version to the attention of your many readers.

Any comments/criticisms/corrections are very welcome, of course, and you never know, it might lead to further contacts and more information surfacing. Somewhere out there are his medals, and no doubt photographs, too.

Hope all is well with you. Take care.


Thanks to Desmond for his kind words, and for another illustration of just why I curate this blog; the ability to make just this small difference is an honour and a pleasure, and I’d like to thank all readers who helped, especially Graeme.

Desmond is still interested in tracing any surviving relatives of Richard, his medals or any photos that may survive. Can you help? Please do comment here, or mail me: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com.

Click on any page in the gallery to see a larger version, or download the complete PDF from the link above.

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4 Responses to Telling the whole story of Richard Meanley Anson

  1. David Evans says:

    Hi Bob
    splendid research, Desmond. Thanks for sharing this .
    Where was the Daw End farm?

    kind regards

  2. Desmond Burton says:

    Hi David,

    There was an article about the Manor Arms, Daw End, in the Express & Star on Saturday 21st February 2009. Part of it read as follows:

    “It is rumoured the pub dates back to 1104 and may have been inhabited by monks. But historians say while entertaining, these are simply local legends. In fact, they say the building is largely made of 18th Century red brick and modern roughcast, but contains stone from a previous structure dating from the 15th and 16th centuries.

    It did not operate as a pub until Victorian times. The building was in use as a farmhouse until its owners, the Anson family, opened their front room as a beerhouse towards the end of the 19th Century. John Anson would sell beer to boatmen who passed in their narrowboats on the canal that runs alongside it. The family first gained a full publican’s license in about 1895, after which the trade directories begin to list the Manor Arms as a public house.”

    I haven’t searched for the original source of this information, but if it is correct, it suggests that the farmhouse and the pub were at one time in the same place. If so, I presume the farmland would have been to the front and sides of the pub, rather than behind it, because the canal is just at the back and surely can’t have separated the house from the farmland. In the 1881 census John Anson (c1833-1898), who is referred to above and who was the father-in-law of Sarah Asenath Anson mentioned in my article, is described as a farmer of 103 acres. In 1861 his father had owned 92 acres so clearly the family was wealthy enough to purchase further land.

    For anyone who is not familiar with it, the Manor Arms is in Park Road, Daw End, Rushall, on the left beyond the Boathouse pub, near the entrance to the Park Lime Pits.

    Kind Regards,


  3. David Evans says:

    HI Desmond
    many many thanks and my kind regards

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