Frederick Cecil Ansty (1895-1915)

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

Frederick Cecil Ansty, a member of the East Stoke Ansteys, was born in Swindon in 1895 to parents George Frederick Ansty and Emma Grant. He was brother to fellow Anstey heroes Harold Ansty and Edward James Ansty. Frederick grew up in Swindon, living at 18 Western Street and later 33 Farnsby Street, where in the 1911 Census he was an “engineers labourer” at the Locomotive and Carriage Department of the Great Western Railway Works.

Very early in World War One Frederick signed up for active service, though we do not know precisely when as we cannot locate any of his Service Records. We do know that he was posted to the 2nd Battalion of the (Duke Of Edinburgh’s) Wiltshire Regiment as a Private (Service Number: 10293). We also know that he “died of wounds” in France on 15 June 1915 and that he was mentioned as “wounded” in the ‘Western Daily Press‘ newspaper on 15 July 1915 (“WOUNDED: Wiltshire Regiment 2nd Battalion…Anstey 10293 Private F.“) – a month after he had actually died.

We also know that in the ‘International Committee of the Red Cross World War One Historical Archives‘ appears a card which states “ANSTY F. C. Private No 10293 2nd Wilts Rgt. Disparu 15 Mai 1915 France Rep M. Harold Ansty 33 Farnsby Street Swindon Wilts

Finally we know that Frederick was listed as “Previously reported wounded, now reported wounded and missing” on the Casualty List issued by the War Office on 21st July 1915.

From the above snippets, we can deduce that Frederick would certainly have taken part in the Battle of Neuve Chapelle in March 1915 on the Western Front in France. He would also have fought in the Battle of Aubers Ridge on 9 May 1915 and the related Battle of Festubert on 15 May 1915, both part of the Second Battle of Artois on the Western Front in France. During the Battle of Festubert on 15 May 1915 Frederick must have been badly wounded, and “disappeared [disparu]” on that day (perhaps taken prisoner of war by the Germans), only to die a month later from his wounds.

For his services Frederick was posthumously awarded the 1915 Star, the Victory and British War Medals.

Frederick is commemorated/buried at Le Touret Memorial in Pas de Calais, France (Panel 33 & 34); he is also commemorated on the ‘Great Western Railway Roll of Honour’ at Taunton Railway Station in Somerset. He was also mentioned at the St Paul’s Cathedral Order of Service in 1919, as well as in the Great Western Railway staff magazine (reference: ‘1916/11/257’).

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