GOC Infantry Brigade
RMC Sandhurst psc
Barnett Dyer Lempriere Gray Anley was the eldest son of Colonel Barnett N Anley, of Portora, Enniskillen. He was commissioned in the Essex Regiment on 10 October 1894. He served in the South African War (1899-1902), where he was Adjutant 6th Battalion Mounted Infantry, was twice mentioned in despatches and won a DSO. After passing Staff College, he was appointed GSO3 Coastal Defences Eastern Command (March 1909-May 1912) and GSO3, then GSO2, War Office (May 1912-March 1914). In July 1912 he was promoted major and transferred to the 2nd Battalion Manchester Regiment. This looks suspiciously like someone being fast-tracked for promotion. When the war broke out, however, he did not proceed abroad with his battalion but became Assistant Provost Marshal of 2nd Manchesters’ parent division, the 5th. Anley was APM 5th Division until January 1915. After a short period as DAQMG 3rd Division he became CO 1st Battalion Manchester Regiment (January-March 1915). His command was interrupted by a wound. After recovering, he remained at home as GSO2, then GSO1, Ripon Training Centre (June 1915-January 1916).
He returned to the Western Front on 14 January 1916 as GSO1 41st Division, the junior division of the New Army, which had yet to take part in any offensive operations. Anley remained as 41st Division’s chief of staff, through the Somme battles, including the first use of tanks in September 1916, until 3 May 1917, when he returned home as GSO 1 HQ Home Forces. He remained in this post until August 1918, when he was promoted GOC 183rd Brigade, 61st (2nd South Midland) Division TF. Promotion to brigade command direct from a long period of staff duty at home was most unusual by this stage of the war, but Anley retained his post until the Armistice, leading his brigade in the crossing of the Selle and at Valenciennes.
He remained in the army after the war, commanding 1st Battalion King’s Own (Royal Lancaster) Regiment (November 1919-May 1920), 3rd London Infantry Brigade (May 1920-November 1921) and 125th (Lancashire Fusiliers) Brigade TA (October 1926-November 1928). He was also Commandant of the Senior Officers’ School, Sheerness (November 1921-November 1925). Brigadier-General Anley retired from the Army in 1928.
John Bourne, Centre for First World War Studies