Percival Anstey (b 1889)

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

Percival Anstey, a member of the Kennford Ansteys, was born on 16 May 1889 in Exeter, St Thomas, baptised 26 June 1889, to parents James Herbert Anstey and Emma Crofford Rowe. He grew up in St Thomas and by the 1911 Census he was an unmarried Great Western Railway clerk at Poplar Station, boarding at 30 Ettrick Street, Poplar, London (he had begun working as a clerk for the Great Western Railways in June 1906).

On 3 December 1916 Percival, by now living at 189 Beaconsfield Road, Southall, married Alice Gwendoline Beakhouse in Uxbridge – the ‘Uxbridge & West Drayton Gazette‘ 08 December 1916 reported “MARRIAGE OF MISS BEAKHOUSE Quite one of the prettiest of weddings was that of last Sunday at St. Mary’s, Hayes, when Miss Alice Gwendoline Beakhouse, the elder daughter of Mr. and Mrs. I. E. Beakhouse, of Hayes Town Post Office, was married to Mr. Percival Anstey, eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. J. H Anstey, of Exeter. The occasion was one that aroused very considerable interest, which is not surprising considering the long residence of the bride’s parents in the district, and also the fact that the bride herself is so well-known and is a teacher in the Sunday School, kindergarten, and in addition to numerous friends who gathered to witness the ceremony, a large number of the scholars lined the church approach to give a hearty welcome to the bride.“ – they had a single child Peter H. P. Anstey (b 1920 Uxbridge).

Presumably very soon after his marriage, Percival joined the World War One effort by enlisting with the Royal Engineers. We know little of his service except that:

  • He was a Corporal 2nd with the Royal Engineers (Service Numbers: 218861 and WR/262964); and
  • For his services he was awarded the Victory and British War medals

Anybody who can elaborate on this somewhat skeletal war story, please contact us at

By 1921 the family were living at 3 Glebe Road, Hayes and they were still there in 1931. By the 1939 Register Percival was still a railway clerk for the Great Western Railways living with his wife at L’Ancnesse Hamilton Road, Hillingdon, Uxbridge (Alice was connected with the British Red Cross V. A. D. at this time). In 1942 “Percival Anstey railway clerk” was a grantee in the will of Isaac Ernest Beakhouse.

The ‘Uxbridge & W. Drayton Gazette‘ on 22 October 1954 reported “INVESTED as an Officer Brother of the Order of St. John in the Great Hall of St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, London, last week was Mr. Percival Anstey, of 26, Hamilton-road, Cowley. Already a Serving Brother of the Order since 1942, Mr. Anstey has earned this distinction for work he has carried out in connection with St. John Ambulance work during his 47 years’ service with the Great Western Railway and the nationalized Western Region service. At the time of his retirement on June 30 this year, Mr. Anstey was Regional Ambulance Secretary. He began administrative work in the railway service at Exeter in 1906, and later served at Poplar, Maidstone, Southhall and finally in the department of the Region’s General Manager at Paddington. He took up this appointment in 1926- on the day before the General Strike broke out. In 1942, Mr. Anstey became Centre Secretary of the Great , Western Railway’s St. John Ambulance Association.Since 1933 he has been concerned with the administrative work on railway staff travel facilities.”.

Percival died on 27 May 1971 living at 26 Hamilton Road, Cowley, Middlesex.

The ‘Uxbridge & W. Drayton Gazette‘ on 18 January 1995 reported on his widow Alice’s death – “ANSTEY nee Beakhouse: On Wednesday 11 January, aged 99 years, peacefully after a long illness courageously borne, Alice Gwendoline beloved Wife of the late Percival Anstey beloved Mother of her Everloving Son Peter. Funeral service on Thursday 19th January at St. Laurence Parish Church, Cowley…

Anybody who would like to add anything to this biography please contact us at

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