Many thanks to Julia for her help with this biography.
[Research Note: He was likely born in q4 1837 in Brackley to mother with maiden name ‘Brickwood’, though we seek verification of this. He should not be confused with Edmund Anstee (b 1837 Biddlesdon, Northants). An ‘Edward Anstie‘ was admitted to St Sepulchre Hospital in Northampton on 9 September 1839 though we have no details as to his age etc]
On 4 January 1859 Edward signed up for active service with the Army at Westminster. On his Attestation Form he noted that he was “aged 20“; born in Northampton; a confectioner by trade; and that he enlisted for a bounty of three pounds. He served “at home” in England from 5 January 1859 to 27 June 1859, then in the East Indies from 28 June 1859 to 17 December 1871, and finally “at home” again from 18 December 1871 to 21 August 1882 (some of which was served in Belfast) – for at least some of his service he was a “drummer” rather than a “Private“.
In the ‘1861 Worldwide Army Index’ Edward Anstee (Service Number: 2365 and Rank: Private) was a “European soldier serving in the Indian service but first mustered in 1862 following transfer to the British Establishment” and in 1862 he was located in Meerut (E.I.), India attached to the 104th Regiment Of Foot (Bengal Fusiliers). He was still with this regiment in 1871, by then at Allahabad, India, and still with them in 1880, a Private at the Richmond Barracks in Dublin.
On 12 September 1882 “Edward Anstee Service Number 2365” was discharged from “Infantry Brigade Depot (101st)” in Aldershot after “2 Period – on consequence of the termination of his second period of limited engagement“. [Note: The 104th and the 101st had been linked to each other in the 1870s]
Frankly speaking Edward’s 22 years of service was rather uneventful – he served in no campaigns and was not wounded, though his character overall was deemed “very good“.
Towards the end of his service, on 18 July 1879 in St Ames, Belfast, Edward married Jane Law – she was described at one point as “his next of kin and with the detachment“. They had a single child together Edward James Anstee (b 3 June 1880 in Dublin, Ireland).
By the 1901 Irish Census the family were living at Maryville Street Windsor Ward, Antrim, Ireland where Edward was a general labourer. They were still there in the 1911 Irish Census, where Edward was a “Labourer in Minister Servants” and his son Edward was an unmarried coach builder.
Edward was buried on 24 March 1923 at Belfast City Cemetery Belfast, County Antrim – his son Edward was also buried there in 1963.
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