Albert Arthur Anstey, a member of the Iddesleigh Ansteys, was born on 23 March 1891 in Iddesleigh, baptised 14 June 1891, to parents William Anstey and Lavinia Emma Woods; he was brother to fellow Anstey Hero Thomas John Anstey. He grew up in Iddesleigh and in the 1911 Census he was living with his family at Fursdon Farm, Iddesleigh, working as a ‘farmer’s son’.
In February 1916 Albert attended the funeral of Arthur William Anstey in Iddesleigh, still living at Fursdon Farm and then around the same time he signed up for service during World War One. We have few details of his war story, as we cannot locate any Service or Medical records, but we know that he:
- Served with the Queen’s Regiment as a Private (Service Number: 16771);
- Then he served with the Labour Corps as a Private (Service Number: 112100);
- Then he served with the Royal West Kent Regiment as a Private (Service Number: G/32312); and
- For his services he was awarded the Victory and British War medals
We also know that in both the 1918 and 1919 Electoral Registers Albert was registered at Neal’s Farm Harbledown, Kent (his parents address at the time) as an ‘Absent Voter still on Active Service’ – by 1920 he was still living there but no longer on active service.
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In the 1920s and 1930s Albert lived and worked at Chilton Farm near Ramsgate with his brother William and sister Muriel – trading as ‘the Anstey Brothers‘. On 5 June 1926 the ‘Thanet Advertiser‘ reported “Messrs. Anstey, of Chilton Farm, are giving four gallons of milk each day [to the unemployed miners in Ramsgate], and this is distributed among women and children“.
On 13 August 1927 the ‘Thanet Advertiser‘ reported “For feloniously stealing from a coltage at Chilton Farm, three razors, shaving soap and a case, and tooth-brush and paste, valued 55.. the property of Albert Arthur Anstey, between 7th and 8th August, Arthur James Whitbread, a labourer of no fixed abode, was charged at Ramsgate yesterday…“
Albert married Margaret Joyce in 1935 in Okehampton – in 1936 he was still living at Chilton Farm, together with his wife, his sister Muriel, his brother William, and nearby was his brother Thomas. On 10 August 1938 the ‘East Kent Times and Mail‘ reported “For nine hours, in the broiling sun, the fire brigade were engaged in quelling a stack fire which broke out at Chilton Farm, in the occupation of Mr. W. Anstey. It appears that at about 2 p.m. farm workers noticed a column of smoke rising from the stack, which fortunately is some distance from the farm buildings…”
In the 1939 Register Albert was still a farmer living with his wife at 24 Nethercourt Hill, Ramsgate. The ‘Thanet Advertiser‘ on 14 November 1939 reported “William Thomas Anstey and Albert Anstey, of Chilton Farm, Ramsgate, trading as Anstey Brothers, were summoned for selling milk deficient in fat on 23rd September and for selling milk to which water had been added on 29 July…defendants pleaded guilty…“
According to the ‘Thanet Times‘ 30 June 1987 edition “The Ansteys [of Chilton Farm] moved back to Devon in 1940“. Albert died on 31 March 1962 living at Monument House, Hatherleigh, Devon – administration was to his widow Margaret – as far as we know there were no children of this marriage.
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