Stanley Anstey (b 1889)

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

Stanley Anstey, a member of the Chatham Ansteys, was born in 1889 in Sheerness, Kent to parents James Anstey and Sarah Ellen Hounsell, baptised on 19 June 1889 in Sheerness, Holy Trinity. He was brother to fellow Anstey Hero Sidney Henry Anstey, spending his first years living at St Georges Terrace, Minster in Sheppey. His father died when he was five years old and by 1901 Stanley was living with his mother at 102, Hope Street, Sheerness. He attended Miles Town Boys School.

On 11 June 1907, aged eighteen, Stanley enlisted with the Army, joining the 2nd Battalion ‘The Buffs’ (Royal East Kent Regiment) as a Private (Service Number: L/8524) – presumably he signed up for a period of twelve years of service, though we cannot currently locate his Service Records to confirm that.

By the 1911 Census Stanley was a Private stationed at Tanglin Barracks in Singapore, part of ‘A’ Company, 2nd Battalion ‘The Buffs’. From Singapore he sailed with the regiment to India where he was stationed from January 1913. At the outbreak of World War One they were at Wellington, Madras, embarking for England on 16 November 1914 to join the war effort.

The ‘Sheerness Times Guardian‘ 30 January 1915 edition has a listing of ‘Mile Town Boys School‘ old boys who were on active service – it includes “Anstey Stanley Private East Kent Regt

Stanley and the 2nd Buffs entered the ‘France Theatre of War’ on 17 January 1915 where they were directed to the ‘Ypres Sector’ on 6 February 1915. They were at once thrown into an attack in freezing conditions and thick mud – three battalions were decimated and only a few Buffs reached their objective. Stanley was one of the fortunate ones, being admitted to the ‘No 13 General Hospital’ in Boulogne on 17 February 1915 suffering ‘only’ from frostbite.

On 24 May 1915, during the Second Battle of Ypres, Stanley received a “Gunshot wound to his leg calf“; he had an operation on 28 May 1915 at ‘2nd General Hospital’ to treat it (sepsis had set in). He was then transferred by ’11th Ambulance Train’ on 1 June 1915 to the Hospital Ship ‘Oxfordshire’ – at this time he was with ‘B’ Company of the 2nd Battalion ‘The Buffs’. He was treated for 6 days and then presumably returned to his unit (notes confirm that by this time he had been serving 8 years with the Army, with 5 months ‘in the field’ in France, and that he was Church of England by religion).

On 6 October 1915 during the Battle of Loos on the Western Front in France, Stanley was again wounded, this time much more seriously, confirmed in the ‘Casualty List‘ issued by the Home Office on 19 October 1915.

Presumably he was sent back to England to recover – the next we hear is that he was discharged from service on 5 October 1916 under Army Order 2b (i) – “after service overseas in the armed Forces of the Crown, on account of disablement“. Stanley was issued with a Silver War Badge – particulars furnished were “Staines Road, Hounslow, 20/03/1918“, which is presumably where he was living at that time.

For his services, Stanley was awarded the 1915 Star, as well as the Victory and British War medals.

After the war, and certainly by 1921, Stanley was living at 251 Albert Road in Aston Manor with his mother and brother, then in 1924 in Birmingham North he married Louisa Emily Parsons – we find no children of this marriage. By 1927, they were living at 1 Back Of 33 Pool Street, Birmingham.

By the time of the 1939 Register Stanley and his wife Louisa were still living at 1 Back Of 33 Pool Street, Birmingham, where Stanley was a “Tube Waxing Small Arms Amas“.

Stanley died in late 1943 in Birmingham.

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