Leslie Grenville Anstey, a member of the Sixpenny Handley Ansteys, was born in Christchurch, Bournemouth in 1898 to parents William George Anstey and Elizabeth Ann Sumner. He was brother to fellow Anstey Heroes Charles James Anstey, Sidney Herbert Anstey, and Reginald Henry Francis Anstey.
In the 1901 Census Leslie was living at 30 Fitzharris Road, Bournemouth, Christchurch and in the 1911 Census, still at school, he was living with his family at Chatsworth Road, Bournemouth.
On 15 November 1916, a couple of years after the outbreak of World War One and just after Leslie had turned eighteen, he joined the Royal Navy (Service Number: K37709) as an “Engine room Artificer“, signing up first for “hostilities” and then later plumping for 12 years of continuous service. At the time of his signing up, Leslie was a van horse driver.
From November 1916 to March 1917 Leslie served on HMS Victory, and then he was transferred to the newly constructed HMS Renown until May 1918, which to our knowledge did not see combat during the war. In May 1918, Leslie moved to HMS Victory II, and then saw out the final months of the war on HMS Diligence, part of the Twelfth Destroyer Flotilla of the Royal Navy.
His conduct and character throughout the war was deemed “very good“, and for his services on HMS Victory as a “Stoker 1st Class” Leslie received a War Medal entitlement.
After the war ended, Leslie was transferred within the Royal Navy (to Service Number: SS121224) serving out the rest of his stint on various ships, including HMS Victory, HMS Victory II and HMS Dido – he finally left the Royal Navy in around 1930.
Throughout the 1920s Leslie appears in the ‘Electoral Registers’ at 81 Stourvale Road, Southbourne, Bournemouth (together with his brother Reginald Francis Anstey) with reference “NM“, meaning “Naval or Military Voter” and “a” meaning “Absent voter (serving in the armed forces)” next to his name.
At some point Leslie met Phyllis D. Hamlyn (born 1911 in Bideford) and they had seven children together, being Grenville Leslie H. Anstey (b 1932 Bournemouth, known as Les); Ronald E. Anstey (b 1933 Portsmouth); Kenneth Sydney Anstey (b 1935 Portsmouth); Audrey D. M. Anstey (b 1936 Christchurch); Phyllis Anstey (b 1938 Christchurch); Robert D. Anstey (b 1940 Christchurch); and Roy Anstey (b 1942 Bournemouth).
Leslie formally married Phyllis in Christchurch in October 1971. He died in Bournemouth in 1974, having spent his final years living at Walcott Avenue, Christchurch.
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