FOLLOWING WAS WRITTEN BY SGT EILEEN ARNSBY
August 14, 1850 he was attested at Westminster
for the 94th Regiment of Foot in which he
served in Gibraltar and Peshawur, India (now
In August 1860 he was promoted to Hospital
Sergeant and re-enlisted for a second term
of 11 years. He then on Sept. 1, 1867 volunteered
for the First Battalion, 3rd Regt. of Foot
"The Buffs", until his date of discharge,
August 22, 1871, having completed two terms
of service, for which he received a Good Conduct
and Long Service medal and a "very good"
gave, as his intended place of residence,
Whitchurch, Hampshire. This information was
too late for the census of April 1871 and
in April 1881 there were no Arnsbys listed
but a family of the name of Yarlett, which
was the maiden name of Henry's wife.
there we might have lost him forevermore had
it not been for the earlier labours of Louise
Arnsby who, in the 1960's had been in contact
with cousins in England, gleaning what information
they had of the older generation. These letters
I had inherited when due to illness and her
marriage Louise was no longer able to complete
as I was filing away the bulking certificate
of discharge of Sgt. Henry Alfred my eye caught
three lines of figures and writing across
the test on the back page which could be taken
for scribbles of War Office regulation numbers.
Careful scrutiny revealed the inscription
"H.B.M. (Her Britannic Majesty) Consul,
Oporto" 21/10/84 and a line "Awarded
4 years pension as commutation", (more
figures) then, to H.B.M. Consul, Oporto 27/1/85.
the War Office was awarding Henry extra pension.
But why fourteen years after discharge? The
answer may give some indication of Henry's
character. On page 2, where he signs that
he has received "all just demands"
there is another almost indecipherable note
in the margin, "except a claim against
the Indian Government for difference of pay
between Sgt. and Hospital Sgt. from 17 October
1870 to date of final discharge which he is
leaving in the hands of the Officer Commanding
Depot 1/b, 3 Bt. for settlement".
14 years later Henry's patience and determination
paid off - but by then he was no longer in
I recalled a letter of 1968 from Major Cornelius
Arnsby, Grandson of Edmund (1832-77) and son
of Edmund (1867-1939) our "cousin Con"
written to Louise, in which there was a mention
of Portugal, as quoted:"You will be interested
that on a visit to my stepson in Hannover,
Germany he produced a fine bottle of Douro
Port in the name of Arnsby wine merchants
of Portugal. I will write to the firm in the
near future and hope to hear something of
interest that I can pass on to you."I
immediately wrote to Con but received no reply.
He would have been 88 so may have been deceased
next step was to contact the Portuguese Consulate
in Toronto to obtain a list of wine merchants,
for which errand I called on Jerry Arnsby,
living in Toronto. Jerry obtained a long list
which he photocopied for me and we set to
work both sending letters to various firms.
They all replied most courteously and helpfully
and most were familiar with the Arnsby name
in connection with the wine trade.
the most useful information came from two
merchants initially contacted by Jerry. The
very large and British established firm of
Cockburn Smithes & Co. sent a photocopy
of a 1948 publication edited by the Association
of Port Wine Exporters, of the history of
the independant firm of Wiese & Krohn
containing a photo of Edmund Henry Arnsby,
who, with his brother Frederick, was connected
with the firm.
another of Jerry's correspondents, The Instituto
do Vinho do Porto, on their own initiative,
made contact with a retired Englishman who
had spent many years in the trade. This Mr.
John Dalaforce went to "the English Church"
of St. James in Oporto searched for and sent
on to us all the records he could find of
christenings, marriages and deaths in the
do not know the exact date that Henry and
Jemima brought their family to Portugal but
estimating recorded birth from age and registered
deaths we know that one son, Frederick Charles,
was born in England in 1870 (Henry was not
discharged from the army until 1871- discharged
to pension on August 3, 1871 and that a second
son, Horace was baptized in Oporto in Nov.
1873; which places their arrival 1872-73.
duties as Hospital Sergeant must have trained
him in pharmacy as his register of death states
he was Dispenser in the British Hospital.
third son, Edmund Henry (Named after the 2
month son who died in 1852) was born in Oporto
in 1876. Another Arnsby entry was of a young
woman, Frances Emma, 27, who died in 1896
with no parental reference and who may have
been a daughter born in England in 1869.
following deaths and burials are entered in
the registry of the British Church of St.