|Birth: ||Feb. 12, 1914|
Greater London, England
|Death: ||Nov. 25, 2001|
Greater London, England
Eulogy given by his son Tony Annis
Anthony Annis MBE (Military)
12th February 1914 ~ 25th November 2001
Anthony, Toin, Twane, our father and our friend, always supportive of any of us in whatever we wanted to do. Travel Adventurer, Soldier, Sportsman, Actor, Travel Guide and Filmmaker.
Adventurer, who at seventeen rowed ashore after his ship was burnt under him and then marched across Spain in the company of the Spanish Foreign Legion. He joined the Guards who gave him a love of horses and the Rough Riding School; a desire to live the life of a Pampas cowboy and the nickname of Gaucho.
Sportsman. He won Army medals for boxing, swimming, running and, in an eight, rowed for his club, who then won at Henley.
Actor. His mother entered him in a contest run by "Picture Goer" and he won as a Ronald Coleman look-alike, and that's when was born his love for theatre and film, which continued all his life. Out of the Army and into films, he met Mariquita on a film set where he was playing a Prince riding down from the clouds on a beautiful hunter and she a peasant girl. So they fell in love and, a couple of months later, she slipped out of Royal Palace Hotel, married and was back for tea. Later they moved to Brazil to fulfill his dream of being a cowboy, but there of course everyone wanted him to join a bank!
This trip ended sadly as they lost their first-born daughter, Manoela, born on Sunday 6th December 1936 and died on Sunday 12th December 1937. They never forgot her and remembered her birthday every year.
They returned to Britain, to the Theatre and film. Dad became Olivier's understudy and stunt double, but war clouds gathered.
World War II broke out and Anthony had amazing adventures that could fill a book. Suffice to say now that he was commissioned in the Guards, then moved to the "Green Jackets", followed by Marine Commandos and finally to S.O.E and the Intelligence Corps. He served in many theatres of the war and many times behind enemy lines. Dad was involved in several landings, some clandestine and some not, both in Europe and in Africa. Captain Annis, was mentioned in Dispatches twice and was awarded the MBE (Military Division) for, amongst other events, his work in the jungle of Madagascar. He and a corporal were landed from a destroyer; they ran about 20 kilometres through the forest, captured two enemy agents from their quarters and took them back in under 24 hours. Later Dad was badly wounded in India and given two years to live at the most. Sometimes it's good when doctors get it wrong! This happened on Christmas day, which was bad, but he believed the wounding helped him to be one of the very few survivors of his original group, which was the good news. Time out to recover, miss the raid on Dieppe but still time to be in Paris before its liberation, become part of SHAEF, be at the battle of the Bulge and move into Germany. On a lighter note he upset several brass hats, starting with Montgomery, when he was asked to do a mock raid on Montys HQ and to assassinate him. Monty thought it impossible and when Dad succeeded Montgomery was not best pleased. He also raided and captured a French General when he was in bed with his lady friend, causing him to incur, the General thought, some loss of face. This General on meeting De Gaul said, "I was about to come over to join you anyway and did you know that Captain Annis is not French but British"! Dad said, "I should have remembered that generals are just like film stars and need to be treated with kid gloves".
Demob and soon back to Brazil working for British South American Airways but was to easily seduced into running a nightclub called "The Big Rio". Too big for that time, Big Rio had rooms that could hold over 2000 people. The Club collapsed and it was back to Europe.
Anthony then worked in France before joining Thomas Cooks and becoming a film maker. He was involved in film travel documentaries, talks and TV shows that first led the British public into travel. Showing the films within a stage show, wanting to excite the average person to travel abroad, he and his friend Tom presented these shows all over all over the UK and sometimes had audiences of over 2000. It was at one of these shows that I first saw a spaghetti tree!
Anthony continued working as a special guide for various specialist groups. He went to Russia during the time of Stalin, with the American Senate to India, to Mount Everest base camp and over time visited most places in the world. Recommended by Malcolm Muggeridge, he did a lecture tour across America. Dad continued his interest in films and TV. He was in the first Episode of East Enders and had parts in over 60 different productions. He and mothers very great friend April were on many of these productions together. He made his last commercial when he was 79 years young.
To end on something more personal, Dad cared so much for all the family and was so supportive in anything we wished to do. So many people from all over the world loved him and emails and letters have arrived from all four corners of it. Mariquita and Anthony: a love story and a marriage of 65 years, proving you can marry on the 1st of April and it not end up a joke. Renaissance man, he was a wonderful husband, a loving father, he was my role model, if only I could half fill his shoes and I love him.
We are here not only to mourn him but also to celebrate his life and to wish him well on the start of his next big adventure.
Anthony, Toin, Twane, our father A kind, elegant gentleman.
Marquita (Mary) Purcell Annis (1913 - 2009)*
London Borough of Ealing
Greater London, England
Created by: MichaelAnnis
Record added: Oct 26, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 60686878