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Lieut. Arthur Stansfield Battersby, R.N.
Reluctant ears for the Royal Navy on Mars
Educated at Burney’s Naval Academy, Gosport, and H.M.S. Britannia. Entered Navy 1873 and made Midshipman 1874. Employed in boats on African coast for suppression of slave traffic, 1878-1880. Promoted to Sub-Lieutenant, 1879. Served in H.M.S. Condor (gun vessel) at Bombardment of Alexandria and in Red Sea during Soudan Campaign against the Mahdi (awarded Egyptian Medal, Alexandria clasp, 11 July 1882). Served in H.M.S. Hecla (torpedo boat), 1883. Disembarked with Naval Brigade; action at Al-Teb and Tamai under Captain Wilson, 29 February and 13 March 1884. Awarded Khedive Bronze Star and 2 clasps and promoted Lieutenant, 1884. Assigned Gunnery Lieutenant, H.M.S. Agamemnon (turret battleship), 1885. Assigned trials aboard H.M.S. Macefield (aerial gunboat), Channel Fleet, 1888. Secondment to Royal Navy headquarters, Crown Colony of Syrtis Major, 1889.
Family & Personal Relationships
Arthur was born 10 February 1860 to Percival Augustus Battersby, a solicitor and later Member of Parliament, and his second wife Jane.
The elder Battersby was an English solicitor who spent some years in New South Wales and became involved in local politics. He returned to England where he was a Liberal Party politician who sat in the House of Commons variously between 1860 and 1884. Battersby had gone to New South Wales, where he practised for some years as a solicitor in Sydney. He was High Sheriff of New South Wales from 1846 to 1853. He returned to England and was a J.P. and Deputy Lieutenant for Berkshire.
The elder Battersby was first married to the former Miss Ann Beale, who bore him his first son, Lancelot (“Lance”), in 1847. Arthur lived much of his life in his older brother’s shadow; Lance shares much of his father’s personality and political ambition. His mother passed away in 1849.
Percival then married the former Miss Jane Haggard, an Australian woman, in 1851, and they returned to England the next year. Percival was first elected to the House of Commons in 1860, and Arthur was born soon after. A younger sister, Elaine, followed in 1862.
Arthur became fast friends with fellow Lieutenant William Hughes Hallet Montresor of the Euryalus during their time attached to the Naval Brigade in the Soudan. Sadly, Montresor fell with fellow Lieutenants Walter Almack and Houston Stewart while defending their guns at Tamai. Arthur paid his respects to Montresor family and struck up a friendship with William’s youngest sister Frances. Corresponding over the years, and visiting when possible, Arthur and Frances have grown close. The relationship is not altogether approved by her father, Admiral F. B. Montresor, but Frances has so far not married.
Arthur is a member of the Naval and Military Club (London) and Royal Naval Club (Portsmouth).