Horace Anstey (b 1875)

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

Horace Anstey, a member of the Birmingham Ansteys, was born on 20 December 1875 in Lambeth to parents Samuel Anstey and Martha Jones; he was brother to fellow Anstey Heroes Alfred Henry Anstey and Leonard Francis Anstey. Horace was living with his family at Devonshire Arms, 17, Denman Street, St James Westminster in 1881 and by 1891 they were living at Bull Hotel, Village, Fulmer, Eton. He was still unmarried in the 1911 Census, working as a restaurant manager and living with his mother at The Royal Arms, 10 North Street, Guildford, and he was still manager of the Royal Arms in June 1916 when he was fraudulently passed a worthless cheque by a soldier – the ‘Surrey Advertiser‘ on 28 June 1916 noting “Horace Anstey, manager of the Royal Arms Temperance Hotel, North-street, said had known prisoner for some years“.

Horace initially applied for exemption from conscription during World War One, however per the ‘Surrey Advertiser‘ 03 July 1916 edition “Horace Anstey (40), part proprietor of the Royal Arms Temperance Hotel, Guildford, applied for exemption on the grounds of hardship, and that he was the support of his mother, aged 73.-Mr. Triggs Turner said the hotel provided between two and three hundred soldiers every Saturday with meals, and if the appellant had to join the Army he asked for at least three months’ exemption so as to be able to sell the business. The local tribunal had taken the view that Mr. Anstey’s brother could carry on the business in his absence. but that was impossible, as the man knew nothing whatever of the buying or selling.- The tribunal took the view that the brother could be taught to run the business, and dismissed the appeal.“.

So on 19 September 1916 he signed up with the Royal Flying Corps (Service Number: 48202), giving his occupation as ‘hotel proprietor’. His service was as follows:

  • 19 September 1916 to 31 May 1917 – Air Mechanic 3rd Class with RFC
  • 1 June 1917 to 31 March 1918 – Air Mechanic 2nd Class with RFC
  • 1 April 1918 transferred to the newly formed Royal Air Force
  • 1 April 1918 to 31 July 1918 – Clerk 2nd Class with RAF
  • 1 August 1918 promoted to Clerk 1st Class and Acting Corporal with the RAF
  • Transferred to RAF Reserves on 22 February 1919
  • Discharged on 30 April 1920

As far as we know, all of his service was in England – he was not wounded during the conflict.

At the time of the 1921 Census Horace was living in Farnham and then on 20 June 1926 at Chobham St Lawrence near Chertsey, by now a “tobacconist in Ipswich“, he married Agnes Helen Rose Cutler – one of the witnesses was his brother Alfred Henry. In the 1939 Register Horace was still a shopkeeper tobacconist, living with his wife at 8 Dial Lane, Ipswich – as far as we know they had no children

Horace died on 23 November 1960, still living at 8 Dial Lane, Ipswich – effects were to his widow Agnes.

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

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