John Anstey (b 1879)

by Gary. M. Ansteychief researcher of the Anstey story project.

John Anstey, a member of the Coventry Ansteys, was born on 6 March 1879 in West Bromwich, baptised on 27 April 1879 at West Bromwich, St John, to parents William Anstey and Emma Elizabeth Bridge. He grew up living in West Bromwich and by the 1901 Census he was living with his mother and siblings at 52, Beeches Road, West Bromwich, working as a ‘spring maker’.

A year later, on 10 January 1902 at Worcester, John joined the Army. On his Attestation Form he noted that he was born in West Bromwich; that he was aged 23; that he was Church of England; that he was a whitesmith by trade; and that he was already serving (presumably part time) with the 1st Volunteer Battalion of the South Staffs Regiment. He was posted to the 36th Battalion Imperial Yeomanry (Company 162) as a Private/Trooper (Service Number: 40731).

John embarked for South Africa on 26th May 1902 to help with Second Boer War clean-up operations – however he received no medals for his service there, arriving after the war was officially over. He returned to England a few months later on 9 November 1902 and was discharged a few days later on 15 November 1902 at Aldershot “at his own request and with character deemed very good“.

John returned to live at Beeches Road, West Bromwich. He married Maude Ling (daughter of Charles Ling, Lay Vicar of Salisbury Cathedral) on 21 December 1909 in Stoke, Coventry – at the time of his marriage he was a clerk living at 20 Gresham Street and one of the witnesses was his brother William Henry. They had a single son John Ling Anstey (b 1910 Coventry, known as Jack – see below).

By the 1911 Census the family were living at 19 Church Lane Coventry, together with John’s sister Annie Louise – he was an ironfounder’s clerk. In 1913 John was described as “John Anstey, Church Lane, Stoke, cashier to the Britannia Foundry Co“.

The family were still living at 19 Church Lane in the 1921 Census and also at the time of the 1939 Register, by which time John was a ‘sales ledger clerk’.

A year later, in q1 1940, John died in Coventry.

[Research Note: We have the following snippet – “Imperial Yeomanry 40731, Trooper 36th Battalion Imperial Yeomanry. Disappeared. Memorial: Drill Hall, Quinton Rd. Plaque 2nd VB Warwickshire Rgt, Coventry, Warwickshire, England“. Perhaps he was in the 2nd Volunteer Battalion, Warwickshire Regiment during World War One? Research continues into this point]

Anybody who would like to add anything to this biography please contact us at research@theansteystory.com.

Additional Note: John’s son John Ling Anstey, known as Jack, was in the Royal Air Force and also a fairly famous sportsman. The ‘Coventry Evening Telegraph‘ 6 February 1976 has the following obituary “Kenilworth Sportsman Dies: Mr Jack Anstey died at home after a long illness yesterday aged 65. Mr Anstey, of Quarry House, Fieldgate Lane, Kenilworth, was a past president of the Warwickshire Rugby Football Union and Kenilworth Rugby Club for whom he played. He was also a keen cricketer and was a playing and committee member of the Coventry and North Warwickshire Cricket Club. He was a past president of the Crackley Amateur Riding Club and former chairman of the Exhall spastic horse show jumping committee. Born in Coventry, Mr Anstey was a former pupil of Bablake School and retired as marketing director for Parkinson Cowan Appliances Lts of Birmingham in 1971. He leaves a widow Betty and two daughters. A funeral service will be held on Monday at St Nicholas Church Kenilworth followed by interment at Kenilworth Cemetery, Oaks Road“.

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