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Remembered Today:

Lieutenant Colonel Henry Sandys Ainslie


John Beech
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Afternoon All

Henry Ainslie was the CO of 1st Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers when they went to France in August 1914. He went home sick later in the year and was then given command of 18th Brigade in 6th Division on 29th May 1915. This promotion was short lived, as he went sick again in August 1915 and returned to the UK. He was not given another active command and commanded battalions in the UK until 1918 when he became a member of a medical board. He retired in April 1919.

Would anyone have a picture of this officer that I can get a copy of?

Thanks

John

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John

The 6 Division History (Naval and Military Press-ISBN 9781845742874) may have his photo,though with such a short tenure in Command,maybe not ! It is often part of the History to publish pics of the upper Staff.

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Hi sotonmate

Good suggestion i'll give it a try

Regards

John

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  • 1 year later...
Guest corinnefs

Dear John,

I have just been researching Lieutenant Colonel Henry Sandys Ainslie for my family history and, although I don't have a photo, I do have some information and documents such as his birth register image (from Bengal, India), death transcript and newspaper cuttings if you are interested. I would, of course, be interested to know if you did find a photo or other information. Col. Ainslie is of particular interest to me because he married Lilian Elizabeth Lyall when he was "Capt. H.S. Ainslie of the Malay States Guides (formerly of the Northumberland Fusiliers), stationed in Singapore". Lilian was the granddaughter of Peter Nicholas Broun who was the First Colonial Secretary in Western Australia, a common ancestor.

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Hi Corinnefs

I am afraid that, as of yet, I have still not turned up a photo of Henry Ainslie, but am still trying! There does not appear to be one in the St. George's Gazette, the Regimental magazine, but I have not been in touch with the regimental archivist, something I keep meaning to do.

As you know Henry Ainslie was born in Bengal in 1869, his parents being William and Margaret Ainslie, William was a civil servant in the Indian Civil Service. He was back in the UK to be shown on the 1881 Census as a boarder at Newton College, Newton Abbott, and is shown on the 1891 Census as living with his parents and sister, Helen, at Broadhill Road, Torquay. On the 1911 Census he is living with his wife Lillian at Draycot Wingrove Road, Fenham, Newcastle upon Tyne.

Henry Ainslie was commissioned in the Northumberland Fusiliers on 1st March 1890, and appears to have missed any active campaigning, whilst still rising up the promotional ladder. He was promoted to Lieutenant on 11th May 1892 and to Captain on 26th August 1896, ( according to Harts Army List his promotion took place 26th August 1899 but this is probably a typo as he was listed as a Captain when he became ADC) and was an ADC to the Governor Straits Settlements (12th January 1897 until 1898), followed by attachment to the Malay States Guides (April 1898 until January 1902). He was promoted to Major on 14th October 1903. He was appointed Lieutenant Colonel and took command of the 1st Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers on 23rd November 1913, by which time he was 44 years old, and still had no combat experience. He took 1st Battalion to France as part of 9th Brigade, 3rd Division in August 1914 and commanded two companies in the Brigade Reserve at Mons. He went home sick in September 1914. He was mentioned in St John French's Dispatch of 8th October 1914, published in the London Gazette 19th October 1914, and was appointed CMG on 18th February 1915 (London Gazette 19th March 1915)

He returned to France in spring of 1915 and resumed command of the battalion until 29th May 1915 when he was promoted to GOC 18th Brigade, 6th Division. He again went sick on 5th August 1915 and went home. He never returned to active service.

He became Commanding Officer of 13th (Reserve) Battalion, Worcestershire Regiment in April 1916. This became the 46th Training Reserve Battalion, 10th Reserve Brigade on 1st September 1916. He remained in command of the 46th Training Reserve Battalion until January 1918. He then became a member of a Travelling Medical Board (between February 1918 and April 1919). He went onto half pay as of 10th April 1919, at which time he was serving at the Dispersal Staff School at Wimbledon. The London Gazette of 17th July 1919, shows that he was regarded as having retired as of 10th April 1919 and he went onto retired pay. As he had spent fewer than six months as a Brigade commander, Lieutenant-Colonel Ainslie did not qualify for the rank of Honorary Brigadier-General when he retired.

I suspect that his lack of experience on active campaigns and the nature of the war in 1914 made him unsuitable for front line command hence the somewhat backwards trajectory of his career to a training / assessment role at the war end. Henry Ainslie died on 14th June 1948.

I would be grateful of any additional information you have on Henry Ainslie and if you would prefer to take this off Forum, I can be contacted at johnbbeech@ntlworld.com

Regards

John

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John

Following your message, I did a quick look on Findmypast (who have good India records) and it shows Henry Sandys Ainslie's parents as William and Amelia Caroline Gouldsbury... not Margaret as you have. Of course this may have no bearing on your interests and research! H. S. Ainslie born on Aug 1st 1869 in Nowshera, Bengal.

I'll still rootle around (I have FIBIS, Ancestry and Findmypast access for my financial sins!) and let you know if I find anything else...

Alasdair

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Hi Alasdair

Thanks for the correction. Rechecked 1891 Census and Margaret was actually Ainslie's sister not mother - my mistake.

I have also been in touch with the regimental archivist who is sending me a copy of a photo of Henry Ainslie so we shall finally be able to put a face to the research!

Regards

John

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Excellent result!

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  • 5 weeks later...

Morning All

Just to round off this thread, I have received two photos of Henry Ainslie from the Regimental Museum together with his obituary. Unfortunately, the photos are A4 size and too large to post even when the size is reduced. If anyone would like scanned copies, feel free to send me an email address through PM and I will send you copies

Regards

John Beech

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