Henry Lewis Anstey (b 1894)

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

Henry Lewis Anstey, a member of the Castle Cary Ansteys, was born on 9 February 1894 in Southwark to parents Henry Lewis Anstey and Sarah Ann Frances Whyatt; he was brother to fellow Anstey Hero James Meek Anstey. He grew up in Southwark/Walthamstow and by the 1911 Census he was living with his father and stepmother (his mother died when he was very young) at 7 Ickworth Park Road, Walthamstow, working as a van boy.

A few months after the outbreak of World War One, on 19 April 1915 at Camberwell, Henry enlisted for service – at the time he was working as a carman/booker for ‘R. Whites and Sons, Neate Street, Camberwell‘. He was posted to the Army Service Corps ‘1 Company’ as a Driver (Service Number: T4/090449).

After 2 years and 332 days with the Army Service Corps he was transferred to the Royal Horse and Royal Field Artillery as a Driver (Service Number: 268249), with whom he spent another 330 days. He served in Alexandria, Egypt for 69 days (from 19 January 1916 to 27 March 1916) and then in Salonika for 2 years and 81 days (from 28 March 1916 to 31 May 1918, some of which was with ‘112 Company’).

Henry returned to England on 16 June 1918, then on 19 July 1918 he was transferred to ‘4 B Res Bde RFA’ as a Driver (he also served with 24th Reserve Battery at some point). A couple of months later, on 22 September 1918 at St Barnaby’s Church, Wimbledon Park, London, he married Matilda Louisa Hayward Seeds – we find no children of this marriage (at the time he gave an address as 59 Strathville Road, Wimbledon).

On 19 October 1918 Henry was admitted to 4th London General Hospital in Denmark Hill with a “burn of left hand” (caused by scalding his hand with hot cocoa the previous day) which must have been serious because he remained in the hospital until 10 January 1919 – the “hand now quite well” on his discharge.

He was transferred to the Class ‘Z’ Reserves on 8 February 1919, intending to live at 36 Villa Street, Walworth. During his discharge medical examination he stated that he had contracted malaria while in service (in around January 1918), and his last malaria attack had been in October 1918, but his appeal for a pension was rejected (even though he was deemed to have 20% disability). His character during the conflict was noted as “very good“.

For his services Henry was awarded the Victory and British War medals.

By the 1921 Census Henry and Matilda were living in Southwark, and at the time of the 1939 Register Henry was a mineral water salesman living with his wife at 9 Wells Way, Old Kent Road, Southwark, Camberwell – he died in 1973 in Brentwood.

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

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