William Leslie Anstey, a member of the Hampton in Arden Ansteys, was born in Bilston on 29 September 1887 to parents John Anstey Junior and Fanny Louisa Snape – he was brother to fellow Anstey Heroes Arthur Harold Anstey and Thomas Reginald Anstey. William grew up in West Bromwich and by the time of the 1911 Census he was living at 30 Beeches Road, West Bromwich with his parents; he was a furniture upholsterer.
We have been able to piece together much of William’s World War One service, mainly thanks to the fact that he caught malaria! He signed up for active service on 22 August 1916 in Smethwick – at the time still living at 30 Beeches Road and working as an upholsterer, and he gave his father John as his next of kin.
He was called up and posted to the No. 11 Veterinary Hospital of the Army Veterinary Corps as a Private (Service Number: SE24156 or SG24156) right at the beginning of 1917, then whilst in France on 1 November 1917, still attached to the (605?) No. 11 Veterinary Hospital, he was admitted to No. 7 Convalescent Depot with ailment “Malaria P. benign tertian“. On his Admittance Form he was described as “Church of England“; he had been “with the military 11 months“; and he had been “in the field 10 months“. He was discharged back to duty on 24 November 1917.
[Note: as far as we know, the No. 7 Convalescent Depot at this time was at Marlborough Camp, Boulogne and the No. 11 Veterinary Hospital was located at Gievres, Department of Loir-et-Cher, in France]
William was still attached to the No. 11 Veterinary Hospital when he was admitted to No. 82 (or 28) General Hospital on 30 June 1918, again with malaria. This time his details were that he was “aged 30“; he had been with the military 19 months; and he had been in the field for 18 months. He was transferred to another hospital on 2 July 1918 (possibly it was No. 82 General Hospital to which he was transferred).
The only other snippet that we know is that for his services William was awarded the Victory and British War medals.
By the 1921 Census William was back living in West Bromwich with his family, then a year later in 1922 in West Bromwich he married Jessie M. Voise – they had a daughter Barbara H. Anstey (b 1923 West Bromwich). At the time of the 1939 Register he was still a furniture upholsterer, living with his family at 20 Island Road, Birmingham
William died on 27 August 1973, a “retired upholsterer” living at 6 Mynchen Close, Sandleswood End, Beaconsfield.
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