George Henry Ansty, a member of the Dorchester Anstys, was born in late 1881 (possibly 13 December) at 48 Phillip St, Battersea, Clapham, Wandsworth (or possibly Notting Hill, sources differ) to parents Frederick James Ansty and Caroline Wright. He was brother to fellow Anstey Heroes Frederick John Ansty; Joseph Edward Ansty; Peter James Ansty; Charles Albert Ansty; and Reuben Walter Ansty.
George grew up in Beaufoy Road, Battersea, Wandsworth then in October 1899 he decided to join the Army. On his Attestation Form he wrote that he was a labourer born in Clapham, and that his next of kin were his parents (then living at 33 Bramwell Street, Clapham).
George was certified fit to join the Army at Kingston-on-Thames and was posted to the Queen’s Royal West Surrey Regiment as a Private (Service Number: 6135). His Service Record notes the following:
- Queen’s ‘D’ 26 October 1899
- Queen’s Details ‘2nd’ [Battalion] 8 January 1900
- Queen’s ‘3’ [Battalion] 15 June 1900
- Queen’s ‘2’ [Battalion] 14 March 1901
- Queen’s 1st Provisional Battalion 28 November 1902
George fought in the Second Boer War with the Queen’s Royal West Surrey Regiment, sailing (or arriving in South Africa) on 26 May 1900 and returning to England on 3 August 1902. For his services he was awarded the ‘South African Medal 1899-1902‘ with clasps ‘KSA Clasps: SA01, SA02‘.
It is likely that George was wounded during this campaign because a few months later, on 31 January 1903, he was discharged early from his service obligation “having been found medically unfit for further service“.
George married Beatrice Ellen Reed at the Holy Trinity Church, Tooting in 1904 and they had children, born in Wandsworth/Clapham, Beatrice Ellen Ansty (b 1905, known as Nelly); Florence Caroline Ansty (b 1907, known as Florrie); George Henry Ansty (b 1910, married Kitty Thain in 1933 in Wandsworth, was living at the family house in Gilbey Road, Tooting in the 1939 Census); Lillian Ansty (b 1911); Christopher William Ansty (b 1914); Frederick C. Ansty (b 1916, died an infant); and Winifred Violet Ansty (b 1917).
By the 1911 Census George, by now a “plumbers mate“, was living with his family at 14 Scholars Road, Balham, Wandsworth, just down the road from his mother and brothers. Then in 1915, whilst living at “15 Gitley [Gilbey] Road, Tooting“, he worked as a Kitchen Porter for the Red Cross, before in June 1915 being “transferred to Personnel Staff The King George II Stamford St. SE.1.“.
The following year, on 17 February 1916 at the Town Hall in Wandsworth, George signed up for World War One service. On his Attestation Paper he noted that he was an “Officer’s Valet (Red Cross)” still living at 15 Gilbey Road, Tooting; that he was Church of England; that he was married to Beatrice Ellen Reed; and that he had previously “served four years with the 2nd Queen’s Royal West Surreys“. He was posted first to Army Reserve, and then to the 1st Reserve Garrison Battalion of the Suffolk Regiment on 13 June 1916 as Lance Corporal (Service Number: 33093).
George served until 15 November 1916 in England at which point he was discharged as “no longer physically fit for war service” – he “did not serve abroad” according to his Service Report.
After this we lose track of George until his death in Wandsworth in late 1942.
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