Albert Anstee, a member of the Swanbourne Ansteys, was born in London on 25 December 1882 (per his Army Service Records) to currently unknown parents. However we do know that his uncle and aunt were Robert and Elizabeth Anstee, hence his grandfather was certainly William Anstee.
In the 1901 Census Albert (labelled ‘Albert Elliot’ for reasons that we currently do not understand) was living with his aunt Elizabeth Anstee (widow) and her children at St Cross Road, Oxford Holywell. The census indicated that he was a “groom born 1881 in London“. By the 1911 Census Albert (again labelled ‘Albert Elliot’) was living at 2 Bliss Court, Broad St, Oxford with his aunt and her family; he was now described as “a stableman born 1885 in London“.
On 26 May 1917, as World War One was raging, Albert (as ‘Albert Anstee’) signed up for active service in Taunton as a Private (Service Number: TR (or JR)/9/35162). On his Attestation Form he noted that he was living at Woodside Cottage, Porlock, Somerset; that he was 34 years 5 months old; that he was unmarried; and that he was a “groom” by trade. Crucially, he gave his next of kin as “Elizabeth Anstee, aunt, 4 Bliss Court, Broad Street, Oxford”
Albert was initially posted to the 3rd Battalion Labour Corps and thence almost immediately to the 47th Training Reserve Battalion. However, he only lasted a total of 98 days of service in England before he was discharged on 30 August 1917 at Warley being “no longer physically fit for war service“. His Discharge Form also noted that “it appears from documents in my possession that this man is sober & well conducted“, as well as giving the reason for discharge being “permanent deafness [which] originated in 1897 at Heathfield near Oxford, not result of active service, nor aggravated thereby“.
His Discharge Form also noted that Albert was “liable to be sent a statutory order on 30 August 1918 requiring him to present himself for medical re-examination under the Military Service (Review of Exceptions) Act 1917“.
Albert was still single when he was discharged in August 1917 – he was granted a ten pound weekly war pension for his service (Chelsea Nbr: EH 876211). After this we lose track of him completely.
Anybody who would like to add anything to this biography, or knows a) what became of Albert or b) the significance of the name ‘Eliot’, please contact us at email@example.com.