Arthur Peter Anstey, a member of the Iddesleigh Ansteys, was born on 16 September 1876 in Liskeard, Cornwall to parents William Anstey and Mary Ann Peters. In 1881 he was living with his family at Trewen Cottages, Liskeard and then on his eighteenth birthday, 16 September 1894, he signed up for twelve years of full time service with the Royal Navy (Service Number: 165526).
At the time of the 1901 Census he was living with his family at Chaddlewood Cottage, Colebrook, Plympton then on 19 September 1901 in Plympton he married Henrietta Alice Goad, having children in Plymouth:
- Henry Arthur Sidney Anstey (b 1902);
- Frederick Charles Anstey (b 1904, known as Charlie?);
- Helen Isabel Frances Anstey (b 1905, known as Frances – the ‘Western Morning News‘ on 23 October 1930 reported “there was doubt to whether the defendant was to blame for accident in which Miss Frances Anstey, of Grenville-road, Plymouth, was thrown from a pedal cycle. She was not seriously injured – defence was that defendant was dazzled by the lights of a motor car“. She married Stanley Frederick Gray in Plymouth in 1937);
- Herbert George Anstey (b 1908);
- William George Anstey (b 1910);
- Reginald James Anstey (b 11 February 1912 – unmarried and working as a glass cutter glazer living with his mother in 1939);
- Leonard J. Anstey (b 1913, died 1919);
- Alice May Anstey (b 1918);
- Phyllis Gwendoline Anstey (b 1919); and
- Ernest A. D. Anstey (b 1924).
From 1 May 1902 Arthur was attached to the Royal Navy Reserves in Devonport, then on 18 April 1907 he re-enrolled with the Royal Navy for another five years. By the 1911 Census the family were living at 65 Grenville Road, Plymouth where Arthur was described as a “skilled labourer (Boiler maker shop) D. W. D. Dockyard” – then on 25 March 1912 he re-enrolled with the Royal Navy for a second time, for another five year period.
Arthur was still with the Royal Navy at the outbreak of World War One. His service during the war as an Able Seaman was as follows:
- HMS Gibraltar: 2 August 1914 – 27 November 1914
- HMS Vivid I: 28 November 1914 – 6 December 1914
- AMC Gropesa?: 7 December 1914 – 3 December 1915 (working as a sailmaker’s mate)
- HMS Vivid I: 4 December 1915 – 28 December 1915
- Blake (Musketeer): 29 December 1915 – 28 January 1916
- HMS Vivid II: 29 January 1916 – 18 April 1916
- HMS Vivid I: 19 April 1916 – 17 July 1916
- Imperious?: 18 July 1916 – 30 January 1918
- HMS Vivid II: 31 January 1918 – 23 April 1918
- Indus: 24 April 1918 – 1 March 1919, at which time he was demobilised
For his services he was “paid a war gratuity” and his “Medal entitlement [was] issued to the man directly“.
By the 1921 Census Arthur was back living with his family at 65 Grenville Road in Plymouth. He died in 1924 in Plymouth – his widow Henrietta was still living at at 65 Grenville Road in the 1939 Register, with their son Reginald.
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