Gilbert Tomkins Anstey, a member of the Chew Magna Ansteys, was born in 1889 in Barton Regis to parents Robert Anstey and Elizabeth Mary Tomkins; he was brother to fellow Anstey Heroes Robert Harold Anstey, Joseph Anstey, Daniel Anstey and Alfred Tomkins Anstey.
Gilbert grew up in Long Ashton and attending Sexey’s School, Blackford. In 1906 he was registered as a ‘Temporary Boy Clerk‘ with the Civil Service Commission – this was reported in the ‘Wells Journal‘ on 4 January 1906 where it stated “We are pleased to notice that in the recent examinations for boy clerkships held by the Civil Service Commissioners the 200 passes from 800 candidates included Master Gilbert T. Anstey, No. 64, son of Mr. Robert Anstey, who, prior to removing to Clevedon, resided amongst us”
By 1909 Gilbert had become a ‘Second Division Clerk at the Post Office‘ and in the 1911 Census he was living with his uncle William Anstey at 16 Forberg Road, Stoke Newington, where he was described as a ‘civil servant’.
In 1914 Gilbert married Eva A. L. Simpson in Hackney, the ‘Western Daily Press‘ reporting on 2 June 1914 “MARRIAGES. ANSTEY- SIMPSON.—May 31. at Devonshire Square Baptist Chapel London. Rev. Wm Ross, Gilbert T. Anstey. son of Robert Anstey. Bristol, and of Mrs Anstey to Eva. youngest daughter of Mr G. E. Simpson and Mrs Simpson, Stoke Newington“
Just over a year after the outbreak of World War One, Gilbert signed up for active service on 10 December 1915 with the Royal Scots Fusiliers (Service Number: 53977). At some point he became a Sergeant for the Royal Scots Fusiliers attached to the Light Trench Mortar Battery. We also know that he received a Silver War Badge (“no longer physically fit for war service“) on 23 May 1919, at which time he was formally discharged.
In the supplement to the 5 June 1919 edition of the Edinburgh Gazette we find “53977 Sjt. Anstey, G. T., 11th Bn [Royal Scots Fusiliers] (Higham Park)“. From this we can suppose that Gilbert was part of the 11th Battalion Territorial Force which on 27 April 1918 became the Garrison Guard Battalion and went to France. On 12 May 1918 they were transferred to the 178th Brigade of the 59th Division and in July 1918 they engaged in various actions on the Western Front including The Battle of Albert and the general final advance in Artois and Flanders. The battalion ended the war at Velaines north of Tournai in Belgium.
For his services Gilbert was awarded the Victory and British War Medals, as well as “Mentions in Despatches, Meritorious Service Medals and Territorial Force Efficiency Medals“.
Unfortunately, we have not yet been successful in obtaining any specific details of Gilbert’s service – anybody who can help in this regard please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
After the war ended, Gilbert returned to his role as a Clerk, Second Division at the Post Office, gradually rising through their ranks. In 1945 he was still a civil servant, attached to H.M. Treasury, Whitehall, and he appeared as “Gilbert Tomkins Anstey, Comptroller and Accountant-General, General Post Office” in the 1949 Honours List. In the early 1950s Gilbert was an Accounting Adviser for the S. Rhodesian Post Office, and he was a retired civil servant in 1952 when he was co-executor to his father‘s will.
Gilbert was living at Worcester Crescent, Woodford Green in 1939 and at some point he resided at Malham, Hawksfold Lane, Fernhurst, Haslemere, Surrey. He died in 1974 at Farley’s Nursing Home, Ramsgate, Kent.
We believe that Gilbert and Eva had two children, Joan M. E. Anstey (b 1922 West Ham) and David G. Anstey (b 1924 West Ham), though we seek formal confirmation of that.
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