Hubert Stanley Anstee (b 1896)

by Gary. M. Ansteychief researcher of the Anstey story project.

Hubert Stanley Anstee, also known as Herbert/Hubert Stanley Anstey but informally known as Bert, a member of the Doynton Ansteys, was born on 13 November 1896 in Keynsham, baptised 17 January 1897 at Oldland, St Anne, to parents Colin Anstee and Bena Cook; he was brother to fellow Anstey Hero Colin Anstee. In the 1901 Census he was living with his family at at West Street, Bitton, Keynsham and he was still living with them at the same address in the 1911 Census, by now working as a leather pressman.

Bert signed up with the Territorial Army just over a year before the outbreak of World War One, on 10 March 1913 in Bristol with the 1/4th Battalion Somerset Light Infantry as a Private (Service Numbers: 1798 and later 200251 – sometimes misread as 200201). We don’t have many details of his service though we know the following:

  • He was certainly awarded the ‘Serbian Gold Medal‘ for bravery (confirmed in the ‘London Gazette‘ 15 February 1917 Supplement);
  • The Gazette‘ Issue 29945 on 13 February 1917 also states that he was awarded the ‘Karageorge Gold Medal‘ – though this is perhaps a duplicate of above;
  • He was disembodied on 7th June 1919 – at this time his ‘specialisation’ was described as ‘Bomber’;
  • He was also awarded the Victory and British War medals for his service, as well as a Territorial Force War Medal (Somerset Light Infantry).

From the Territorial Force War Medal we can conclude that he:

  • had been serving with the Force on 4 August 1914; or had completed four years service with the Force before 4 August 1914 and rejoined on or before 30 September 1914” and
  • he undertook, either verbally or by written agreement on or before 30 September 1914 to serve outside the United Kingdom, such agreement being operative after 4 August 1914, and had served outside the United Kingdom between 5 August 1914 and 11 November 1918 and did not qualify for the 1914 Star or 1914-15 Star.

Assuming that he was with the 1/4th Battalion Somerset Light Infantry throughout the war (and we seek confirmation of that) then his war story would have been:

  • August 1914: in Lower Bristol Road, Bath. Part of South-Western Brigade, Wessex Division.
  • 9 October 1914: sailed from Southampton, landing at Bombay 9 November 1914.
  • 23 February 1916: landed at Basra in 37th Indian Brigade, 3rd Indian Division. Remained in Mesopotamia throughout the war.
  • 5 May 1916: transferred to 41st Indian Brigade.
  • March 1918: transferred to 56th Indian Brigade, which was attached to 14th Indian Division in September 1918

By the 1921 Census Bert was back living with his family in Keynsham. The ‘Western Daily Press‘ 18 May 1929 reported “A serious smash occurred in Cow Horn Hill, Oldland, Warmley early last evening when a motorcyclist Herbert Anstey aged 31 crashed into a stone pillar whilst endeavouring to pass a lorry. Anstey was badly injured about the head and was removed to Cossham Hospital in a ‘Western Daily Press’ motorvan that happened to be passing the scene. The victim is a single man and the lorry he was avoiding when he met with the mishap is the property of Messrs Shepherd and Son Warmley

Bert married Florence L. Lucas in 1934 in Keynsham and at the time of the 1939 Register they were living at The Batch Tower Road, South Warmley, Kingswood where Bert was working as a ‘GVPM Bidden Filler Heavy Worker‘ – they appear to have had no children.

Bert died in 1956 in Kingswood.

Anybody who would like to add anything to this biography, please contact us at research@theansteystory.com.

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