Alfred Henry Anstee, a member of the Houghton Regis Anstees, was born on 22 March 1895 (some sources incorrectly state 22 March 1893) in Wood Green to parents Harry Edward Anstee and Clara Jane Eames – he was brother to fellow Anstey Hero Edward Thomas Anstee. His mother died when he was very young so in 1901 he was living with his ‘Eames’ grandparents at London County Bank, Luton. By the time of the 1911 Census he was working as a solicitor’s clerk, visiting his ‘Eames’ family at 2 Chapel Street Luton (incorrectly written as ‘Alfred Edward Anstee’).
Just under a year after the outbreak of World War One, on 1 June 1915 at Tonbridge, Alfred signed up for active service with the Kent Cyclist’s Battalion Territorial Force (Service Numbers: 1950 and TF/266066). On his Attestation Form he noted that he was a warehouseman living at 34 Outram Road, Alexandra Park, London with his father, who he deemed his next of kin.
He was immediately embodied with the 3/1st Kent Cyclists Battalion as a Private then at the end of June 1915 he was posted to the 2/1st Battalion. He was further transferred to the 1/1st Battalion on 27 November 1915, remaining with them until 13 November 1917, at which time he was transferred to the 1/5th Royal West Kent Regiment (Service Number: 266066) and embodied with the Mesopotamia Expeditionary Forces on 5 December 1917.
His locational service breakdown was thus:
- 1 June 1915 to 7 February 1916 – England
- 8 February 1916 to 4 December 1917 – India
- 10 December 1917 to 25 April 1919 – Mesopotamia
- 26 April 1919 to 5 May 1919 – en route to India
- 6 May 1919 to 21 September 1919 – India with the “2 Bn CVO 17 – 17th Special Battalion“
- 22 September 1919 to 28 October 1919 – en route to England
- 29 October 1919 to 27 November 1919 – England
Alfred was then disembodied for demobilisation on 27 November 1919, intending to reside at Elstead Grove Road, North Finchley. In his medical examination conducted just before his discharge he noted that he had suffered from dysentery in September 1918 “whilst on the march in Mesopotamia” and that he still suffered from it – he was deemed to have a disability of “less than 20%” for pension purposes.
Alfred was finally discharged on 31 March 1920 – for his services he was awarded the India General Service Medal with clasps ‘North West Frontier 1908‘ and ‘Afghanistan North West Frontier 1919‘, as well as the Victory and British War medals.
By the 1921 Electoral Register Alfred was living with his father, stepmother and brother at Elstead, Grove Road, Finchley and by 1925 he was living with his brother Edward at 41 Bramber Road in Barnet – he was still there in 1928. A year later in 1929 he married Elsie Hart in Peterborough, having a daughter Sheila A. Anstee (b 1933 Peterborough).
By the 1939 Register Alfred was a clerk with the Royal Air Force, living at 5 Woodfield Road, Peterborough with his family – he died on 23 February 1973, still living at 5 Woodfield Road, Peterborough.
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