Gilroy Merchant Anstee, a member of the Christchurch, Monmouthshire Anstees, was born in 1895 in Laleston, Glamorgan to parents Walter Charles Anstee and Gwenillian Rees. He lived his childhood in Bettws near Bridgend in Glamorganshire and by 1911 he was a Colliery Boy.
On 3 October 1914, soon after the outbreak of World War One, Gilroy signed up for Army service. In early 1915 he was assigned to the then newly formed Welsh Guards as a Private (Service Number 1420). On 18 August 1915 Gilroy and his regiment were mobilised for war, soon landing at Havre to join the 3rd Guards Brigade of the Guards Division, ready to engage in actions on the Western Front in France.
Gilroy was listed as “wounded” on the Casualty List issued by the War Office on 30th October 1915. It is somewhat unclear in precisely which battle these wounds were incurred, but it was certainly on the Western Front in France in either Loos-en-Gohelle on 26 September 1915 or Hohenzollern Redoubt on 16 October 1915, both of which were part of the Battle of Loos. Gilroy’s injury was reported in the ‘Glamorgan Gazette‘ newspaper a few months later on 11 February 1916.
As a result of his injuries, Gilroy was entitled to wear a ‘Wound Stripe’, as authorised under Army Order 204 of 6th July 1916. By 27 November 1917 Gilroy, by now a Lance-Corporal, had been issued the ‘Silver War Badge’ (Number 275092) and been honourably discharged from service due to his injuries.
After the war ended, Gilroy married Evelyn Robinson in Hackney, London in 1919, later working as a commercial traveller. He passed away in 1978 in Redbridge, Essex.
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