Frederick Anstee (b 1883)

by Gary. M. Ansteychief researcher of the Anstey story project.

Frederick Anstee, known as Fred, a member of the Stratton Audley Anstees, was born on 27 August 1883 in Cambridge to single mother Susan Anstee. He was brother to fellow Anstey Hero George Anstee. Fred grew up in Cambridge and by the 1901 Census he was living with his mother and brother at 9 Wellington Passage, Cambridge, where he was an “errand boy“.

Fred married Frances Agnes Newell (known as Agnes, elder sister to his brother George‘s wife Annie Newell) in 1906 in Cambridge and by the 1911 Census they, together with their then two children Sidney Anstee (b 1909) and Lillian Agnes Anstee (b 1909), were living at 87 Norfolk Street Cambridge, where Fred was a bookseller’s assistant. They also later had some of the following children in Cambridge:- Edward J. Anstee (b 1911); Winifred E. Anstee (b q1 1918); Reginald G. Anstee (b q4 1919); Mary J. Anstee (b 1920); Wilfred D. Anstey (b 1920); and Cecil Anstee (b 1922).

[Note: we currently cannot ascertain which of the above are Fred’s children and which are his brother George‘s given that they both married ‘Newell’ in Cambridge. The 1921 Census will resolve this when it is published]

We have had much difficulty in ascertaining any details regarding Fred’s World War One service. All we do know is that, per the ‘Cambridge Independent Press‘ on 26 May 1916 “Messrs Heffer and Sons on behalf of Fred Anstee, 27 Humberstone Road…were granted a temporary exemption” from military service.

So we know that he was not yet serving at that point, but presumably he was called up very soon afterwards. We also know that in mid-June 1918 Fred was the best man at his brother George‘s wedding in Cambridge.

So there are two possibilities. Either Fred served ‘Home Service only’ in some capacity, or he served abroad. If he served abroad (and this is a big ‘IF’) then he must have been a Sapper with the Royal Engineers (Service Number: 164323), awarded the Victory and British War Medals.

[Note for fellow researchers: Only two ‘Fred/Frederick Anstee’ (no middle name) served with the Royal Engineers during World War One, and we know the other one was Fred Anstee (b 1884), who enlisted in 1914. We only find a total of five ‘Fred/Frederick Anstee’ who served abroad during World War One – three of them were awarded the 1914 or 1915 Star (hence cannot be this ‘Fred Anstee’), and the other was a “farrier/shoeing smith” (Frederick William Anstee born 1861), so by a process of elimination, IF Fred served abroad then he must be Royal Engineers Sapper (Service Number: 164323)]

Anybody who can enlighten us in this regard, please contact us at research@theansteystory.com.

Regardless, by the 1923 Electoral Rolls, Fred had returned to live with his family at 27 Humberstone Road, Cambridge. In the 1939 Register he was still a bookseller’s assistant, living with his family at the same address.

Fred died on 18 June 1944 in Cambridge, “aged 60“, still living at the same address – probate was to his widow Frances Agnes Anstee.

Anybody who would like to add anything to this biography, please contact us at research@theansteystory.com.

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