William George Anstee, a member of the Potsgrove Anstees, was born in q1 1871 in Greenwich, baptised 9 April 1871 in Greenwich St Peters, to parents John George James Anstee and Maria Lewis. He grew up in Greenwich and by 1901 he was a ‘County court official high bailiff’s clerk’ living with his family at 31, Lewisham Road, Greenwich.
William married Ellen Crane in q3 1908 in Lewisham and they had children Marie Ellen Crane Anstee (b 1911) and possibly one other – he was a law clerk working for the County Court, Greenwich in the 1911 Census living with his family at 5 Guildford Road Greenwich.
William signed up with the Territorial Army (Royal Field Artillery – Service Number: 426) on 14 April 1909 in Lewisham, and by the time of the outbreak of World War One he was a Staff Sergeant. He was embodied with the 1/4th London Howitzer Brigade, Royal Field Artillery as soon as war was declared and served:
- ‘Home’ – from 5 August 1914 to 2 October 1915;
- ‘France’ with the British Expeditionary Forces – from 3 October 1915 to 7 April 1916; and
- ‘Home’ – from 8 April 1916 to 28 April 1916.
He was discharged on 28 April 1916, at this time a Saddler Staff Sergeant with the 10th Battery of the 1/4th London Howitzer Brigade, Royal Field Artillery, because he was by then “over age, at age 44” – he was granted a Silver War Badge and returned to his job as a law clerk, by then living at 31 Burney Street, Greenwich.
For his services he was awarded the 1915 Star medal, as well as the Victory and British War medals.
[Note: On his discharge papers was written “20 years of proficiency pay” – whether he had been in some form of Territorial unit since 1896 we are not sure. We do know per his Territorial Army Attestation Papers that he had formerly served “in the K. R. R. Cadet Corps” and “2 V. B. Royal West Kent Regiment“, but he certainly joined the RFA Territorials in 1909 per above]
William was still connected to the Royal Field Artillery in 1920 when he wrote to them “applying for furlough” – at this time he was living at 96 Ladywell Road Lewisham. He was still there with his family by the 1921 Census.
William died in 1947 in Greenwich.
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