Harry Ansty (b 1870)

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

Harry Ansty, a member of the Sixpenny Handley Ansteys, was born in November 1870 in Woodcutts, Tollard Royal to parents Tom Ansty and Jane Lane. He grew up in Sixpenny Handley then on 20 November 1888 at Salisbury, he signed up for part time service with the Army. On his Attestation Form he noted that he was “18 years 0 months old“; that he was born in Tollard Royal; that he was Wesleyan Methodist; that his father was “Thomas Ansty of Woodcutts near Blandford“; and that he was a labourer working for John Campbell.

Harry was posted to ‘G’ Company of the 3rd Battalion Wiltshire Regiment as a Private (Service Number: 2604). However a few months later on 19 February 1889 at Dorchester, clearly enjoying the Army, he signed up for full time service – he was then posted to the 1st Battalion Dorset Regiment as a Private (Service Number: 2822). In 1892, between receiving Good Conduct pay in 1891 and 1895, Harry decided to “extend his service to complete twelve years with the colours“.

Harry’s service in the Army breaks down as follows:

  • Home – 18 February 1889 to 24 September 1890
  • Egypt – 25 September 1890 to 26 September 1893
  • India – 27 September 1893 to 1 January 1897

He then returned to England and he was transferred to the Army Reserves on 5 January 1897. A month later, on 18 February 1897 in Bradford, he married Clara Kerly (b 1876 Handley) – to our knowledge there were no children of this marriage.

At the outbreak of the Second Boer War Harry “rejoined the colours under Army Order of 11 November 1899” as a Private. He set sail for South Africa with the 2nd Battalion Dorset Regiment on 24 November 1899, not returning to England until 11 February 1902 – he was not wounded whilst fighting in South Africa. For his services he received the ‘Queens South Africa Medal 1899-1902‘ with clasps ‘Orange Free State’, ‘Transvaal’; ‘Tugela Heights’; ‘Relief of Ladysmith’; and ‘Laing’s Nek’, as well as the ‘Kings South Africa Medal‘ with clasps ‘South Africa 1901’ and ‘South Africa 1902’.

On 17 February 1902, Harry was “discharged [from the Army] in consequence of the termination of the first period of his engagement“. By the 1911 Census he had become a jeweller working “at home for his own account“, living with his wife Clara at 17 Anlaby Road Hull, Yorkshire. They were still there in the 1921 Census.

Harry died in Hull in 1932 “aged 62” – the Yorkshire Post on 6 August 1932 reporting “Latest Wills: Mr. Harry Anstey, of Anlaby Road, Hull (net personalty £1,717)

Anybody who would like to add anything to this biography please contact us at research@theansteystory.com.

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