Edward Leroy Anstey, a member of the Brown, Kansas Ansteys of America, was born on 4 February 1883 at Hamlin, Brown to parents John Frederick Anstey and Mary Etta George. He grew up in Brown, Kansas, marrying Laura Alice Lott there in 1903 and having children Edna Belle Anstey (b 1904); Harry Frederick Anstey (b 1905); and Charles Edward Anstey (b 1908). However by the 1910 Census the family had relocated to San Marcial, Socorro, New Mexico, where Edward was a boilermaker on the railroads.
Unfortunately, Edward’s first marriage was not a success because they split up, and in January 1916 his wife remarried to Robert C. Carothers back in Brown, Kansas. Then just over a year later on 24 April 1917 (the month that America declared war on Germany during the latter stages of World War One) Edward signed up for military service with the Navy, at Denver, Colorado.
We know little about his wartime service, though Edward very likely married Emily Mode in April 1919 in Inverness, Scotland. Assuming that this is correct, then we can be very confident that he served during the closing stages of World War One on the ship ‘USS Black Hawk‘, which departed Boston in June 1918 to take station at Inverness, Scotland. ‘USS Black Hawk‘ remained at Inverness until the end of World War One and then shifted base to Kirkwall, Orkney Islands, for the North Sea mine sweep, returning to New York in November 1919.
Further confirming the above, we find that in the 1920 America Census Edward was still serving on the ship ‘USS Black Hawk‘ as a boilermaker. By the 1930 Census he had remarried to a woman called ‘Alice’ and they were living in Assembly District 72, Los Angeles, California – Edward was now classified as a “seaman“.
Edward also served in the US Navy during World War Two as a CMM (Chief Machinist’s Mate – Service Number 1007562), though we have no other details at present.
In 1947 Edward remarried again, this time in Kingston, Madison, Arkansas to Margaret Hathorne (nee Rogers, who was eight years his senior – bizarrely they remarried in exactly the same place three years later according to documentation).
Edward’s (fourth?) wife Margaret died in 1962, and at some point he remarried yet again, this time to Gracie Sherfield.
Edward died in 1970, he was buried at Fayetteville National Cemetery in Arkansas reference “SECTION 20 SITE 430” with inscription on his gravestone reading “Edward L. Anstey Arkansas CMM US NAVY World War I & II. February 4 1883 – July 14 1970”
An obituary in a local newspaper reads “EDWARD LEROY ANSTEY: Funeral services for Edward Leroy Anstey, 87, 606 David Street, Springdale, who died July 14 in the Veterans Hospital at Fayettteville, will be held Thursday afternoon at 1 o clock in Phillips Chapel, Freewill Baptist Church… Burial will be in the National Cemetery… Born Feb 4 1883 at Hamlin, Kansas, the son of Mr and Mrs J. F. Anstey, he was retired from the US Navy, a member of the American Legion and the 100F. Survivors include his wife Mrs Gracie Sherfield Anstey of the home, two sons Harry Anstey of Old Wine, Iowa and Charles E. Anstey of Milwaukee, Wisconsin; one daughter, Mrs Edna Bell Lay of Springfield, Mo, two brothers, Gene Anstey of Bird City, Kansas and Orland Anstey of Harrison, Nebraska; two sisters, Mrs Ruby Dugan and Mrs Fay Bell, both of Salina, Kansas“
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