Samuel Anstee (b 1871)

by Gary. M. Ansteychief researcher of the Anstey story project.

Samuel Anstee, a member of the Houghton Regis Anstees, was born on 17 December 1871 in Southwark to parents James John Anstee and Susan Blackbourn [Blackburn]; he was brother to fellow Anstey Heroes Thomas George Anstee and Harry Anstee. He grew up at 28 Chapel Place, Bermondsey and later Vauxhall Walk, Lambeth – the ‘Norwood News‘ 18 July 1896 edition reporting “Penge Barman in Trouble: Samuel Anstee (25) a barman, was charged with obtaining a situation as barman by means of a false character…George Innocent of the Queen Adelaide [pub] Penge said that the prisoner [Samuel] was in his employment about two years ago for five or six months…the magistrate said that the prisoner had been in prison for several days and hoped this case would be a warning to him for the future. He was ordered to pay 40s fine or in default go to gaol for 14 days

On 1 March 1897 at St Mary Magdalene Church in Southwark, Samuel married Elizabeth Ann Clark (a widow), having children Samuel Sydney James Anstee (b 1897 Lambeth – an Anstey Hero) and William Stephen John Anstee (b 1898 Maidstone – an Anstey Hero).

The ‘Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter‘ on 07 January 1899 reported “A Serious Charge of Assault Dismissed: Louis Benoit, 28 of 6 Gladstone Road Croydon was charged with indecently assaulting Elizabeth Anstee on the 2nd inst. He was further charged with assaulting Samuel Anstee her husband by striking him on the head at the cinder path in St James Road…Elizabeth Anstee, of 6 Ely Road said on Monday night she went to the theatre with her husband and they went home by way of the cinder track at the end of Wellesley Road….her husband [Samuel] had been a seaman but now earned his living by selling flowers and by working at various places…he had not been at sea for two or three years but he had lost the discharge paper he received from the last ship…prisoner was of the opinion that he had been set up and accuser [Elizabeth Anstee and her husband] was attempting to blackmail him…

In the 1911 Census the family were living at 53 Southam Street North Kensington where Samuel was a house painter.

Just under a year after the outbreak of World War One, on 15 July 1915 at Harlesden, Samuel enlisted for active service. On his Attestation Form he noted that he lived at 57 Southam Street North Kensington; that he had no children (incorrect); that he was 39 years old (incorrect, he was 43); and that he was a general labourer. He was posted to the 6th Battalion Middlesex Regiment (Service Number: G/12640 or 13640), joining them at Mill Hill on 17 June 1915.

He deserted on 29 December 1915, not rejoining his unit until 12 April 1916, at which time he was placed in “guard detention room awaiting disposal” – he was “tried and sentenced to undergo detention for six months for desertion“. He spent a total of 107 days in detention before he was discharged on 15 August 1916 with reason “Sickness 392. xvi. King’s Regulation” – he was issued a Silver War Badge on 24 January 1919.

By the 1920 Electoral Register the family were living at 27 Woodstock Road, Hammersmith and at the time of the 1939 Register the family were still living there (now 27 Woodstock Grove, Shepherds Bush) where Samuel was an ‘old age pensioner’. He died in 1950 in Wandsworth.

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