Edward Anstey (b 1898)

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

Edward [aka Edwin] Anstey, known as Ted, a member of a currently unknown sub-branch, was born on 3 October 1898 in Abergavenny to parents Thomas Anstey (see below) and (probably) Mary Louisa Jones. His father died before he was born so in the 1901 Census he was living at New Cottage, Oldcastle, Abergavenny with his mother and stepfather John Miles. He was still with them in the 1911 Census, living at 2 Lewis Yard, Indoor Street, Abergavenny.

On 13 October 1916, a few days after his eighteenth birthday, Ted enlisted for service in Cardiff to aid the World War One effort. On his Attestation Form he noted that he was living at Court C, Tudor Street, Abergavenny; that he was currently working as a labourer; and that his next of kin was his mother Louisa Miles (see below).

He was posted to the 4th Reserve (Welsh) Battalion as a Private (Service Number: 6353). The on 13 February 1917 he was transferred to the Machine Gun Corps (Service Number: 86161), embarking for France as part of the British Expeditionary Forces on 11 April 1917, and joining the 97th Machine Gun Company on 18 April 1917 “in the field” as a Machine Gunner.

On around 25 October 1917 Ted was admitted to the 139th Field Ambulance – at this time he had been in service 1 year and with the “field force” 5 months and he was attached to 16th Gun Company of the 97th. On 1 November 1917 he was admitted to hospital in Manchester suffering from “shell shock with D. A. H?” – he was not discharged until 12 February 1918, then on 27 March 1918 he rejoined the 5th Battalion. Indeed, he was deemed enough recovered to return to the front line in France on 16 May 1918, again joining the British Expeditionary Forces, this time with the 38th Battalion, with whom he remained until war’s end. In April 1919 Ted was transferred to the 46th Battalion, thence to the 6th Battalion in May 1919, during which time he was in the ‘Irish’ Theatre of War. He was finally discharged on 23 October 1919.

For his services, Ted was awarded the Victory and British War medals, physically received in September 1922, at which time he was back living at 27 Merthyn Road, Abergavenny.

By the 1939 Register Ted was living at 14 Tudor Street, Abergavenny – still single and working as a general labourer. A few doors down, his half brother Leonard Anstey (originally Miles – see below) was living with his family.

Ted (as Edward W. Anstey) died in 1952 in Abergavenny – as far as we know he never married.

Anybody who would like to add anything to this biography, or can elaborate on the below research, please contact us at research@theansteystory.com.

Research Note:

We cannot connect Ted (Edward Anstey) because we cannot connect his father Thomas Anstey – based on the below, and given the constant ‘switching’ of surnames of this family, we have to tentatively conclude that Thomas Anstey was not in fact an ‘Anstey’ when he was born. This is what we currently know.

Thomas ‘Anstey‘ was born in c1857 in Leominster, Hertfordshire (though his death entry says he was born in 1860). He married (probably) Mary Louisa Jones (known as Louise) in c1884 and they had children:

  • Arthur Thomas Ansty (b 1886 Longtown Herefordshire, died 1897 Abergavenny);
  • William Ansty (b 1888 Abergavenny (some sources say Herefordshire), known as Willie and Billy, living with his mother and stepfather in the 1901 and 1911 censuses, a mason’s labourer);
  • George Henry Ansty (b 1890 Abergavenny – also known as George Jones. The Abergavenny Chronicle on 1 June 1900 reported “George Anstey, 9 , and Henry Holland. 8. were brought up in custody charged with stealing 4s from the till of Mr. Joseph Williams, landlord of the Crown Pub, Cross-street, Abergavenny…Anstey‘s brother Billy had given back 11 pence which he said George had given him to keep for his mother..on the 29th November last the prisoner George Anstey was sentenced to six strokes of the rod for stealing a bottle of sweets…the mothers of the children seemed to have no control over them at all…the mothers said they were widows and had to be out at work all day to get a living for the children…George Anstey was sentenced to six strokes of the rod“. A couple of months later the ‘Abergavenny Chronicle’ reported “A Sad Case: George Jones, known as Anstey, aged 10, was brought up on remand, charged with stealing four shillings, the property of William Chamberlain, from the till of the Mount Pleasant Beerhouse. The prisoner, who is very small for his age, smilingly confessed to the theft and looked rather amused…the prisoner had broken out from the workhouse whither he had been remanded and given a great deal of trouble to recapture. He was now sentenced to five years in a reformatory“. Presumably as a consequence of this, in the 1901 Census he was at the Abergavenny Board Of Guardians Workhouse. He was back living with his mother and stepfather in the 1911 Census, a mason’s labourer);
  • Alice Ellen L. Anstey (b 1894 Abergavenny, living with her mother and stepfather in the 1901 and 1911 censuses, a domestic – she married Edward Estcourt in 1920 in Abergavenny); and
  • Edward Anstey (b 1898, known as Ted, per above)

In the 1891 Census the family were at Llanfoist Village, Llanfoist, Abergavenny where ‘Thomas Ensley‘ was a labourer. The ‘Abergavenny Chronicle‘ 13 November 1896 edition reported “Thomas Anstey was summoned for not sending his child Arthur, aged 10, to school. The boy made only one attendance out of a possible 66…

Thomas Anstey died in q2 1897 in Abergavenny “aged 37“. On 23 December 1898 the ‘Abergavenny Chronicle‘ reported “Louisa Anstey was summoned in respect of her children—William, aged 10, and George, aged 8. who were not attending school.

Louise Anstey had remarried to John Miles by 1901 (though the 1911 Census says they married in 1902). On 25 October 1901 per the ‘Abergavenny Chronicle‘, “Louisa Anstey was fined 5s for not sending her child aged seven to school at all.

The family were living at New Cottage, Oldcastle, Abergavenny in 1901 and by the 1911 Census they were living at 2 Lewis Yard Indoor Street Abergavenny. They had a son Leonard Miles born in 1902 who attended Park Street Infant School in 1907 as “Leonard (Miles) Anstey” and by the 1921 Census had adopted completely the surname ‘Anstey‘ – he married in Abergavenny in 1924 as Leonard Anstey having an ‘Anstey‘ family in Abergavenny and dying in Abergavenny in 1956 as ‘Leonard Anstey‘ .

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