Charles William Anstee, confusingly also known as Charles, William and William Charles, a member of the Christchurch, Monmouthshire Anstees, was born on 20 April (or 20 May, sources differ) 1877 in Rogerstone, Bassaleg to parents Moses Anstee and Priscilla Beacham. He grew up in Rogerstone, attending Tydu School (Mixed), Rogerstone in 1884, and in the 1891 Census he was “working in garden” and living with his widowed mother and siblings at Rogerstone Garden, Rising Sun, Rogerstone – he was still there in the 1901 Census, by now a steel mill worker.
Charles married Clara Jane Martin in Bassaleg in 1903 (or August 1902, sources differ) and they had children Mildred Anstee (b 2 March 1904 Bassaleg); Ivor Charles J. Anstee (b 1907 – or 8 April 1908, sources differ – Bassaleg); and Eva P. Anstee (b 1911 Middlesbrough). By the time of the 1911 Census the family had moved to 10 Finsbury Street in Middlesbrough where Charles was a steel worker.
At the time of the outbreak of World War One Charles and his family had moved back to Wales and they were living at 218 Chepstow Road, Newport (later 22 Balmoral Road, Newport) when he signed up for active service on 10 December 1915 in Newport. On his Attestation Form, he noted that he was an iron sheet worker, married to Clara with three children.
Charles was posted to the Army Reserve, then mobilised for service on 30 August 1916 as a Private (Service Numbers: 48569 and 54957). He served “at home” in the UK with the 58th Training Reserve Battalion (Cheshire Regiment?) and the 29th Works Company, Devonshire Regiment, as well as for a very short period with the South Wales Borderers.
On 6 March 1917 he was transferred to ‘Class W Army Reserve’ and “proceeded for employment with the Ebbw Vale Steel and Iron Company Ltd, Ebbw Vale“. He was then formally discharged from service on 30 August 1917 at Exeter “no longer physically fit for war service“. However he was warned that he was “liable to be sent a Statutory Order on 30 August 1918 requiring him to present himself for medical examination under the Military Service (Review of Exemption) Act 1917“
Charles indicated that he intended to reside at 6 Garn? Terrace, Waunarlwydd? Monmouthshire – his military character was deemed “very good, honest and trustworthy” and a further note stated that his “dyspepsia would benefit greatly from dentures“.
Somewhat bizarrely, on 12 November 1920, Charles was issued with a Silver War Badge – the entry confirmed that he did not serve overseas during the conflict and he was not recalled to service after his August 1917 discharge.
By the 1921 Census the family were living in Newport and at the time of the 1939 Register Charles was working as a steward and groundsman, living with his wife Clara at the Civil Service Club, Magor And St Mellons, Magor and St Mellons.
Charles died in 1943 in Newport.
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