Through extensive research and help from several New Zealand firms, we have been been able to obtain a copy of the will of Claude, and included in the documents from the New Zealand Archives, are several letters from Claude to his solicitors, and several court documents submitted by the solicitors in regard to locating the original will. The court concluded that Claude’s instructions as follows were legal, and then issued probate of the Will. At his time of death Claude was living in a room and being cared for by Mrs Scandlyn. The whole of his estate amounted to less than £900.
This letter is rather sad, when Claude did not know just how important he was to his son.
He obviously was a sad and lonely old man, who was lost without his wife. Records indicate that he married bigamously, but so did plenty of other people!
I felt so sorry for Claude when I originally read the contents of his will. That poor man, all alone in New Zealand, with no family to call his own.
That was of course until I realised just what sort of a person he really was.
He committed bigamy, he admitted he had no other children, and that his first wife had died.
What a sceamer! He was a pathological liar!. I feel very sorry for his father, an Anglican minister who put his life on the line as a missionary in China, only to have his only son turn out to be the person he was.
It was his character that made me believe that he was not born as Claude Annesley, a hunch that turned out to be totally correct!
His Life in New Zealand
Claude moved to New Zealand and for years the family thought he had perished in the earthquake in Napier.
Dale’s brother Jim advised that he visited Roma in 1948 only staying overnight.
Claude lived in Waitoa, 38 klms from Hamilton, in the New Zealand North Island as a Dairy Herd Tester!
The area has large cheese factories, so he possibly worked within the dairy industry. His address is given as 4A Rawa Street, Waitoa.
In 1946 to Aileen Dorothy Hitchcock (formerly Waters). He was still married to Katie, so in effect had committed bigamy!
Aileen died in 1958, aged 63 years.
Details on the death certificate indicate his mother as Mary Amy Jennings, and that he was born in India.
After extensive research and help from several New Zealand firms, I was able to obtain a copy of the will of Claude, and included in the documents from the New Zealand Archives, are several letters from Claude to his solicitors, and several court documents submitted by the solicitors in regard to locating the original will.
The court concluded that Claude’s instructions as follows were legal, and then issued probate of the Will. At his time of death Claude was living in a room and being cared for by Mrs Scandlyn. The whole of his estate amounted to less than 900 pounds.
He died in 1961, and his will was read in the Hamilton High Court.
Letters from Claude Annesley to his solicitors. These letters were written after the death of his wife Aileen.
c/- G Scandlyn
4 Arawa Street
To Mr NTW Inder
Inder and Lynch
Dear Mr Inder thank you for attending to the social security matter and the bank - I now have a local account at NSW Mooresville which I had not had time to arrange at that time.
I wish you to make the enclosed memoranda into an??Eligible will for me - I can sign it and get it witnessed here and will return it to your keeping - Mrs Scantly has full instructions what to do in case of my death - she will notify you and post a letter I will leave addressed to you.
I have given this matter much thought and have decided that my late wife’s other relations are beyond danger of pority and are all so long that the ??? would have to be gone through again. (Very hard to decipher)
So I have decided to divide it between the two families who looked after me after my wife’s death when I felt very much alone and miserable - Betty Scandlyn, who was my assistant for years when I was working, has made me promise to stay with them till the end, and I believe she is better than a daughter to me and I am a very lucky old man.
As you will see I have asked you to be my sole executor - I do hope you will accept the responsibility
Can a husband and wife together witness a will? We have a nice pair of neighbours I could go to.
The only suggestion I have for you is not to sell more of my small investments than you have to.
Claude H Annesley.
Memoranda for my will
1. Body to be cremated even if a journey to Australia is necessary
2. All personal property and furniture in my room in the house of Mr and Mrs George Scandlyn at my death to go to Betty Kathleen Scandlyn (nee Hyde) wife of George Scandlyn of Waitoa
3. 500 pounds of Auckland Drainage Board debentures to Viola Clare Gallagher (nee Waters) wife of Frederick John Gallagher 9 Jutlared Rd Mawerewa
4. 20 Bank of New South Wales Shares to Betty Kathleen Scandlyn
5. 50 pounds each to Fred J Gallagher; George Scandlyn; William Hammond Hynes (Betty’s brother) and Jessie Hyde widow (Betty’s mother)
6. 25 pounds to Ann McDonnell widow and Vivian Lancaster (called Tass) same address in thanks for their kindness for me when living with them
7. The remainder of my estate to be equally divided between Viola Clare Gallagher and Betty Kathleen Scnadlyn
8. I appoint Mr NTW Inder solicitor of the firm of Inder Lynch Broadway Papakura to be my sole executor and direct that he shall have 50 pounds out of my estate in addition to such fees as he is entitled to
If any of above pre-decease me the bequest returns to residuary estate.
Signed Claude H Annesley
It seems that Viola Gallagher was his wife’s sister as they had the same name Waters
DETAILS OF A CREMATION IN Purewa Cemetery, Auckland.
Deceased: Last Address: Gender: Date of Cremation: Ashes: Funeral Director:
Register Entry NO.: ANNESLEY, Claude Harold 4a Rawa Street, Waitoa Male 20/04/1961 Thursday Returned Sibuns Funeral Advisors 582 Remuera Road Remuera AUCKLAND Telephone: 520-3119 3965
further to previous emails - ashes of the late Claude Harold Annesley were scattered in the Purewa Crematorium gardens in 1968.
In these circumstances there won't be a grave / plaque.
We trust this is the information you require.
Mr Inder the solicitor has made a number of interesting points in the Supreme Court Documents.
He has sworn that:
He had made full enquiries with a view to ascertaining what relatives if any the deceased left him surviving and as a result of such enquiries I am informed and believe that:
Claude was born in China and lived a large part of his life in Australia .Agreed
Claude was married twice and both his wives pre-deceased him Agreed,
Except that his first wife was still alive when he married in New Zealand making him guilty of bigamy.
Claude had one child who was adopted by the other parent at an early age following the death of his first wife? Incorrect
Why would he not recognise two children, unless there is something else to this story which might explain why he left Katie and took Valerie
Claude had no children from the second marriage Agreed
Claude’s parents predeceased him Agreed
Claude had no brothers or sisters Agreed.
I contacted the firm of Inder and Lynch, and Mr Inder died in the 1960’s. All his old files were destroyed, but they were sorry to hear that their client obviously had family in Australia!
So in summary from what has been learnt, it would seem that:
Claude Harold Annesley was born Harold Sedgwick. Son of Rev James Henry Sedgwick a missionary in China, and Ellen Jennings.
He served in the Boer War, as Private Sedgwick.
He changed his name to C. Annesley and arrived in Australia in 1903.
On his marriage certificate he wrote that his father was Hon Arthur Annesley (decd) from Kent.
His actions to avoid service on the Western Front were well documented by the officers in charge.
He killed his neighbour’s calf, but was acquitted.
He left his daughter with some friend, and left Australia. For what reason?
He remarries in New Zealand while he is still married in Australia
He does not recognise that he has two children.
He advises that his one child was adopted by another family, at an early age following the death of his first wife
He died a lonely old man.
He never realised his son’s greatest wish in life was to find his father. That didn’t happen. Kris Herron 2013