Arthur Anstee, a member of the Flamstead Anstees, was born on 17 February 1867 in Markyate, Flamstead to parents Thomas Anstee and Catherine Bandy. He grew up living at Markyate Street, Humbershoe, Luton where in the 1881 Census he was an agricultural labourer. By 1901 he was living with his widowed mother Catherine at High Street, Markyate and at the time of the 1911 Census he was still an unmarried labourer, now living at 164 Wellington Street, Luton with his niece Flora Allen.
We do not know much about Arthur’s World War One story because we are unable to locate his Service Records. What we do know is the following:
- He enlisted in around July 1915 and was posted to the 1st Labour Battalion of the Royal Engineers as a Pioneer (Service Number: 110625);
- He entered the France Theatre of War a few weeks later on 22 August 1915;
- He was admitted to the 4th Stationary Hospital with Bronchitis and discharged “to duty” at the General Base Depot in Rouen on 1 May 1916 “aged 49” (still with the 1st Labour Battalion) – he had been “in service” with the Royal Engineers at this time for 8 months and with the “field force” for 7 months;
- At some point before 1918 he was transferred to the Labour Corps as a Private (Service Number: 289797), at which time he was still registered as living at 164 Wellington Street, Luton; and
- For his services, he was awarded the 1915 Star Medal, as well as the Victory and British War medals.
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By the 1921 Census Arthur was back living in Luton and by the 1939 Register he was an inmate at Luton & Dunstable Hospital, Dunstable Road, Luton – described as a “general labourer (retired)“.
Arthur died in 1942 in Luton having never married.
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