Henry Anstey (1894-1916)

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

Henry Anstey, a member of the Crediton Ansteys, was born in 1894 in Camberwell/Brixton to parents Herbert Anstey and Emily Mary Skelton; he was brother to fellow Anstey Hero Herbert Anstey. He grew up living in Camberwell and Willesdon but by 1905 he was living in Paddington. By the 1911 Census he was living with his mother and younger siblings at 185 Bravington Road, Paddington, working as a ‘milk can tin worker’.

Unfortunately, we cannot locate any Service Records for Henry, but he must have signed up for service fairly early in World War One, probably in mid-1915. He was posted to the 3rd (City of London) Battalion, London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers) as a Private (Service Number: 5613) and at some point in early 1916 he embarked for France, joining his unit in the trenches on the Western Front.

Henry certainly fought in the 1916 Battle of the Somme and he was “killed in action” on 9 September 1916 during the Battle of Ginchy, which took place on that day just north of Guillemont in France.

Official news sources, with the expected delay, reported on Henry’s demise. Firstly “H. Anstey (5613) London Regiment [resident in] Paddington” was incorrectly reported as “Wounded” on the Casualty List issued by the War Office on 10 October 1916. Then ‘The People‘ on 07 January 1917 finally reported “Killed: London Regiment – Anstey 5613 H. (Paddington W)“.

Henry is buried or commemorated at Flatiron Copse Cemetery, Mametz, Somme, France – grave reference “VII. A. 7“. For his services, he was posthumously awarded the Victory and British War medals.

[Research Note: We have a ‘Discharged Note‘ which reads “Queen’s Park & St Peter’s Park Beethoven St Centre London W10” – we are not sure what it means precisely, but Beethoven Street was just 300 metres from Bravington Road so this may well have been where Henry first enlisted] 

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

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