Lawrence William Leonard Anstee, a member of the Marylebone Anstees, was born on 20 October 1897 in St Helier, Jersey to parents William Henry Anstee and Phyllis Campbell. He grew up in St Helier, attending First Tower School and St Saviour’s School (in 1907), and at the time of the 1911 Census he was living with his family at 25 Cheapside, St Helier.
Around a year after the outbreak of World War One, on 12 November 1915, Lawrence signed up for service with the Royal Navy as an ‘Air Mechanic II’ (Service Number: F9183) – at this time his occupation was ‘engineer’ and he had “served in the Jersey Militia prior to entry“. His service with the Royal Navy was thus:
- HMS President II (Air Mechanic II): 12 November 1915 – 31 December 1916
- HMs Daedalus (Air Mechanic II and later Air Mechanic I): to 31 March 1918
At this time he was transferred into the newly formed Royal Air Force (Service Number: 209183) as a “Fitter (A. E.) – Air Mechanic 1st Class” and to the best of our knowledge he then worked at the ‘Department of Grain – Fovant Distribution Centre‘ until 3 February 1919. He was then transferred to R. A. F. ‘G’ Reserve on 4 March 1919.
Lawrence died on 9 August 1920 from tuberculosis, buried at St Andrew’s Church in St Helier – “Lawrence W. ANSTEE died 9 August 1920 aged 23 [years] buried 12 [August], 1st North [grave]. 7 feet. Minister officiating: Rev. Ward. Funeral Director: C. P. Le Quesne Mont à L’Abbé New Cemetery Block U Plot 156 Grave n1“.
Given that he died of tuberculosis there is “currently a submission for commemoration by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission” according to Jersey authorities.
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