Peter James Ansty (b 1891)

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

Peter James Ansty, a member of the Dorchester Anstys, was born on 29 January 1891 in Battersea, Wandsworth to parents Frederick James Ansty and Caroline Wright. He was brother to fellow Anstey Heroes Frederick John Ansty; George Henry Ansty; Joseph Edward Ansty (his twin); Charles Albert Ansty; and Reuben Walter Ansty.

Peter grew up at 33, Bramwell Street, Battersea then on 17 August 1904 in Plymouth at the tender age of 13 (and only 4 foot 11 inches in height) he joined the Royal Navy (Service Numbers: 553 and 13545). On his Attestation Form he incorrectly gave his date of birth as 17 January 1890 (presumably so that he was deemed old enough to join); he stated that he was Church of England by religion; and that his parents lived at 47 Scholar’s Road, Balham. Peter’s Service Record notes the following:

  • August 1904 – October 1904 ‘HMS Impregnable’ – Rank: Bandboy
  • October 1904 – December 1906 ‘Boscawen II’ (a training ship) – Rank: Bandboy
  • January 1907 – March 1908 ‘Ganges’ – Rank: Bandboy
  • April 1908 – “Passed for Infantry
  • August 1908 – February 1910 ‘Albermarle’ – Rank: Musician
  • February 1910 – April 1910 ‘Royal School of Music’
  • April 1910 – March 1912 ‘Collingwood’ – Rank: Musician (In the 1911 Census he was at Collingwood, Devonport – a “musician with the Royal Marine Band“)
  • March 1912 – June 1912 ‘Royal School of Music’
  • June 1912 – June 1914 ‘Collingwood’ – Rank: Musician

At this time World War One was about to commence, during which Peter served on ‘HMS Marlborough‘ from June 1914 to February 1917 (as a ‘Musician’) and then ‘HMS Revenge’ (again as a ‘Musician’) through to the end of the war. Given this, Peter would have taken part in the Battle of Jutland between 31 May and 1 June 1916 (the largest naval battle and the only full-scale clash of battleships during that war – during which ‘HMS Marlborough’ was hit by a torpedo but not sunk).

After formal hostilities ceased, Peter married his first cousin Rose Gertrude Ansty on 31 December 1918 in Wandsworth; they had a daughter Betty Rose Ansty (b 1920 Medway Kent).

Peter was discharged from the Royal Navy with “limited engagement” on 16 January 1920 after completing his twelve years of ‘adult’ service. His ‘character’ throughout his time had been deemed ‘very good’, with specialisation in the musical instruments ‘Bombardon’ and ‘Double Bass’. His Service Report also notes that he was “wounded on 29 August 1919 and paid a £24 war gratuity“.

Just over a week after his discharge, on 27 January 1920, Peter re-enlisted with the Royal Marines (Service Number: 216873) as a musician (by which time he was 5 foot 9 inches tall), serving until around 1929 and receiving a “Long Service & Good Conduct Medal” in 1923. He was still a ‘bandsman’ serving on a Merchant Ship (Number: 129058) in February 1931.

By the 1939 Register Peter, an “Admiralty messenger” with birth date correctly given as 29 January 1891, was at 57 Sistova Road, Balham, Wandsworth with his twin brother Joseph Edward Ansty and his family. His wife Rose was living at 5 Clegg Road, Portsmouth with their daughter.

Peter died on 28 April 1942 in Romford, Essex, living at 112 Haynes Road, Hornchurch; probate was to his widow Rose Gertrude Ansty.

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