Albert Anstey, a member of the Dowland Ansteys, was born in q1 1890 (some sources say 1 December 1890) in Monkokehampton to parents John Anstey and Martha Parr. He grew up living in Monkokehampton and by the 1911 Census he was living with his widowed mother at Village, Monkokehampton, where he was working as a waggoner on a farm.
A year later, on 14 August 1912 in Monkokehampton, Albert married Lillian Maud Woodman (known as Maud) – the ‘Exeter and Plymouth Gazette‘ on 16 August 1912 reported “The wedding was solemnised at All Saints Church [Monkokehampton] of Mr Albert Anstey and Miss Maud Woodman…the bride was given away by Mr J. Clarke…the best man Mr G. Lott. The presents were pretty and useful“. They had children in Monkokehampton Frederick John Anstey (b 15 August 1912); John Anstey (b 1913, died young?); Winnie Anstey (b 6 January 1915); Mary Anstey (b 1920); May Anstey (b 1922); Lilly Anstey (b 1923); Emily Anstey (b 1925); Albert J. Anstey (b 1927); and William Anstey (b 1931).
Around a year after the commencement of World War One, on 11 December 1915, Albert signed up for active service – he was immediately posted to the Army Reserves. Over a year later, on 9 April 1917 at Citadel, Plymouth, he was mobilised and posted to the Royal Garrison Artillery as a Gunner (Service Number: 152479). On the Attestation Form completed at the time of his mobilisation he noted that he was a 26 year old married ‘horseman’ living in Monkokehampton.
We know very little about the specifics of Albert’s service except that:
- he served with the Mediterranean Expeditionary Forces as part of ‘HQ 101st Brigade’ of the Royal Garrison Artillery;
- In the 1918 Electoral Register he was registered at ‘Village Monkokehampton’ together with his wife Maud, but with “NM“, meaning “Naval or Military Voter” and “a” meaning “Absent voter (serving in the armed forces)” next to his name – so he was clearly on active service at this time;
- he was discharged at Forant on 24 April 1919; and
- for his services he was awarded the Victory and British War medals.
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By the 1921 Census Albert was back living with his family in Monkokehampton and at the time of the 1939 Register he was a cowman and gardener living with his family at Weir Parks, Okehampton.
Albert died in 1969 in Exeter, aged 79.
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