Charles Anstey, a member of the Clase, Swansea Ansteys, was born in 1890 in Morriston, Clase to parents John Anstey and Rebecca Jenkins. In the 1911 Census he was a “general labourer at a chemical works” living with his family at Chemical Road, Morriston, Swansea, then later in 1911 in Llangyfelach, Charles married Gwenllian [Gwendoline] Jones.
In March 1913 Charles signed up as a Territorial in the ‘1st Western General Hospital (R.A.M.C.T.F)‘, then on 20 October 1914, soon after the commencement of World War One, he signed up for active service. On his Attestation Form, Charles stated that his address was 23 Ropewalk Road, New Dock, Llanelly; that he was a collier; and that his parents were John and Rebecca. He was posted to the Royal Army Medical Corps as a Private (Service Number: 1878), serving with the ‘2/3rd Welsh Field Ambulance’ until 27 November 1915, at which point he was transferred to ‘4th Pro Brigade Field Ambulance’.
On 15 January 1916 (or possibly 10 August 1915) Charles was transferred to 3rd Kings Liverpool Regiment Scottish Battalion as a Private (Service Number: 357289), entering the France & Belgium Theatre of War on 10 April 1916, where he remained until 17 October 1917 when he was “severely wounded in France“.
From this we can deduce that Charles took part in the Battle of the Somme from July 1916 onwards, concentrated in and around the village of Guillemont in France; he no doubt took part in the the Battle of Guillemont in September 1916. In August 1917, he would have taken part in the Battle of Pilkem Ridge (part of the Third Battle of Ypres) and the attacks in the Spree, Pond and Schuler Farms area (part of the Battle of Menin Road Ridge from 20-25 September 1917). He must therefore have been severely wounded on 17 October 1917 during preparations for the Cambrai Operations, which were to commence in November 1917.
Charles was transported back in England on 18 October 1917, and a day later on 19 October 1917 Charles (“1/10 Kings Liverpools“) was admitted to the Edinburgh War Hospital in Bangour with “internal derangement of left knee“. This was reported in the ‘Herald of Wales and Monmouth Recorder‘ on 8 December 1917 where it stated “Mr. D. J. Anstey, Chemical Road, Morriston, has received news to the effect that his brother, Pte. Charles, Anstey, Liverpool Scottish, has been severely wounded in France, and is now in hospital in Scotland“
During 1918, presumably as a result of his injuries, Charles was posted to various depots in England, and he was discharged from service on 12 December 1919 after the war was over. For his services, he received the Victory Medal and the British War Medal.
In 1924 Charles and Gwendoline had a daughter Barbara M. Anstey; they were living in Pontardawe, Glamorganshire at that time. By 1939 Charles and his family were living at 63 Bucks Hill, Nuneaton; Charles was a “Colliery Hewer Heavy Worker“. Charles died in Nuneaton in 1964, aged 73.
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