Harry Victor Anstey, known as Victor, a member of the Kennford Ansteys, was born on 20 September 1890 in West Ham to parents Harry Anstey and Emily Harriet Privett. He was brother to fellow Anstey Hero Charles Hector Anstey, growing up at first Lloyd Road, East Ham and then 1 Hartley Road, Low Leyton, West Ham.
In 1906, according to ‘The Gazette‘, Victor was registered as a “temporary boy clerk“, however soon after that, in August 1909, he decided to emigrate to Canada, sailing on the ship ‘SS Victorian‘ to Quebec, intending to become a farmer at La Riviere, Manitoba. By the 1911 Canadian Census he was a farm labourer on a farm run by the ‘Hilson’ family at Lisgar, Manitoba, Canada.
Victor married Edythe Ann Pleasance (b c1884 Sussex, arrived in La Riviere from England in June 1911) at some point between 1911 and 1913 and by the 1916 Census they were living in Manitoba with two children Hector Gordon Anstey (b 1913 La Riviere Manitoba, known as Gordon) and Henry Francis Anstey (b 1915 La Riviere Manitoba, known as Harry) – they also had another son Stanley Victor Anstey (b 1917, known as Stan).
On 19 March 1918, in the final year of World War One, Victor signed up for active service in Winnipeg, Manitoba (his medical had been a month earlier on 21 February 1918). On his Attestation Form he noted that he was a farmer living at La Riviere, Manitoba; that he was Church of England; and that his wife was Mrs Edyth Anstey. Victor was posted to the ‘27th Draft Canadian Engineers Training Centre‘ of the Canadian Expeditionary Force as a Private (Service Number: 2503564).
A couple of months later on 15 May 1918 he embarked from Canada aboard the ‘SS City of Marseille?‘, arriving on 5 June 1918 in England. He served in the ’11th Battalion Canadian Engineers’ “in the field” in France as a Sapper from 19 August 1918 to 28 April 1919. On 29 April 1919 he “proceeded to England and transported to Record Office London as a Clerk“. Then on 25 November 1919 he was transferred to the 2nd Canadian Discharge Depot in London in preparation for discharge and return home.
Victor returned to Canada from Liverpool on the ‘SS Carmania‘ on 3 December 1919 “struck off strength as of 20 December 1919 on being discharged Military District Ten 2503564 Sapper Anstey Harry V., CRO, C of E, GPO LaRiviere Manitoba – wife/four dependants“. Bizarrely, also travelling back with him on the same ship was his wife Edythe and their three children Hector, Harry, and Stanley, who appeared to have been temporarily living at 4 Hartley Road, Leytonstone, London and High Road, Woodford Bridge, Essex while Victor was on active service in France (for some unknown reason they must have travelled to England with Victor in 1918).
On his Discharge Form, Victor confirmed that he “served 1 year and 8 months. In France with 11th Battalion Canadian Engineers. C. R. O. [Central Records Office] 6 months“.
At some point after returning to Manitoba, Canada, Victor divorced Edyth (who died in 1960 in Vancouver a “divorced woman, spouse Hector Victor Anstey, mother’s name ‘Day’“). On October 13 1939, at Winnipeg, Manitoba he remarried to Florence Fargey.
Victor died in 1960, buried at the ‘Apostles Garden’ plot at Chapel Lawn Memorial Gardens, Winnipeg – gravestone inscription “ANSTEY: H. Victor 1890-1960 Florence 1893-1965“.
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