Santos Anstee, a member of the Christchurch, Monmouthshire Anstees, was born in 1897 in Ogmore Vale, Llangeinor, Glamorganshire to parents Santos Jonah Anstee and Elizabeth Skammel Evans; he was brother to fellow Anstey Heroes Arthur Anstee; Alfred George Anstee; and Washington Miller E. Anstee. Santos lived his childhood in Ogmore Vale and by the 1911 Census he was working as a collier boy below ground, boarding at 3 Sunny Bank Ogmore Vale with his brother Miller.
In 1914, just after the outbreak of World War One, Santos signed up to the Army as a Private (Service Number: 20178) with the Royal Welsh Fusiliers. He entered the ‘France’ Theatre of War on 1 December 1915 and he was demobilised after the war ended, on 15 January 1919.
In 1918 Santos was awarded the DCM (Distinguished Conduct Medal), according to his own words for “saving the lives of sixteen men” (see below). For his service he was also awarded the 1915 Star, as well as the Victory and British War medals.
We now also know from the ‘Glamorgan Gazette‘ 21 June 1918 edition that “D. C. M. News has been received that Private S. Anstie R. W. F. has been awarded the D. C. M. for capturing a German machine gun. He is one of four brothers who enlisted in 1914 and is about 19 years old. The Valley will be proud of this young hero whose sister Mrs Bert Partridge resides at Suffolk Place Ogmore Vale“.
The ‘Western Mail‘ 04 October 1918 added “DCM Private S. Anstie R. W. F. Ogmore Vale. While taking part in a raid he showed great dash. When within two yards of the enemy trench he heard the gunner cocking his machine gun. He rushed forward and leapt into the trench, bayonetted the gunner and captured the machine gun, thereby ensuring the success of the raid. He did splendid service“.
It is not entirely clear when, but Santos was also wounded around this time, the ‘Weekly Casualty List (War Office & Air Ministry )‘ on 01 October 1918 noting “Wounded: Royal Welsh Fusiliers Anstie 20178 S (Ogmore)“
By the 1921 Census, Santos was back living in Bridgend, Glamorgan.
In the ‘Glamorgan Gazette‘ on 5 August 1932 it was reported that “NANTYMOEL MAN BOUND OVER. On a charge of stealing coal, valued at 6d, the property of Messrs. Cory Bros., Santos Anstee, labourer, 82 Oakfield Terrace, Nantymoel, was bound over for twelve months in the sum of £5. Police Constable Lewis deposed that he saw the defendant in a colliery sidings with a sack of coal on his back at 9:30pm on Thursday July 21st. Witness asked him what he was doing with the coal and charged him with stealing it. His reply was ‘That’s your case Officer’. Anstee, in a statement to the Bench, claimed to have saved the lives of sixteen men during the war and to have gained the D. C. M.”.
The ‘Glamorgan Advertiser‘ on 19 March 1948 reported “Two Ogmore Vale dog owners. Glyndwr Morgan, 6 Bridge Street and Anstos Anstee. 21a Cemetery Road were charged at Bridgend Court on Saturday with keeping a dog without a licence. Morgan was fined 5s. and .Anstee 10s.” – we presume “Anstos Anstee” is actually Santos.
Santos died in 1956 in Bridgend, Glamorganshire.
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