Charles Albert Ansty (b 1893)

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

Charles Albert Ansty, a member of the Dorchester Anstys, was born on 3 June 1893 in Battersea, Wandsworth to parents Frederick James Ansty and Caroline Wright. He was brother to fellow Anstey Heroes Frederick John AnstyGeorge Henry AnstyJoseph Edward Ansty; Peter James Ansty; and Reuben Walter Ansty.

Charles grew up at 33, Bramwell Street, Battersea and by the 1911 Census he was a butcher living with his widowed mother at 47 Scholars Road Balham, Wandsworth. Around a month later, on 21 April 1911, Charles joined the Army at Kingston-on-Thames, signing up for a period of twelve years. At the time he was a “butcher’s roundsman“; he bizarrely gave his next of kin as “C J Smith 19 Chestnut Grove Balham” (perhaps his employer); and he was posted to the Royal Field Artillery as a Gunner (Service Number: 65116 and later 1006201).

Throughout the entirety of World War One Charles served with the Royal Field Artillery as both a Gunner and occasionally Driver, on the Western Front “in France 1914-16-17-18-19” according to his Discharge Report. However there was a slight hiccup during his time with the 56th Reserve Battery of the Royal Field Artillery, because on 17 September 1916 in Woolwich, no doubt on leave, he was deemed to be a “deserter and absentee from His Majesty’s Service“. He was charged for this offence on 3 October 1916 – presumably it was classified as a misdemeanour because he was back fighting in France soon after.

Whilst on another home leave a year later, Charles married Laura Amy Harvey on 29 September 1917 at Woodside, Croydon, Surrey, at which time he was deemed to be ‘residing’ at 66 Harrington Road, South Norwood.

After his marriage Charles returned to France with the Royal Field Artillery. He received a “gunshot wound to his knee” on 21 October 1917, which was reported in ‘War Office Daily List No.5434‘ on 5 December 1917; he was thus entitled to wear a “Wound Stripe“. He returned to England and was admitted to Catterick Military Hospital on 29 December 1917 – details were “65116 Gnr Anstey C., RFA ‘IIB Division’ ‘Coy C’, GSW left knee“.

For his services during the war, Charles was awarded the 1914 Star ‘with clasp’ (confirming that he served in France in 1914), as well as the Victory and British War medals.

After the war, Charles continued to serve with the Royal Field Artillery. He was transferred to “Sec B” on 27 June 1919 and had a “period of mobilised or embodied service from 9 April 1921 to 6 June 1921“. He was discharged on 21 April 1923 after completing his twelve years of service, though he must have re-signed up immediately after because he was also discharged on 21 April 1927, then again on 21 July 1933. His address on discharge was 79 Havington Road, South Norwood. 

Charles became a postman in 1924 according to the ‘London Gazette‘, so presumably his later Army postings were not on a full time basis. Charles’ wife Laura died in 1934 so he remarried Edith Emily Field in Wandsworth a couple of years later in 1936.

In the 1939 Register, Charles was living at 39 Ascot Road, Mitcham with his wife Edith – he was still a postman. Then on 21 July 1953 he was awarded the ‘Imperial Service Medal‘ for his work as a postman with the London Postal Region of the Home Civil Service.

Charles died on 14 November 1965 still living at 39 Ascott Road; probate was to Edith Emily Ansty, widow. We do not find any children from either marriage.

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