Edward John Anstey, a member of the St Luke, Holburn Ansteys, was born on 31 March 1899 in Bethnal Green to parents Alfred Ingram Anstey and Louisa Long; he was brother to fellow Anstey Heroes Richard Anstey and William Anstey, growing up in Bethnal Green and living with his family at 16 Centre Street, Bethnal Green in the 1911 Census.
On 31 December 1915 at Finsbury Barracks, aged only 16, Edward signed up for World War One Army service. On his Attestation Form he noted that he was “aged 18“; that he was born in Bethnal Green; that his next of kin was “Alfred Ingram Anstey“; and that he was a carman by trade. He was posted to ‘G’ Company 5th Battalion Rifle Brigade (Prince Consort’s Own) as a Private/Rifleman (Service Number: 6374), joining them in January 1916 in Winchester for training.
However, three months later on 3 April 1916 at Minster, Sheppey he was discharged for “having made a mis-statement as to his age on enlistment“. During the three months he was in the Army his character had been deemed “very good – has done his work well while he had been here and appears to be a steady, reliable and hard working lad.” Edward returned to live at 3 North Street, Mare Street, Hackney, resuming his former occupation as carman.
By the 1921 Census Edward was probably living in Hammersmith. He married Emily S. L. Barnes in Poplar in 1928, having children in Poplar Edward J. Anstey (b 1929) and Joan E. Anstey (b 1935).
By the time of the 1939 Register the family were living at 83 Parnell Road, Victoria Park, Hackney – Edward was a french polisher. It is possible that they had a third child in Poplar John W. Anstey (b 1946) though research continues into this matter.
Edward died in 1965, still living in Poplar.
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