George Edward Anstey, sometimes known as Edward George Anstey, a member of the Dyrham Anstees, was born in Doynton in 1875 (as ‘Anstee’), baptised 10 October 1875, to parents John Anstee and Eliza Elliott; he was brother to fellow Anstey Hero Howard Anstey. He grew up at Bury Lane in Doynton and then on 2 March 1902 he married Rose Bryant in Wick, having a daughter Dorothy Rose Anstey (b 13 July 1902 Doynton).
His wife Rose died later that year so George remarried Elizabeth Dixon on 31 December 1904 at the Parish Church in Doynton, having further children in Doynton Mary Annie Eliza Anstey (b 20 July 1905) and Bessie Elizabeth Anstey (b 16 April 1907). In the 1911 Census George was a ‘labourer roadman’ living with his family at Hyde Park Cottage, Doynton.
Around a year after the outbreak of World War One, on 3 November 1915 in Bristol, George and his brother Howard together signed up for active service (their service numbers are only ’20’ apart). On his Attestation Form he noted that he was aged 40, married, and a labourer living at Hyde Park Cottage, Doynton – he gave his wife Elizabeth as his next of kin.
He was posted to the Royal Horse & Field Artillery (Service Number: 118993), joining the 14th Reserve Battery R. F. A. at Hillsea on 6 November 1915 and becoming an approved Driver in December 1915 after training. He was posted as a Driver to the British Expeditionary Forces in France on 22 April 1916, where he remained until 20 January 1917, at which time he returned to England.
[Note: Almost certainly George was with the 36th Division Ammunition Column of the Royal Horse & Field Artillery whilst in France – which was the same unit in which his brother Howard was serving at the same time. Certainly they both left England on the same day and returned to England on almost the same day – whether that was just those two or the entire unit we are not sure]
George was transferred to Class ‘Z’ Army Reserve for demobilisation on 23 February 1919 at Woolwich, still with the 36th Division Ammunition Column.
For his services he was awarded the Victory and British War medals, physically received by him in July 1921, at which time he was still living at Hyde Park Cottage, Doynton – he had suffered “no disability” during the conflict.
The 1921 Census confirms that George, Elizabeth and their daughter Bessie were living in Doynton – George died in 1936 in Chipping Sodbury, registered as “Edward George Anstey“.
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