Anthony May Capron Hollist (1873-1915)

The name Hollist rings a very special note for those who know Lodsworth.  Indeed the story of the family and its roots in the area are fascinating and well worthy of an in depth investigation.  Anyone who visits St Peter’s Church and examines the plaques on its walls will be genuinely astonished at the stories that must lie behind the many Hollists that appear…… but that’s for another time.

At the turn of the 20th Century one Hollist stands out as an extraordinary character.   Anthony May Capron Hollist, the eldest son of Lieutenant-Colonel E O Hollist, was born in 1873. At the age of 21 he worked as a ‘hand’ on a sheep station in New South Wales, Australia then rented 500 acres to grow wheat, maize and sheep.

Lieut AMC Hollist in Boer War uniform
Lieut AMC Hollist in Boer War uniform

The Times reported on 7 December 1900:

“AMCH was in the United States of America when the Boer War broke out, but was so anxious to go to South Africa that he shipped on board a vessel engaged in the transport of mules, and, having landed he lost no time in enlisting as a trooper in the South African Light Horse and went through every battle to the relief of Ladysmith.  In recognition of his services he was given a commission and, as soon as he was gazetted to a Lieutenancy in the West India Regiment, Mr Hollist came home on his way to Jamaica.” 

The Newspapers describe the festivities of his return, when he was given a public welcome by the villagers, with a supper and a smoking concert!  During the evening, his father declared that:

“Not only had he won his commission by his soldierly abilities in the field, but also included among his winnings was the love of a young lady”

and announced the engagement of his son to Miss Katharine Barker. Their wedding at Cocking Parish Church took place on a day when:

Capt AMC Hollist c.1914
Capt AMC Hollist c.1914

“The weather was somewhat unpropitious, but the guests were able to thoroughly enjoy the good things provided for them, perambulating the well-kept grounds of Lodsworth House, or comfortably ensconced on lawn seats, listening to pleasing music by the Haslemere band.”

After serving both in the Boer War and in The Great War in The Buffs (East Kent Regiment), as the photographs on these pages show, he was very sadly posted missing in September 1915 and eventually declared dead.  He was 42.  His name is recorded on the Memorial at Loos, close to Pas de Calais.  He left two daughters, Lucy and Susan (Barnes).

Exploring the history of our village