William Anstey, a member of the St Luke Holborn Ansteys, was born in Bethnal Green in 1897 to parents Alfred Ingram Anstey and Louisa Long – he was brother to fellow Anstey Hero Edward John Anstey. William grew up in Bethnal Green, living with his family at 16 Centre Street, Bethnal Green in the 1911 Census.
At some point after the outbreak of World War One William signed up for active service. Unfortunately we know very little of his war story because we cannot locate any of his service or medical records.
What we do know is that William was a Gunner for first the Royal Field Artillery (Service Number: 36132) and then later the Royal Garrison Artillery (Service Number: 187278).
We also know that on 13 October 1916 William was wounded in ‘France and Flanders‘ whilst serving with the Royal Field Artillery – he was a Gunner and “Listed as ‘Wounded: shell shock’ on the Casualty List issued by the War Office.” As a result of this injury, William was entitled to wear a ‘Wound Stripe‘ (his ‘residence’ at this time was given as ‘Hackney’).
William died on 12 December 1918, around a month after the formal hostilities of World War One had ceased; at the time he was serving with the “G” Anti-Aircraft Battery of the RGA in Belgium. The only information we have regarding his death is from the ‘Weekly Casualty List (War Office & Air Ministry)‘ 21 January 1919 edition which reported under “DIED” a list of soldiers which included “Royal Garrison Artillery – Anstey (187278) Gnr W (Hackney E.)“
William was buried at the Charleroi Communal Cemetery (P. 13.) in Belgium, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission giving additional details “Son of Mrs. Louisa Anstey, of 46, Essex St., Mare St., Hackney, London” and “Personal Inscription: GONE FROM US BUT NOT FORGOTTEN“.
For his services, William was posthumously awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
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