Herbert Henry Anstey, a member of the East Stoke Ansteys, was born in 1879 in Llanfor, Bala, Merionethshire to parents George Anstey and Emma Down; he was the elder brother of fellow Anstey Heroes Charles James Anstey and Reginald John L. Anstey.
In the 1901 Census, Herbert was living in Berriedale Langwell, Latheron, Caithness, Scotland with his uncle James Anstey, both were gamekeepers. By the 1911 Census, Herbert, still a gamekeeper, was lodging at the Kings Head Inn, Syresham, Northamptonshire.
Around a year after the outbreak of World War One, on 11 December 1915, Henry enlisted in the Army at Bedford. He stated that he was a gamekeeper, living at The Lodge, Biddlesden in Brackley and that his parents were living at Court Road, Cranfield, Bedfordshire.
From December 1915 to August 1917 Herbert was a Private (Service Number: 1863) attached to the King Edward’s Horse 2nd Battalion. All we know of this battalion is that it served with XIV Corps in France and was disbanded in August 1917. In September 1917 Herbert was transferred to the Royal Fusiliers 6th Battalion as a Private (Service Number: 59039) and then a month later to the East Surrey Regiment 1st Battalion where at some point he was promoted to Lance Corporal (Service Number 26203), entering the ‘France and Belgium’ Theatre of War in October 1917.
[Researchers Note: Herbert’s Service Record details the transfer to the Royal Fusiliers 6th Battalion and East Surrey Regiment 1st Battalion, where the Service Numbers match. We also need to be careful not to confuse Herbert with his first cousin Herbert Lawrence Anstey who also served with the King Edward’s Horse Regiment]
On 23 August 1918 during the Third Battle of Albert, part of the Hundred Days Offensive which ended the war, Herbert received a gunshot wound “of the lower extremities. Simple flesh contusion or wound” – War Office Daily List No. 5684 reported “East Surrey Regiment: Anstey 26203 L-Cpl H (Cranfield)“. Herbert was taken “From 49th Field Ambulance. To No. 37 Ambulance Train” and he was entitled to wear a ‘Wound Stripe‘ as a result of this injury.
[Note: We have reports that at some point Herbert was also connected to the Lovat’s Scouts and the Scottish Yeomanry, though we have no further details at present]
In the 1918 ‘Absent Voters Lists‘ “Herbert Henry Anstey 26203 L-Corporal E. Surrey” was registered as “In the Village, Biddlesden“
After the war ended, Herbert married Jane Minnim Crisp in 1918 in St George, Hanover Square; they were living at Bickenhall Mansions, Marylebone, London at the time. They had at least one child Reginald Andrew S. Anstey (b 1921 Erpingham, Norfolk), and they had returned to live at Park Lodge, Biddlesdon by 1922. In 1930, by which time they were living at Rosa Villa, High Street, Bletchley, Herbert and his family embarked on the ‘Llandaf Castle‘ ship to Mombasa, with intention to “permanently reside in Kenya” – he declared his profession as “forrester“.
Whilst in Kenya Herbert joined the Civil Service, however, they appeared to have left Kenya by 1938 according to a 1955 Ordinance from the Kenya Bank stating that “a savings account of Herbert Henry Anstey in trust for R. A. Anstey had last operation pre-1938“.
Herbert returned to England at some point post-1938 and died in 1958 in Ampthill, Bedfordshire.
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