Charles Rich Anstey, also known as Charles Richard Anstey, a member of the Washfield Ansteys, was born on 15 October 1875 in Camberwell to parents Edwin Anstey and Sarah Rich; he was brother to fellow Anstey Hero John Edwin Anstey. He grew up in Camberwell, joining the Post Office as a ‘sorter’ in January 1894, and by the 1901 Census he was still a sorting clerk at the Post Office, living with his widowed mother and sister at 37 Hambalt Road, Clapham.
In 1905 in Kensington Charles married Lucretia Wyatt Webber, having children Alice Maude Anstey (b 1906 Surbiton); Thomas Edwin Anstey (b 24 June 1916 Bromley); and perhaps others. By the 1911 Census, they were living at 118 Ravenscroft Road Beckenham Kent – Charles was still a sorting clerk with the Post Office.
At some point during World War One, Charles joined the London Regiment as a Rifleman (Service Number: 375543). Unfortunately we cannot locate any Service or Medical Records, but this is what we know to be correct:
- 26 July 1917 to 19 August 1917 – Charles served with the 8th London Regiment as a Rifleman in France
- 20 August 1917 to 2 January 1918 – Charles served with the 10th London Regiment as a Rifleman (in France?)
- On 8 October 1917 the ‘War Office Daily List No.5384’ reported that ‘C. R. Anstey (Private) 375543 (Beckenham)‘ was wounded and entitled to wear a Wound Stripe.
- 3 January 1918 to 1 April 1918 – Charles served with the Labour Corps as a Private (Service Number: 478183)
- In the 1918 Electoral Register Charles was registered at 118 Avenue Road, Bromley as an ‘Absent Military Voter’ still on active service with remark – “478183 – 1/8 London, att REPS, APO 2, BEF France“
- 2 April 1918 to 11 November 1918 – Charles served with the 8th London Regiment as a Private (Service Number: 46907)
- 12 November 1918 – Charles served with the 8th London Regiment as a Private (Service Number: 376855)
- For his services he was awarded the Victory and British War medals.
From the above, and given that the 8th London Regiment was also known as the ‘Post Office Rifles’, it is likely that Charles volunteered for service very early in the war. It is also very likely that he was wounded during the Capture of Wurst Farm on 20 September 1917, part of the Third Battle of Ypres.
In any case, by the 1921 Census Charles and his family were living in Bromley, and by the time of the 1939 Register Charles and his wife were living at 29 Bolderwood Way, Bromley – he was a retired supervisor.
Charles died on 20 March 1961, living at 31 De Cham Road, St Leonards on Sea, Sussex – described as a ‘retired civil servant’.
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