Stanley Frank Anstey, a member of the Batheaston Ansteys, was born on 27 December 1894, baptised 30 June 1895 in Batheaston, to parents John Anstey and Matilda Anne Bolwell; he was brother to fellow Anstey Heroes Frederick George Anstey and Charles Henry Anstey. Stanley grew up in Bailbrook, Batheaston and by the 1911 Census he was working as a dairyman, living with his siblings and his widowed mother Matilda Anne Taylor at 3 Bedford Street, Walcot near Bath.
Around a year or so after the outbreak of World War One Stanley enlisted for service, either in November 1915 or on 12 February 1916 (sources differ) – either way, he was posted to the Somerset Light Infantry as a Private (Service Number: 21472). Before he left to fight in France, Stanley married Hilda D. Carey in q4 1916 in Bath, the register confirming that he had already “Joined Somerset Light Infantry“.
On 14 January 1917, whilst with the 7th (Service) Battalion of the Somerset Light Infantry (‘A’ Company, 20th Division), Stanley was transferred “From XIV Corps Rest Station To No. 5 Ambulance Train” (with additional information given as “No 39 Casualty Clearing Station“) suffering from the ailment “psoriasis“. At this time he had been “in service 1 year and 2 months” and “with the field force for 4 months” – he was also noted as being “Wesleyan” by religion.
From the above, we can presume that Stanley entered the Western Front battlefields in October 1916, presumably straight after his marriage (though we are not certain of the exact date of his marriage), and thus would probably have taken part in the Battle of le Transloy in Northern France in that month, part of the Battle of the Somme.
It is quite unclear what happened next, but at some point after this Stanley was transferred to the Labour Corps 593rd Company as a Private (Service Number: 279151, noted as “ex Somerset Light Infantry“). He was finally discharged on 6 February 1919, cause of discharge given as “Sickness 392 xvi II Army Order 29/1919” (no longer fit for active service). He was issued with a Silver War Badge on 3 March 1919, which suggests that he may have been wounded during the war, though we have no specifics.
For his services with the Somerset Light Infantry and the Labour Corps, Stanley was awarded the Victory and British War medals.
At the time of the 1921 Census, Stanley and Hilda were living in Bath with Dennis S. Carey (b 1916, presumably a son of hers from a previous relationship), and they were still married in 1937 when they attended the funeral of Charles William Bolwell. By the 1939 Register Stanley was a house painter and ARP Warden living at 23 Malvern Buildings, Bath with his wife Hilda – we find no ‘Anstey’ children of this marriage.
Stanley died in 1987 at Hastings and Rother, Sussex
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