A.O. Glisson

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A.O. Glisson (b. Bath, Somerset **/**/1861 – d. (Pretoria, 03/05/1934) was a soldier and actor.


Alfred Osbourn (later Osborne) Glisson was born in Bath in the county of Somerset and in the Census of 1881 he is listed as a tripe dresser (his father was a pork butcher). It is not known when he came to South Africa, but when, in 1895, his daughter was baptised in Johannesburg, his occupation was given as canteen keeper. He took part in the Anglo-Boer War and at various stages he was a member of the Kimberley Volunteer Regiment, the colonial volunteer unit known as Roberts’ Horse, and the Corps of Cattle Rangers for Protection and Conduct of Captured Stock, which presumably means that he handled the confiscated livestock of the Boer farms. He seems to have been a man of many occupations. Besides the ones mentioned above, when he joined the Freemasons in 1903, he was a storeman. In 1914 he was in charge of the ambulance of the Railway Defence Rifle Association and the following year adverts in the Rand Daily Mail referred to him as the proprietor of the New Victoria Turkish Baths in President Street, which was given as his profession when he died in 1934.

He does not seem to have been a professional actor, but he appeared in at least four silent films: A Story of the Rand (Lorimer Johnston/1916), De Voortrekkers (Harold M. Shaw/1916), The Voice of the Waters (Joseph Albrecht/1918) and Allan Quatermain (H. Lisle Lucoque/1919). When he married German-born Clara Dey at St. Mary’s in Johannesburg in 1892 he was a widower and she predeceased him in 1919. When, in 1916, Joseph Albrecht’s oldest daughter was baptised, Clara Glisson had been one of the sponsors. (FO)


Le Roux, André I. & Fourie, Lilla – Filmverlede: geskiedenis van die Suid-Afrikaanse speelfilm

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