Alfred Frederick Anstey, a member of the Washfield Ansteys, was born on 22 February 1895 in Lambeth to parents Alfred Anstey and Elizabeth Sarah Hill. He grew up in Lambeth, living at 22 Brooklands Street in 1901, and by the 1911 Census he was living at 64 Stainforth Road, Battersea with his widowed mother and his younger siblings, working as a greengrocer’s assistant.
Even though we cannot locate any Service Records for Alfred, we have a fairly good idea of his World War One story. We know that he signed up for service very early in the conflict, in around February 1915, joining the Gloucestershire Regiment as a Private (Service Number: 20357). He entered the ‘France’ Theatre of war on 13 July 1915 and was “in the field” from December 1915 onwards.
We also know that on 2 September 1918, whilst still a Private with ‘C’ Company of the 2nd Battalion Gloucester Regiment, he was admitted to 28th General Hospital [in Salonika] suffering from a “gunshot wound to the buttocks and neck“, then two days later on 4 September 1918 he was transferred to ‘43 General Hospital 40 CCS‘ (his entry confirmed that he was 23 years of age; had been in service 3 years and 7 months, and with the field force 2 years and 9 months).
His injury was reported in the ‘War Office Daily List No.5691‘ on 9 October 1918 (his ‘next of kin’ given as Battersea) and he was entitled to wear a Wound Stripe.
Finally we know that for his services he was awarded the 1915 Star Medal, as well as the Victory and British War medals.
From the above we know therefore that Alfred would have:
- In November 1915 moved from France to Salonika with the 2nd Battalion Gloucester Regiment, arriving by 12 December 1915 and engaging in various actions against the Bulgarian Army including The Capture of Karajakois and Yenikoi and the Battle of Tumbitza Farm.
- In November 1916, the battalion was transferred to the 82nd Brigade and continued to engaged in various actions including The Capture of Homondos
- Alfred certainly fought in the final offensive in Salonika, namely The Capture of the Roche Noir Salient on 1 September 1918 and this would have been when he received his gunshot wound.
The next we hear of Alfred is when he married Lily Diprose in 1924 in Wandsworth – they had a single child together Alfred J. Anstey (b 1924 Fulham). By the 1939 Register he was a checker at a biscuit works living with his wife and son at 34 Hanover Avenue, Feltham.
Alfred died in 1975 in Thanet.
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