Many thanks to Julia for her help in this biography.
Norman George Anstey, a member of the Chew Magna Ansteys, was born in 1897 in Keynsham to parents George Anstey and Henrietta Florence Stokes. He was brother to fellow Anstey Hero Lionel John Anstey, brought up in Beeston and Mapperley Park, Nottinghamshire. In the 1911 Census, Norman was living with his family at Sefton Drive, Nottingham.
Right at the outbreak of World War One, on 14 September 1914, Norman signed up for active service in Nottingham as a Private (Service Number 2534 & later 265538) with the 7th Reserve Battalion Sherwood Foresters (Nottinghamshire And Derbyshire Regiment) – presumably he was already with the Territorial Army. In his Attestation Form he stated that he previously been a Corporal in the OTC (Officer Training Corps) in Solihull and was living at 3 Sefton Drive, Mapperley Park, Nottingham with his parents.
Norman was appointed Acting Sergeant later in September 1914 but demoted to Acting Corporal in August 1915 for “neglect of duty” and then reverted to Private in December 1915. In January 1916, whilst “on duty on ordinary military service“, Norman was kicked in the abdomen by a horse, necessitating surgery at Birmingham General Hospital at the end of January 1916 for a ventral hernia.
In September 1916 Norman was transferred to the 29th Provisional Battalion (formed from the Territorial Force Battalions of the Sherwood Foresters in Walton-on-the-Naze, Essex under the command of 7th Provisional Brigade). In January 1917 the battalion became the 21st Battalion, Sherwood Foresters.
Norman embarked at Folkestone on 12 January 1917, disembarking in Calais, France, joining his unit in the field on 18 January 1917. He was sent to hospital sick on 24 January 1917, rejoining for duty on 27 January 1917. Whilst on active service in Coin, France, Norman was admitted to hospital on 8 February 1917 for swelling related to his ventral hernia, and whilst there he was also diagnosed with diphtheria on 24 February 1917. Norman was transferred back to England on 11 March 1917, spending a total of 40 days in hospital at Hellsby Auxiliary Military Hospital and then Carrington, Nottingham. He was also diagnosed with “slight photophobia” as a result of the diphtheria.
In June 1917 Norman was again admitted to hospital in Ripon with ventral hernia complications, spending another two months there. He was thus posted to the 5th Reserve Battalion, Saltfleet in September 1917. On 10 November 1917 Norman was discharged “no longer physically fit for war service“, after appearing before the Board in Ripon in October 1917 and found to be “permanently unfit invalid 30% disability“; he received his Silver War Badge on 22 November 1917.
Norman’s character during the war was judged as “very good“; for his services he was awarded the Victory and British War Medals.
After his discharge, Norman returned to Nottingham, living with his family at Tavistock Avenue, Mapperley Park. He married Gladys Wyvill in Nottingham in 1920; we currently cannot find any children of this marriage. By 1931 Norman and Gladys were living in Mansfield Road, Forest Ward, Nottingham, then in 1944 “Emma Elizabeth Wyvill widow and Gladys Anstey (wife of Norman George Anstey)” were grantees of the will of William Wyvill of Nottinghamshire.
Norman died in 1961 at the City Hospital, Nottingham – he was a wine and spirit retailer living in Lucknow Avenue, Mapperley Park at the time of his death. His wife Gladys had predeceased him a few months earlier – they were both cremated.
Norman’s name formed part of the Roll of Honour read out by the Durham Light Infantry Association at their Cathedral Service in August 2013.
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