Sidney Herbert Anstey, a member of the Sixpenny Handley Ansteys, was born in Christchurch, Bournemouth in December 1891 to parents William George Anstey and Elizabeth Ann Sumner. He was brother to fellow Anstey Heroes Charles James Anstey, Reginald Henry Francis Anstey, and Leslie Grenville Anstey.
In the 1901 Census Sidney was living at 30, Fitzharris Road, Bournemouth, Christchurch with his family and in the 1911 Census he was a shop porter living at Chatsworth Road, Bournemouth.
In August 1912 Sidney decided to join the Royal Navy (Service Number: K15712), signing up for 12 years of service as an “Engine room Artificer“; at the time of signing up he was a labourer at a laundry. He served on the ships HMS Victory II and HMS Revenge, amongst others, then in September 1913 he was assigned to the ship HMS Southampton, where he was still serving at the beginning of World War One, as a “stoker first class“.
Sidney remained with HMS Southampton right throughout the war, as such he participated in the naval battles at Heligoland Bight in 1914 and Dogger Bank in early 1915. In May 1916 he participated in the Battle of Jutland, where HMS Southampton was a flagship of 2nd Light Cruiser Squadron, torpedoing the German light cruiser SMS Frauenlob, which subsequently sank.
[Note: In 1917, HMS Southampton was transferred to the 8th Light Cruiser Squadron with whom she remained for the rest of the war.]
After the war ended, Sidney remained with the ship HMS Southampton until transferring to the HMS Dartmouth ship in 1921. He then served on numerous ships including HMS Victory II and HMS Coventry.
Presumably whilst on shore leave, Sidney found time to woo and then marry Winifred Lucy Ellen Hallett, in Christchurch, Bournemouth in 1919. They had at least five children together in Christchurch between 1922 and 1931. In the 1923 Electoral Register Sidney was an “absent voter” from 76 Stourvale Road, described as “K15712 L. Stoker R. N. HMS Tarpin“
After his first 12 year stint in the Royal Navy ended in 1924, Sidney signed up for further service, working on the HMS Victory II and HMS Iron Duke ships. However in May 1927, whilst serving on HMS Victory II, he was invalided out of the Navy due to “M. C. O. and Tabo? paralysis”.
Throughout the 1920s Sidney appears in the ‘Electoral Registers’ at 76 Stourvale Road, Southbourne, Bournemouth with reference “NM“, meaning “Naval or Military Voter” and “a” meaning “Absent voter (serving in the armed forces)” next to his name.
In 1931 Sidney, Winifred and their children were living at 21 Luckham Road, Bournemouth and they were still there by the time of the 1939 Register; Sidney was a “corporation conveyance cleaner“.
Winifred died in 1951 in Bournemouth, so Sidney remarried Joyce P. Collins (Taylor) in Bournemouth in 1953. Sidney himself died in 1981 in Bournemouth, Dorset (his date of birth confirmed as 21 December 1891).
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