Arthur Anstee, a member of the Christchurch, Monmouthshire Anstees, was born in q1 1887 in Ogmore Vale to parents Santos Jonah Anstee and Elizabeth Skammel Evans; he was brother to fellow Anstey Heroes Alfred George Anstee; Washington Miller E. Anstee; and Santos Anstee. Arthur lived his childhood in Ogmore Vale and by the 1901 Census he was living at 4, Cemetery Road, Llangeinor, Bridgend, already working as a coal miner.
On 31 December 1906, still a collier, Arthur signed up for 12 years of service with the Army, joining the 1st Battalion of the Welsh Regiment (Service Number: 9199). However just over a year later, on 28 July 1908 he was discharged “due to misconduct“, having served just under 100 days of his total service “in detention” (often with hard labour) due to various misdemeanours (one being “Stealing and receiving stolen comrade’s property, three times. Breaking from barracks. Failing to appear at Parade” and the final straw being “Insubordination to a Lieutenant“).
After his discharge, we are not quite sure where Arthur went – we certainly cannot find him in the 1911 Census. We do know that he married Olive May Brown on 15 January 1913 in Roath, St Saviour, having two children Reginald Arthur Anstee (b 5 August 1915) and Hilda May Anstee (b 6 December 1919 Worcester).
We have very few details of Arthur’s World War One story as we cannot locate his Service Records. He must have signed up fairly early in the conflict, either in 1914 or early 1915, and he was posted to the Welsh Regiment as a Private (Service Number: 2498). He then entered the Theatre of War ‘2b’ (Gallipoli, Dardanelles) on 9 August 1915.
The next we hear of Arthur is that at some point he was transferred to the Labour Corps as a Private (Service Number: 243002). The only other thing we know is that for his services he was awarded the 1915 Star, as well as the Victory and British War medals. Given the years of birth of his two children, we can suppose that Arthur spent much of 1916 to 1918 serving abroad.
[Note: We know this is the ‘correct’ Arthur Anstee because on 15 June 1925 he enlisted with the Royal Welsh Fusiliers (Service number: 4186587) as a Territorial for four years. On his Attestation Form he noted that he was living in Caernarvon with his wife and two children; that he was a chimney sweep; that he was born in Ogmore Vale; and that he had “previously served in the Labour Corps Service Number 243002“. He was posted to the 6th Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers in 1925 and “struck off strength” on 31 December 1926]
By the 1921 Census Arthur and his family were living in Pershore, Worcestershire and by the 1939 Register they were living at 13 Hillfield Villas, Kidwelly where Arthur was working as a platelayer.
Arthur died in 1956 buried at St Mary’s Church, Lady Street, Kidwelly with gravestone inscription “Olive May Anstee 1889-1944. Arthur Anstee 1887-1956. Their son Sgt Reg Anstee D. C. M, R. W. F., Killed in Action March 1945. Their daughter Hilda May Franklin 1919-1989 Also her dear husband Reginald Charles Franklin 1920-2018 All Remembered with Love“
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