James Anstey (b 1888)

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

See ‘Anstey: A Complete History From the Norman Invasion to World War One‘ for much more on the Coleshill Ansteys. In addition to biographies of various Anstey individuals who make up this sub-branch, the book contains a plethora of Anstey research and statistics, including an analysis of how the Coleshill Ansteys fit into the pedigree descendent from Hubert de Anesti, the 12th century originator of the ‘Anstey’ surname.

CO 22. James Anstey, a member of the Coleshill Ansteys, was born in 1888 in Leicester, baptised 18 October 1889 in Leicester St Saviour, to parents Richard Anstey (CO 12) and Elizabeth Cozens [Couzens]. He grew up in Leicester, living with his family at Larch Street in 1891, and by 1901 they were living at 273 Charnwood Street in Leicester.

We cannot locate James in the 1911 Census but he married Ethel May Levick on 1 June 1914 in Willesdon, having children James Richard Anstey (b 28 February 1915 Brentford) and Alfred L. Anstey (b 14 February 1920 Ware).

Just under two years after the outbreak of World War One, on 24 June 1916, James signed up for active service. At the time of his enlistment he was living at 44 High Oak Road, Ware, Hertfordshire and working as a railway signalman. He was posted to the Army Reserves, where he remained for almost two years, until he was finally called up for duty on 25 May 1918 and posted to the 19th Reserve Battery of the Royal Field Artillery (Nbr 4 Depot) as a Gunner (Service Number: 255731). By the time of his call-up he was working as an insurance commission agent.

In June 1918 James was posted to 342 Brigade of the Royal Field Artillery at Langley Park, then on 3 December 1918 he was further transferred to the Royal Army Service Corps Remount Depot in Swaythling as a Private (Service Number: R/448307).

Having served only in England and still with the Royal Army Service Corps, James was discharged on 12 February 1919 at Woolwich Dockyard under King’s Regulations ‘Sickness 392 xvi’ (no longer fit for active service). His Medical Report at the time stated “This man is in poor health [not attributable to the war]…he frequently feels faint and at times loses consciousness” – he was eventually issued a Silver War Badge on 3 January 1921.

By the 1919 Electoral Register James was back living with his family at 44 High Oak Road, Ware – they were still there at the time of the 1930 Electoral Register. Ethel May died in 1936 in Ware, buried on 27 May 1936 at St Mary the Virgin Church in Ware, so a year later in 1937 in Ware James remarried to Ivy Kentfield. At the time of the 1939 Register he was still an insurance agent, and still living with his family at 48 High Oak Road, Ware.

He died in 1968, still living in Ware in Hertfordshire.

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

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