Ernest Hynson Anstee, a member of the Majorca, Victoria Anstee sub-branch in Australia, known as ‘Ern’, was born in 1887 in Maryborough near Majorca, Victoria to parents George Anstee and Francis Catherine Hynson. He was brother to fellow Anstey heroes Edward Alfred Anstee (1873-1915); Arthur Joseph Anstee (1893-1918); and Ralph Norman Anstee (b 1895).
Ern married Ada at some point before 1915. He then volunteered for active service on 2 July 1915 in Melbourne, his Attestation Paper stating that he was a “natural born British Subject“, current occupation “labourer“, living at 52 Eastern Road, South Melbourne. The paper also reported that he had previously served “3 months A.E.F. 2 Comp Depot” from 23 February 1915 to 8 June 1915, but that he had been rejected as unfit for service in the Australian Imperial Expeditionary Forces (A. I. E. F.) due to bronchitis.
Ern was at the ‘Depot’ from 7 July 1915 to 19 July 1915, then he was assigned to the 9th Reinforcements of the 8th Battalion as a Private (Service Number: 2777) on 19 July 1915. He embarked on 15 September 1915 at Melbourne on the ship ‘SS Makarini‘, however on 23 October 1915, almost immediately after their arrival at Heliopolis near Cairo in Egypt, Ern was admitted to the Nbr 2 Auxilliary Hospital in Heliopolis, then discharged to duty two days later. He was then readmitted to the Nbr 1 Auxilliary Hospital at Luns Park in Heliopolis with “bronchitis” on 13 November 1915.
A month later on 13 Dec 1915, Ern was “invalided to Australia” due to “chronic bronchitis“, embarking on the HMT ‘Wandilla‘ ship at Suez. He was discharged completely from service on 6 July 1916. In 1922 Ern received the ‘Victory Medal’. By 1939 he was a “watchman” living in Yarra, Victoria at 9 Leslie Street with his wife and likely daughter/sister May Hynson Anstee.
Ern died on 8 May 1945 at Alfred Hospital in Melbourne, survived by his widow Ada. He is buried at Springvale Botanical Cemetery in Melbourne, where a plaque on the grave states “2777 PRIVATE E. H. ANSTEE 8 BATTALION 8 – 5 – 1945“.
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