Arthur Herbert Anstey (1891-1916)

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

See ‘Anstey: A Complete History From the Norman Invasion to World War One‘ for much more on the Birmingham Ansteys. In addition to biographies of various Anstey individuals who make up this sub-branch, the book contains a plethora of Anstey research and statistics, including an analysis of how the Birmingham Ansteys fit into the pedigree descendent from Hubert de Anesti, the 12th century originator of the ‘Anstey’ surname.

BI 51. Arthur Herbert Anstey: He was born in 1891 in Birmingham to parents Arthur Anstey (BI 22) and Charity Hickman. He grew up in Birmingham, living at Great Russell Street in 1901, and by the 1911 Census he was still living with his family at 228 Great Russell Street in Birmingham, working as an ‘electro-plate worker’.

We do not have much detail of Arthur’s World War One story, as we cannot find any Service or Medical Records. What we do know is that he must have signed up for service very early in the conflict, probably in September 1914 in Reading, as part of Kitchener’s Third New Army recruiting. He was posted to the 7th Battalion of the (Princess Charlotte Of Wales) Royal Berkshire Regiment as a Private (Service Number: 14665) and he entered the ‘France Theatre of War’ on 19 September 1915.

On 11 November 1915 he left France with his unit and moved to Salonika in Greece. There he remained until his death on 19 October 1916 in Salonika. Reports have conflicting details of how he died – on 4 November 1916 the ‘Reading Observer‘ reported “Previously Reported Wounded of Missing – Now Reported Killed: .. Private A. H. Anstey 14665 (Hockley Birmingham)“. Two weeks later the same newspaper reported “Accidentally Killed: Pte A. H. Anstey 14665 Birmingham“.

In fact we have found official confirmation that he was “accidentally killed together with four other soldiers on 19 October 1916” whilst with the 7th Battalion Royal Berkshire Regiment.

Arthur is commemorated/buried at Sarigol Military Cemetery at Kriston in Greece (Grave Reference: ‘A. 92’) – the Commonwealth War Graves Commission gives additional information “Son of Arthur and Chattie Anstey, of 300, Brearley St., Hockley, Birmingham. Personal Inscription THOSE WHO KNEW HIM BEST LOVED HIM MOST HE DIED A BRITON“.

For his services he was posthumously awarded the 1915 Star Medal, as well as the Victory and British War medals.

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