Edgar Carnegie Anstey, a member of the Bampton Ansteys, was born in May 1882 at Beacon House, Camborne, Redruth, Cornwall to parents Harry Anstey and Edith Euphemia Carnegie. He was the older brother of Robert Alexander Carnegie Anstey.
Edgar was educated at Hazelwood School until December 1895. When he left, the school magazine wrote that ” [Edgar] goes to Wellington, much to the advantage of that College. Above the average in work, and of irreproachable character, he only wants an increase of stature to be quite first rate in Cricket, Football and all branches of athletics. He is also a very useful chorister.” He attended Wellington College from 1896 to 1899 and then entered the Royal Military College Academy in Woolwich.
He was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Artillery in December 1900 and then promoted to Lieutenant in December 1903. He was seconded for service in West Africa in April 1907 where he was attached to the 1st Gold Coast Regiment, and he served as Aide De Camp to the Governor of Accra until 1909. In 1910, Edgar was posted to the 135th Battery, 32nd Brigade, Royal Artillery. He won the Royal Artillery Steeplechase at the Aldershot Command in 1910 riding his own horse (and again in 1913). In the 1911 Census he was with the Louisberg 32nd Brigade R F A 135th Battery at their barracks in Bourdon, Headley.
According to the Hazelwood School War Memorial website: “Following the outbreak of World War One Edgar embarked for France on the 12th of August 1914 and was appointed as Brigade Major of the 1st Divisional Artillery on the 16th of November 1914. He was posted to the Dardanelles where he was mentioned in despatches for “gallant and distinguished services” during the period of Sir Charles Munro’s command of the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force and was mentioned in Sir Ian Hamilton’s despatches of the 11th of December 1915. He was later mentioned in despatches again for service in France as a General Staff Officer Grade 1. He was promoted to Major on the 13th of August 1915 and was appointed as a General Staff Officer Grade 2 on the 24th of August 1915. He was awarded the Legion of Honour (Croix De Chevalier) on the 30th of March 1916. He was promoted to Brevet Lieutenant Colonel on the 3rd of June 1917 and finished the war on the staff of 50th (Northumbrian) Division. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Order in the New Years Honours List of the 1st of January 1919 and was awarded the Croix De Guerre on the 7th of January 1919.”
After World War One ended, Edgar married Laura Samsonoff at All Saints Church, Ennismore Gardens, Hanover Square in December 1922. They had a daughter Barbara Elizabeth Anstey (b c1929), then in 1931 they moved to Delhi in India as a result of Edgar being appointed to the Command of the Royal Artillery on the General Staff, Western Command in India. Sadly their daughter died in 1932 whilst in Delhi, and at some point Edgar returned to England, eventually living at 11 Thurloe Square, London.
Edgar retired from the Army in 1935, leaving the service with the rank of Brigadier. Just before the outbreak of World War Two in 1939, he was appointed as Passive Air Defence Officer for the London district, and in 1940 he became a member of the historical section of the Cabinet Office. He retired from the Reserve of Officers in 1942, having reached the maximum age limit, and became Military Correspondent of the Sunday Times newspaper.
Edgar’s wife Laura died in 1946, then in 1950 “Brigadeer Edgar C. Anstey DSO“, still living at 11 Thurlow Square, London, together with Lady Millicent Campbell, embarked on a journey to New Zealand; he married her the following year in Kensington. Edgar was also an author, writing the novels ‘A Vanishing Yacht. A Story of Adventure’, published in 1936, ‘The Mystery of the Blue Inns‘, published in 1937, and others.
Edgar died in November 1958 in Kensington, London.
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