Hugh Austin Anstee, a member of the Edlesborough Anstees, was born on 26 October 1896 in Writtle to parents George Frederick William Anstee and Alice Ellen Collicot. He was brother to fellow Anstey Heroes George Anstee; Edward Curtis Anstee; and Richard Collicot Anstee, growing up living at The Green, Writtle. By the 1911 Census he was still living in Writtle with his family, at this time a “boy clerk”.
Hugh must have signed up for active service fairly early in World War One (as ‘Austin H. Anstee’). Unfortunately we know next to nothing about his war story except that he served in the:
- Royal Engineers as a Sapper (Service Numbers: 276969 and WR 273551);
- Army Service Corps as a Sapper (Service Number: M2/270062); and
- 65th Training Reserve Battalion as a Sapper (Service Number: TR/4/32987)
We also know that he was on active service in August 1917 when his brother George was reported killed in action, and that he was deemed an “absent military or naval voter currently serving in the Armed Forces” in the 1919 Electoral Register, so presumably he was still on active service at this time.
Finally we know that he was awarded the Victory and British War Medals for his service.
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After he was discharged, likely in mid to late 1919, Hugh returned to live in Writtle – by 1920 he was certainly back living at Writtle Green with his brothers. He continued to reside there until on 6 October 1928 in Writtle he married Gladys Amy Swan [Swain]. They had three children together in Writtle, Reginald Anstee (b 1929); Brian George Anstee (b 1930); and Peter J. Anstee (b 1937).
By the time of the 1939 Register, Hugh and his family were living at 3 Margaretting Road, Writtle – he was a “Scientific Instrument Maker Electrical“. Also in 1939, according to the ‘Chelmsford Chronicle‘ 21 July 1939 edition, Hugh was running a side show at the Annual Writtle and Highwood Garden Society.
Hugh died in 1972 in Chelmsford.
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