Thomas Christopher Ralph Anstey (b 1891)

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

Thomas Christopher Ralph Anstey, known as Christopher in later life, a member of the Bampton Ansteys, was born in Farnborough, Hampshire on 1 September 1891 to parents Thomas Henry Anstey (who fought in the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879) and Caroline Alicia de Fonblanque. He attended Trinity College, Cambridge University, matriculating in 1911, and then moved to Kensington, London, living at 45 Beaufort Gardens, Kensington with his family in the 1911 Census, at the time still a “student“. He then became a Second Lieutenant in the Nottinghamshire Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry in 1913.

In August 1914, soon after the outbreak of World War One, he was promoted from Second Lieutenant to Lieutenant of the Nottinghamshire Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry, and he soon became attached to the Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Mounted Brigade, serving in 1915 as Cavalry in Egypt (Service Number: P48805). It was during this stint, on 27 May 1915, that he countersigned a postcard for a fellow soldier, signing his name as “T C R Anstey, Lieut SR Yeo“.

Later in 1915, Christopher and his regiment were dispatched from Egypt to Gallipoli in Turkey, performing an infantry role and serving there for three months. In January 1916 he was promoted to temporary Captain, then on 9 November 1916 he was admitted to 19th General Hospital, still with the “1st Notts (S. R) Yeo attached E.S.O.” and still a Captain.

On 22 August 1917 Christopher (again a Lieutenant) was reported as being “wounded in action“. In November 1917, he was promoted again, this time to full time Captain of the Nottinghamshire Yeomanry.

Christopher survived the war, later becoming a stockbroker in the City of London. He married in 1920 – the ‘Nottingham Journal‘ 09 July 1920 reporting “A RETIRING ACTRESS. The stage is losing another young and talented actress in Miss Avice Kelham, who is shortly to be married to Captain C. Anstey, of the Sherwood Rangers, after which she will retire from professional life. Miss Kelham,of “kissing time” “cheerio,,,” Any old thing, and All clear who is well known in the larger provincial towns, is the younger daughter of Mr. R. P. Kelham of Amersham, bucks. Her fiance is the only son of the late Colonel T. H Anstey. She will have two very well-know sisters-in-law, Lady Houstoun Boswall, whose husband, the young baronet of Annanbank, Berwickshire, fell during the war, and Mrs. Wald Bainbridge.

A photo of the happy couple appears in ‘The Sketch‘ on 4 August 1920 – we find no children of this union. Another photo appears in ‘The Tatler‘ 19 February 1936 of them holidaying in Monte Carlo.

By the 1939 Register they were living at 37 Gloucester Square, Paddington, City Of Westminster with three servants – Christopher was a Stock Exchange Trader (Own Account).

Christopher died in 1956, whilst residing in Paddington, London – “Thomas C. R. Anstey. of Southwick Place Paddington left £48,210 (gross £48,425) in his will published this week“.

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