Gilroy Merchant Anstee (b 1895)

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

Gilroy Merchant Anstee, sometimes known as Roy, a member of the Christchurch, Monmouthshire Anstees, was born on 9 June 1895, baptised 8 September 1895, in Laleston, Glamorgan to parents Walter Charles Anstee and Gwenillian Rees; he was brother to fellow Anstey Hero William Dyson Anstee. He lived his childhood in Bettws near Bridgend in Glamorganshire and by the 1911 Census he was a Colliery Boy living with his family at Ysgubburgurn Bettws.

On 3 October 1914, soon after the outbreak of World War One, Gilroy signed up for Army service. In early 1915 he was assigned to the then newly formed Welsh Guards as a Private (Service Number 1420). On 18 August 1915 Gilroy and his regiment were mobilised for war, soon landing at Havre to join the 3rd Guards Brigade of the Guards Division, ready to engage in actions on the Western Front in France.

Gilroy was listed as “wounded” on the Casualty List issued by the War Office on 30th October 1915. It is somewhat unclear in precisely which battle these wounds were incurred, but it was certainly on the Western Front in France in either Loos-en-Gohelle on 26 September 1915 or Hohenzollern Redoubt on 16 October 1915, both of which were part of the Battle of Loos. Gilroy’s injury was reported in the ‘Glamorgan Gazette‘ newspaper a few months later on 11 February 1916.

As a result of his injuries, Gilroy was entitled to wear a ‘Wound Stripe’, as authorised under ‘Army Order 204’. By 27 November 1917 Gilroy, by now a Lance-Corporal, had been issued the ‘Silver War Badge’ (Number 275092) and been honourably discharged from service due to his injuries.

After the war ended, Gilroy married Evelyn May Robinson in Hackney, London in 1919, having children in Hackney Gordon Roy Anstee (b 1920); Vernon H. Anstee (b 1921, died an infant); and Noreen E. Anstee (b 1924).

Gilroy became a commercial traveller and he was living in London in 1931 when he attended his father’s funeral – he was still living there in 1942 when he attended the funeral of his sister in law. At the time of the 1939 Register Gilroy and Evelyn were living at Deacons House, Deacon’s Hill Road, Borehamwood, Barnet together with Evelyn’s incapacitated mother and her brother.

Gilroy passed away in 1978 in Redbridge, Essex.

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