Robert William Anstey, a member of the New York City, NY Ansteys of America, was born on 13 January 1895 to parents Frank Christopher Anstey, known as Christopher, and Annie Dunbar. He was baptised as a Roman Catholic in 1896 in St Jerome, Bronx, New York.
In the 1900 Census Robert, together with three of his siblings, were pupils at the Brooklyn Orphan Asylum Society New York City, Kings, New York (birth confirmed as January 1895). However by the 1905 Census the entire family were living together at Manhattan, Assembly District 34, E.D. 09, New York, and in 1910 they were at Bronx Assembly District 34.
In the Draft Registration for World War One in June 1917, Robert stated that he was living at 2053 Eighth Avenue New York and that he was an unmarried stenographer at the Railway Street Spring Company. He claimed exemption from the draft due to previous “rejection from Naval Reserves“.
Regardless, Robert did join the war effort, enlisting on 4 April 1918 and leaving America in June 1918 with the American Expeditionary Force (Service Number: 2670783). By August 1918 we know that Robert was a Private with the 13th Company 152 Depot Brigade.
We know little of the specifics of Robert’s war story, but we know that he was in France from July 1918 to October 1919, based at the ‘American Relief Administration‘ offices at 10 Rue Pauquet, Paris and 51 Avenue Montaigne, Paris in March 1919. His rank was Corporal by this time, and at the end of March 1919 he was stationed at “C. R. B.” in France
By December 1919 Robert was residing in Warsaw, Poland for the purpose of “providing food relief” on behalf of the ‘American Relief Administration’s European Children’s Fund‘. At this time he also intended to visit Switzerland and Czechoslovakia, again with the same organisation.
Robert was still in Warsaw in February 1920 when he received his American passport, which replaced a previous passport issued in Paris in August 1919. In September 1921 Robert again applied for a passport in Warsaw, this time to visit numerous European countries with the ‘American Relief Administration‘, including Latvia, Lithuania and Yugoslavia.
[Note: We also have documentation stating that Robert was discharged from the Army on 5 May 1919, so perhaps the later stages of his work with the ‘American Relief Administration‘ was in a non military capacity.]
Robert finally left Europe and headed back to New York from Southampton on 11 November 1922 on the ‘Berengaria‘ ship. He stated that he was a “secretary“; that he had recently been residing at 67 Eaton Square, London; and that he was an American citizen intending to permanently reside again in America.
We lose track completely of Robert after this, and have no idea if he married or had children.
Anybody who would like to add anything to this biography, or knows what became of Robert, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.