On 22 January 1916, as World War One was raging, Rex signed up for active service at Victoria Barracks in Sydney (Service/Reference Nbr: 103). On his Attestation Paper he gave his next of kin as his father “C. G. Anstey of Mt Keira“; he also noted that he had been previously rejected for service due to “small chest“
Rex was assigned to the Australian Army Pay Corps (A. A. P. C.). Confusingly his Statement of Service states that a) he was discharged from the Army Pay Corps on 24 November 1916 and b) that “this man was not discharged and is still on strength of Pay Corps” on 5 February 1917. Rex was actually discharged on 23 February 1918, by which time he was a Sergeant; he was “medically boarded” in November 1918.
Rex married Phillis Elphick Thompson (nee Moon), a widow, in 1928 in Granville, NSW; she already had a daughter Una Phillis Thompson (b 1921) from her previous marriage. By the time of his marriage, Rex was living in Katoomba (where his uncle John James Anstey lived). The ‘The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate‘ newspaper on 20 December 1928 reported “On Saturday, at St. Mary’s Church of England, Guildford, Mr. Rex Perce Anstey, son of Mr. and Mrs: C. G. Anstey, of Guildford, led Miss Phillis Thompson. of Vasoroba. to the hymeneal altar. The Rev Joseph Poole officiated. Mr. R. Ogden was best man, and Mrs. Ogden (sister of the bridegroom) was the maid of honor. The young couple are spending their honeymoon at Tuggerah Lakes.”
Rex and Phillis appear not to have had children together. Phillis died in 1943, buried at Rookwood Cemetery; the ‘Sydney Morning Herald‘ on 29 August 1945 in the ‘In Memoriam’ section noted “ANSTEY.—In loving memory of my dear wife Phillis who passed away August 29 1943. Always remembered by her loving husband Rex. ANSTEY. –In loving memory of my beloved mother Phillis who passed away August 29 1943 Inserted by her loving daughter Una (Ballarat)“.
When his father Charles George Anstey died in 1951 in Kirribilli, NSW, Rex’s sister Doreen Ogden was given instruction to “make such provision for my son Rex Perce Anstey as and when she shall think right to do so“.
Rex himself died in 1953, also buried at Rookwood Cemetery (Anglican Section 16, Grave 44) – their gravestone reads “In Loving Memory Rex Perce Anstey died 12 October 1953 and of his wife Phillis Elphick Anstey died 26 August 1943“. The ‘Sydney Morning Herald‘ on 15 October 1953 reported “ANSTEY, Rex.-October 12, 1953 (suddenly), at Milson’s Point, loved stepfather of Una, father-in-law of Max, and dearly loved grandad of Faye, Allen and Philip. Privately Interred 14th instant. ANSTEY. Rex Perce.-October 12, 1953 (suddenly), at the Rectory, Milson’s Point, son of the late C. G. and M. Anstey, dear brother of Doreen, and brother-in-law of the Rev. Ralph Ogden. Privately Interred Rookwood Cemetery. October 14.“
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