Walter Reginald Anstey, a member of the Doynton Ansteys, was born in 1889 in Henbury, baptised 24 February 1889, to parents William Anstee and Mary Ann Slugg; he was brother to fellow Anstey Heroes Robert Anstee and Herbert George Anstey.
Walter grew up at Bowden’s Fields and Westbury Hill in Henbury, then in 1908 in Bristol he married Lilinia Mary Thurston, known as Lily, and they had children in Westbury on Trym Herbert Anstey (b 1908); Reginald W. Anstey (b 1910); Lilinia B. Anstey (b 1911); Robert S. Anstey (b 1914); Phyllis Anstey (b 1919); Dorothy V. Anstey (b 1922); Ernest H. Anstey (b 6 January 1925); Kenneth A. Anstey (b 1927); Sylvia M. Anstey (b 21 January 1928); and Bernard J. Anstey (b 1930).
In the 1911 Census Walter and his family were living at 24 Eastfield Road, Westbury on Trym, Bristol with his ‘Thurston’ in-laws – he was a coachman. The ‘Western Daily Press‘ on 19 November 1915 reported “Motor Accident at Westbury Hill – A rather serious motor accident occurred at Westbury on Trym yesterday afternoon. Walter Anstey, who resides at Chalk Lane, Westbury on Trym, was driving a motor car owned by Mr Clake, a confectioner, down Westbury Hill, and in trying to avoid a dog the car swerved and overturned pinning him and another man riding in the car beneath it. The men were extricated and Anstey was taken to a house near and Dr Omerod summoned. The St John Ambulance was telephoned for and the injured man conveyed to the Bristol Royal Infirmary where he was detained in a serious condition, suffering from concussion and injuries to the head. The other man riding in the car escaped injury.”
Presumably at some point after this accident, as World War One was raging, Walter signed up for active service, and he was posted to the Army Service Corps as a Private (Service Number: M2/180776). We know nothing of his war story except that for his services, he was awarded the Victory and British War medals.
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By the 1921 Census Walter was back living with his family in Bristol and at the time of the 1939 Register they were living at 11 Ashburton Road, Bristol where he was working as a Heavy Duty Motor Lorry Driver.
Walter’s wife Lilinia died in 1941 so in 1944 in Bristol he remarried Bessie A. Chivers – Walter himself died in 1952 in Bristol.
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