R.J. Armes

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(b. Kings Lynn, Norfolk, **/**/1876 – d. Colchester, Essex, **/**/1948). Soldier. In the S.A. Pictorial of 29 April 1922, a Col. R.J. Armes is credited as making an appearance as the Ship’s Captain in the African Film Productions version of H. De Vere Stacpoole’s novel The Vulture’s Prey (1922), directed by Dick Cruikshanks and William Bowden. He is probably Col. Reginald John Armes, who was the Officer Commanding ‘A’ Company of the Prince of Wales (North Staffordshire) Regiment during World War I. He is especially remembered for a letter he wrote to his wife, Eleanora, on Christmas Eve 1914 while serving on the Western Front. In it Armes describes a cease fire that he arranged with a German officer that was to last till midnight on Christmas Day, a period during which not a single shot was fired and there was some fraternisation between the two opposing sides. It is known that Colonel Armes came to South Africa at least twice, in 1919 and 1921. It is therefore quite possible that he was in the country when The Vulture’s Prey was shot, which seems to have been some two years before its eventual release. (The caption to a photograph in the S.A. Pictorial makes specific reference to his military rank and it is unlikely that there was another Colonel R.J. Armes.) (FO)


S.A. Pictorial, 29 April 1922


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