John Thomas Anstey, a member of the Bradninch Ansteys, was born 24 January 1888 in Bermondsey to parents John Anstey and Ada Sarah Pope; he was brother to fellow Anstey Hero Charles Arthur Anstey. He grew up in Bermondsey, living at 20 Matson Street, Rotherhithe, St Olave Southwark in the 1901 Census, and by the time of the 1911 Census he was a ‘sampler’ living with his family at 5 Parkers Row Bermondsey.
John married Emily Smith in St Olave Southwark in late 1913 and they had two children Emily Anstey (b 13 October 1914) and John Thomas Anstey (b 10 April 1916 – see below).
We have struggled to find much information regarding John’s World War One exploits as we cannot locate any Service Records. What we know is the following:
- From the birth date of his second child he would not have been called up for service until at least July 1915 and more likely it was in 1916;
- He was a Private with the Tank Corps (Service Number: 69538);
- He served with the 6th Tank Battalion in France and Belgium – ‘A History of the Sixth Tank Battalion‘ noting “THIRD BATTLE OF YPRES The following officers and other ranks were wounded in action August 22, 1917: 69538 Gunner Anstey, J. T.“;
- This injury was confirmed in the ‘War Office Daily List No.5373‘ report date 25 September 1917 which lists “J. T. Anstey Private 69538 Tank Corps Next of Kin Bermondsey Wounded” and thus entitled to wear a ‘Wound Stripe’; and
- For his services he was awarded the Victory and British War medals.
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By the 1921 Census John, Emily and their two children were back living in St Olave, Bermondsey. By 1929 they were living at 12 Gaskarth Road, Burnt Oak, Hendon and the entire family were still living there at the time of the 1939 Register where John was a ‘tea brokers market clerk’.
The ‘Hendon and Finchley Times‘ on 3 November 1939 reported “EDGWARE BRIDEGROOM. The wedding has taken a place at Hendon Parish Church of Mr. John Thomas Anstey, son of Mr. and Mrs. John Anstey. 12, Gaskarth-road, Burnt Oak, and Miss Dorothy Elsie Chubb, eldest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Albert Chubb of 28 Vinyard Avenue Mill Hill“
John died on 4 January 1983, living at Anmer Lodge, Stanmore Hill, Stanmore.
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