Reginald Anstey, known as Reggie, a member of the East Stoke Ansteys, was born in 1891 in Norton, Worksop, Nottinghamshire to parents James Anstey and Mary Ann Couzens – he was baptised at Norton Cuckney (though on certain documents he wrote that he was born in Caithness, Scotland). Reggie was the younger brother of fellow Anstey Heroes Herbert Lawrence Anstey and William George Anstey.
In the 1901 Census Reggie was living with his family in Berriedale Langwell, Caithness, Scotland and he was still there in the 1911 Census. Then around a year after the outbreak of World War One, on 30 October 1915, Reggie enlisted for active service in Caithness, joining the Army Service Corps (Mechanical Transport Section) as a Private (Service Number: M2/136690). On his Attestation Form, he noted that he was an unmarried chauffeur living at Langwell, Berriedale.
Reggie joined his unit at Grove Park on 4 November 1915, then on 10 March 1916 he left Folkstone and entered the ‘France’ Theatre of War at Boulogne, serving in and around the Western Front in France with the Army Service Corps throughout the rest of the war.
Reggie served with the Expeditionary Force in France (643 Company) from 9 March 1916 through to 5 October 1918. During this time, on 22 December 1917, he was promoted to Lance Corporal. Then from 21 October 1918 to 5 August 1919 he was “on furlo’ from Ex Force O’seas, Ex Force France“, before returning back to England on 10 August 1919 and being discharged a month later.
Just before his return to England, on 2 August 1919, Reggie was given a medical in Boulogne and pronounced to be not suffering from any disability. By this time he was a Lance Corporal with the 6th Auxiliary Petrol Company of the Army Service Corps.
During his time with the Army Service Corps in France, Reggie served mainly as a lorry driver for numerous units as and when required, including:
- 283 MT (also 565 MT) – April 1916 to January 1917
- 886 MT – January 1917 to March 1917
- 402 MT (also 282 MT) – March 1917 to March 1918
- 5th Canadian Siege Battery Ammunition Column (and others) – March 1918 to April 1919
- 4th Divisional MT Company – April 1919 to May 1919
- 25th VRP – May 1919 to June 1919
For his services, Reggie was awarded the Victory and British War Medals.
After the war, Reggie returned to Scotland, marrying Jean McCracken in Blythswood in 1934. He died in 1947 in Wick, Caithness, Scotland, and he was buried at Berriedale Parish Churchyard, where his father and brother were also buried. Graveside details were “Spouse: McCracken Jean, Father: Anstey James, Mother: Couzens Mary A“.
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