Kate Anstey was born in c1890 – it is likely that she will never be connected to the Anstey pedigree because even she almost certainly did not know where she was born. The reason for this is that Kate was abandoned at a very young age, likely as an infant, and brought up by others.
By the 1901 Census Kate was living at the Foundling Hospital School in Guildford Street, St Pancras, “aged 11, birth location not known [because she was] a foundling child“. By the 1911 Census, she had become a servant working for Effie A. Brooke, living at Woodcote Hindhead, Shottermill, Surrey – again her place of birth was “not known“.
During World War One, on 24 June 1918, Kate signed up with the Women’s Royal Naval Service (Service Number: G3257 – reference ADM 336/26/257). On her Service Record, her next of kin was indicated as “Foster Mother: Mis C. Boyatt? Jessamine House Addlestone, Surrey“, and her age at enlistment was given as “27”.
Kate was attached to the ship ‘HMS Wildfire‘ (a base ship in Sheerness), first as a Steward (from 24 June 1918 to 25 March 1919) and then as a Section Leader (from 26 March 1919 to 9 November 1919).
Kate was demobilised on 10 November 1919. Her character throughout her service had been “very good” and ability “excellent“. After the war, Kate almost certainly married Herbert D. Johnson in 1920 in Chertsey, Surrey.
[Note: it is possible that Kate also served with the Red Cross in Badminton, Gloucestershire, though we have no evidence for this apart from a) the identicality of the name and b) we know of no ‘Miss Kate Anstey’ who lived near Badminton, Gloucestershire at that time.]
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