Edwin Frederick John Anstey (b 1873)

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

Edwin Frederick John Anstey, a member of the Milborne Port Anstys, was born on 29 June 1873 in Gloverville, America, to parents Robert Edwin Anstey and Clara Collins. By 1881 the family had returned to England, living at 1 Wyndham Street, Yeovil, and by 1891 they were at Mudford Street, Mudford, Yeovil.

On 8 February 1892 Edwin decided to join the Army, signing up for a period of 12 years of service. He was posted to the Somerset Light Infantry 1st Battalion as a Private (Service Number: 3529) with whom he remained until the end of his service on 7 February 1904. Given that he was awarded the India General Service Medal during this period, we can suppose that he spent most of his time in India, as the 1st Battalion “was sent to India for 15 years in 1893, taking part in the Mohmand Campaign of 1897.

After leaving the Army Edwin married Kate Louisa Ash in 1907 in Yeovil – we find no children of this marriage. By the 1911 Census they were living with Edwin’s mother Clara at Mudford, Yeovil, where he described himself as a “collector for an Assurance Company, a USA resident and British Subject by parentage“.

Fairly early in World War One, on 1 March 1915, Edwin enlisted for service. He served throughout the war with various units, being:

  • Somerset Light Infantry as a Private from 1 March 1915 to 6 April 1915
  • Somerset Light Infantry as a Lance Corporal from 6 April 1915 to 29 April 1916
  • Royal Defence Corps 263 Company as an Acting Lance Corporal from 29 April 1916 to 14 June 1917
  • Wiltshire Regiment as an Acting Lance Corporal from 14 June 1917 to 17 June 1917
  • Dorset Regiment 3rd Battalion as an Acting Lance Corporal (Service Number: 43064 -some sources have this as 430141 though it is very difficult to read) from 26 June 1918 to 15 August 1918
  • Dorset Regiment 1st Battalion as an Acting Lance Corporal (Service Number: 43064) from 15 August 1918 to 19 August 1918
  • Leicester Regiment 14th Battalion as a Lance Corporal in the ‘France & Belgium’ Theatre of War from 19 August 1918 to 26 November 1918
  • Labour Corps as a Lance Corporal (Service Number: 422696) from 26 November 1918 to 22 March 1919

Edwin was discharged on 22 March 1919, still a Lance Corporal with the Labour Corps – he was issued a Silver War Badge on 8 August 1919, though we find no specific ‘serious’ injuries incurred. For his services he was awarded the Victory and British War medals – he returned to live with his wife at 34 Furlong, Trowbridge.

By the 1921 Census Edwin and his wife were living in Melksham and at the time of the 1939 Register Edwin was an ‘Army Pensioner’ living with his wife at 25 Innox Road, Trowbridge.

Kate died in 1944 in Trowbridge and Edwin himself died soon after, on 6 January 1946 of “Diabetes Mellitus Cardiovascular degeneration” – he was living at 254 Portland Road, Wyke Regis, Weymouth at the time of his demise. The ‘Western Gazette‘ on 26 July 1946 reported “PUBLIC NOTICES ANSTEY.—The Kin of Edwin Frederick John Anstey, late of 254 Portland Road, Wyke Regis, Weymouth, Dorset, who died at Weymouth, on 6th January 1946, are requested to apply to the Treasury Solicitor (8.V.), Storey’s Gate, London. S.W.1 (Estate about £250)

Anybody who would like to add anything to this biography please contact us at research@theansteystory.com.

%d bloggers like this: