Harry Edward Anstee, sometimes known as Henry, a member of the Swanbourne Ansteys, was born in q4 1891 (or 26 September 1892, sources differ) in Swanbourne to parents William Charles Anstee and Sarah Ann Cooper; he was brother to fellow Anstey Heroes William John Anstee and Arthur George Anstee. He grew up in Swanbourne and later Hollindon, Soulbury, where he was living with his family in the 1901 Census. By the 1911 Census he was an assistant butcher at 103 Devonshire Road, Chiswick.
At some point very early in World War One, surely in late 1914 or early 1915, Harry signed up for active service. We know little of his war story as we cannot locate any of his Service or Medical records – what we do know is:
- He was first posted to the Army Service Corps as a Private (Service Number: S/3/025??);
- He was soon transferred to the Royal Fusiliers as a Private (Service Number: 52358);
- It is unclear when he became attached to the 7th Battalion Royal Fusiliers;
- He entered the France Theatre of War on 10 May 1915;
- The 1918 Electoral Register ‘Absent Voter Lists‘ has all three brothers listed as registered at Shorndon in Mursley, but absent still on active duty, namely “Anstee, Arthur George 209780 1 A. M. R. A. F.“; Anstee, Harry Edward 52358 Pvte 7th Royal Fusiliers“; and “Anstee, William John 268296 Spr, R. E.“;
- By the Spring 1919 Electoral Register Harry was still an absent voter at Shorndon, Mursley, but probably no longer in active service – he was back living in Mursley by Autumn 1919;
- For his services he was awarded the 1915 Star Medal, as well as the Victory and British War medals.
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In the 1921 Census Harry was living in Winslow with his sister Alice Maud Curtis and her husband Lionel. In 1931 he married Elizabeth Jane [Violet?] Triggs in Willesden – the ‘Bucks Herald‘ on 15 January 1932 reporting “Marriage Anstee Triggs – on November 19th 1931 in London Harry E. Anstee to Miss Violet Triggs, daughter of the late Mr and Mrs Andrew Triggs of Kilburn“. In the 1939 Register Harry was still a butcher living with his wife Elizabeth at 94 High Street, Harrow – we find no children of this marriage.
Harry and his wife attended his brother Arthur’s funeral in 1943 – he was also executor of Arthur’s estate. Harry himself died on 28 August 1948 living at 11 Spencer Road Wealdstone “aged 56” – probate to Cyril Bone (certified accountant) and his widow Elizabeth Jane Anstee.
The ‘Harrow Observer‘ on 27 January 1949 reported “Mr H. E. Anstee’s Bequests – Mr Harry Edward Anstee of 11 Spencer Road, Wealdstone, formerly of Mursley Bucks, butcher, of 14 High Street Wealdstone, 222 Belsize Road, Kilburn and 6 The Promenade, Harrow Weald, who died on August 28 last year aged 56 years left £24,568 gross, £24,030 net. His bequests included £200 to Russell Childerhouse of 1 Nibthwaite Road Harrow, butcher, subject to the payment of an annuity of £104 to his wife; his businesses at Kilburn and Harrow Weald to be assigned or conveyed to the managers thereof respectively at valuation.”
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