|Above: The first of two cabinet photographs depicting the costars of the 1900 production of The Second In Command, a comedy in four acts by Robert Marshall. The play is set just
prior to the lead character's regiment - in the case the 10th Dragoon Guards - being deployed to South African during the Anglo-Boer War. Allan Aynesworth portrayed Lieutenant
Colonel Miles Anstruther, DSO while Cyril Maude was cast as Major Christopher Bingham
Windrow & Grove - Photographer
63A Baker Street, W., London, England
While Allan Aynesworth, like many other actors, may have played British officers on stage from time to time he had a more direct connection to the military than most being born at
the Royal Military College at Sandhurst on 14 April, 1864. His birth name was Edward Henry Abbot-Anderson and at the time his like named father was a captain serving with the
18th Regiment of Foot.
Educated in England, France and Germany Aynesworth made his stage debut in London in 1887 in The Red Lamp. He created the role of Lieutenant-Colonel Miles Anstruther for The
Second in Command (as he is pictured here). Well regarded in his day his many roles included parts in stage productions such as Billy’s Little Love Affair, Imprudence, The Freedom
of Suzanne and Mrs. Temple’s Telegram. He returned to military roles in The Barrier in which he played Captain Antony Erquen and later starred with Lilly Langtry in A Fearful Joy
A rarity among actors, Aynesworth made the transition to silent film seamlessly and performed an encore of sort when he just as easily transitioned to sound films. He had a role with
George Arliss in The Iron Duke (1934), in Brewster's Millions (1935) with Jack Buchanan and Lili Damita and with Charles Laughton and Flora Robson in the never completed 1937
production of I, Claudius. His last film was the 1949 production of The Last Days of Dolwyn with one of his costars being a young Richard Burton. Perhaps Aynesworth’s greatest
tribute came many years later when an interviewer asked the great Sir John Gielgud who had inspired him as an actor? Gielgud’s reply: “Allan Aynesworth”.
Aynesworth seems to have been married twice. Firstly to Mary Augusta Oliver whom he married in London in 1892 and divorced in 1903 and secondly to Edith Margaret Liddell. He
does not seem to have had any children from either union.
Aynesworth passed away at the ripe old age of 95 at his home in Surrey on 22 August, 1959.
|Above: Cyril Maude as Major Christopher Bingham in The Second in Command.
Alfred Ellis & Walery - Photographer
52 Baker Street, London, W., England
Born in London, England on 24 April 1862, Cyril Francis Maude somewhat unusually began his acting career in Denver, Colorado, USA in 1883. Seemingly of a weak constitution
as a youth his parents (Charles Henry Maude and Georgina Henrietta Emma Hanbury-Tracy ) had previously sent him to Australia to regain his health in 1881 and although this
hope for remedy failed in its desired effect he did return the England infected by the acting bug.
Well respected for his comedy roles. Maude also worked behind the stage and was from 1895 to 1905 co-manager of London’s famed Haymarket Theater. Deciding to be a one
man show of sorts he opened his own theater – the Playhouse- in 1907.
Like his co-star in The Second in Command Allan Aynesworth, Maude successfully made the transition from stage to both silent and sound films probably because his comedic
background offered him a bit more leeway in the new medium than had he been a serious actor. The transition to sound ruined many a leading man’s career. He appeared in at
least ten films between 1914 and 1935 and made his last appearance on the silver screen in While the sun Shines (1947) at the age of 85.
Maude’s wife Winifred Emery came from an old acting family and the couple had three children; Margery, Pamela Cynthia (1893-1975) and John Cyril. Pamela married Major
William “Billy” La Touche Congreve VC, DSO, MC of the Rifle Brigade who was killed in action at Longueval, France in 1916.
Aside from acting Maude served as President of the Actor’s Orphanage Fund from 1905 to 1914. He was also a Mason for some time. A member of the United Grand Lodge of
England he was admitted on 3 April, 1888 but resigned form that fraternal order on 5 March, 1895.
Cyril Francis Maude died at Troquay, Devonshire on 20 February, 1951