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Henry Allan Roughton May Artist Rifles.png

A signed cabinet card portrait of Captain (later Colonel) Henry May (1863-1930), who for many years served with, and later commanded, the Artists’ Rifles (20th Middlesex Rifle Volunteer Corps).

Born on 23 August 1863 in Quebec, Canada, Henry Allan Roughton May was the younger son of stockbroker Henry May, later of 30 Mecklenburg Square, London. A solicitor by profession, he was one of the founders of the firm Minet, May & Co of Dowgate Hill, EC4.

In 1882 he joined the Artists’ Rifles. May represented his regiment at the coronation of Edward VII and was in command of the Artists’ Regiment from 1912 to 1915 and again from 1919 to 1920. He served in the First World War and was mentioned in despatches before being invalided home. He was appointed a Military Companion of the Order of the Bath in 1915. He was entitled to the 1914 Star with clasp, the British War Medal, and the Victory Medal with MID emblem. He had previously been presented with the Volunteer Officers Decoration.

On 15 August 1889, at St Edmund’s Church in the village of Caister on the coast of Norfolk, he married Fanny Rose Allen, youngest daughter of Thomas Allen of Markshall near Norwich.

In 1929 Colonel May published Memories of the Artists’ Rifles. According to a review in The Scotsman (13 January 1930), this was ‘written with an engaging vivacity of manner that makes it enjoyable and inspiriting to read, it is at the same time a noteworthy and valuable regimental history, sure of a welcome both among those ‘Artists’ to whom it more particularly and intimately appeals and among other readers, retracing the general history of the war and the British Army.’

Colonel May died, aged 66, on 10 April 1930 at 18 Eastern Road, Fortis Green, Middlesex. He left an estate valued at £27,246.


The photo has been inscribed and signed in ink by May: ‘Yours truly / H.A.R. May / Capt. Artists R.V.’

Cabinet Photograph

Barraud's Ltd. - Photographer

263 Oxford Street

London, England


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