Edward James Ansty, a member of the East Stoke Ansteys, was born in Swindon on 23 August 1898 to parents George Frederick Ansty and Emma Grant. He was brother to fellow Anstey heroes Harold Ansty and Frederick Cecil Ansty. Edward grew up in Swindon, living at 18 Western Street and later 33 Farnsby Street at the time of the 1911 Census.
A couple of years after the beginning of World War One, on 22 August 1916 and a day before his 18th birthday, Edward signed up for active service in Swindon. On his Attestation Form he stated that he was a machinist still living at 33 Farnsby Street, giving his next of kin as his mother Emily.
[Note: On one sheet the address 33 Farnsby Street was crossed out, replaced by 50 Lower Bristol Road, Bath]
Edward (Service Number: 152721) was mobilised on 15 February 1917, and he was posted as a Gunner with the Royal Garrison Artillery at their Nbr 3 Depot on 28 March 1917 (at some point during the war he was also with the Nbr 1 Depot). Then in August 1917 he was posted as a Gunner with No 49 Company of the Royal Garrison Artillery at the ‘anti-aircraft depot’ at Bostall Heath Abbey Wood [Bere Island in Ireland is also stamped on this entry, so presumably he was there too for a time].
On 15 December 1917 Edward “proceeded overseas with 128th Anti Aircraft Section and posted to ‘U’ Anti Aircraft Battery in the field“. Then in January 1918 he was posted to “P Anti Aircraft Battery in the field“. He was promoted to Bombardier in July 1918.
Edward remained in (presumably) France for a good while after hostilities had formally ceased. He was granted “leave to return to UK 9.12.18 to 23.12.18 via Bolougne” after which he again returned to France, until July 1919 when he was once more granted leave to the UK, this time via Calais – he was also promoted to Temporary Corporal at this time. In late 1919 Edward spent a short time in hospital for an unknown ailment, and he was posted to ‘Class Z Army Reserve’ on Demobilisation on 24 January 1920, at which point he returned to live in Swindon.
For his services, Edward was awarded the British War and Victory medals. He does not appear to have been seriously wounded during the conflict.
In 1922 Edward married Sylvia K. Cleverly in Swindon, having children in Swindon Peter B. Ansty (b 1923); Patricia Ansty (b 1929); and Margaret Ansty (b 1931).
In the 1939 Register Edward and Sylvia, together with two of their children, were living at 17 John Street, Swindon – he was a ‘Railway Planning (Heavy) Machine Operator’.
Edward died in 1976 in Oxford.
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