Gerald Spalding Anstey (b 1879)

by Gary. M. Ansteychief researcher of the Anstey story project.

Gerald Spalding Anstey, a member of the Broadclyst Ansteys, was born in 1879 in Cheltenham to parents Samuel Anstey and Louisa Burrington – he was brother to fellow Anstey Hero George Herbert Anstey. He grew up living at 21, Berkeley Rd Westbury Park, Westbury on Trym, attending St Stephen’s School in Reading in 1889, and by the 1891 Census he was living at Crescent Road, St Giles, Reading.

On 5 February 1895, aged only 15 but stating that he was 18, Gerald signed up for twelve years of service with the Army. On his Attestation Form he noted that he was a draper; that he was Church of England; that he was born in Cheltenham; and that he was already serving with the 1st Gloucester Artillery (Voluntary). He was posted to the 1st Battalion of the Devonshire Regiment as a Private (Service Number: 4162) [Note: he also served on occasion with the 2nd Battalion].

In April 1897 Gerald was promoted to Lance Corporal, reverting to Private in June 1899 “for misconduct (insubordination)” and sentenced at a Court Martial to “112 days imprisonment with hard labour“. At some point very soon after the outbreak of the Second Boer War in 1899, Gerald set sail with his regiment for South Africa – we have no specifics of his service, and it is not even clear if he fought with the 1st or 2nd Battalion of the Devonshire Regiment, but for his services he received the King’s South Africa medal with clasps ‘South Africa 1901‘ and ‘South Africa 1902‘.

On 1 August 1902, after the end of the conflict, Gerald was transferred to Army Reserve ‘Sec B’, by now a Lance Corporal again. He was discharged on 30 November 1905, having served just under 11 years, by which time he was a ‘Sergeant of Police’ in South Africa.

To the best of our knowledge, Gerald settled permanently in South Africa – certainly we find no more trace of him in England. On 7 October 1910 he married Emma Greve “known as Amy McCran” in Johannesburg – he was living at “Hospital Hill Police, J’burg” at the time of his marriage, so presumably he was still a policeman.

The next we hear of him is on 8 May 1941 where “Gerald Spalding Anstey [was] trading as Hotel Victoria, at Commissioner Street, Krugersdorp“. After this we currently lose track of him.

Anybody who would like to add anything to this biography, or can elaborate on Gerald’s war story or subsequent life in South Africa, please contact us at

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