Alfred George Anstee (sometimes spelt ‘Anstie’), a member of the Christchurch, Monmouthshire Anstees, was born on 1 May 1893 in Ogmore Vale to parents Santos Jonah Anstee and Elizabeth Skammel Evans; he was brother to fellow Anstey Heroes Arthur Anstee; Washington Miller E. Anstee; and Santos Anstee. He grew up in Ogmore Vale, living at 4 Cemetery Road, Llangeinor in 1901, and by the 1911 Census he was a coal miner hewer boarding at 79 St John Street, Ogmore Vale.
Right at the outbreak of World War One, at Bridgend on 3 September 1914, Alfred signed up for active service – on his Attestation Form he stated that he was a 21 year old coal miner, giving his next of kin as his brother Jonah Anstee. He was posted to the Royal Army Service Corps (Service Number: T/2/016626), joining his unit the following day at Aldershot. Two weeks later, on 18 September 1914, he joined the British Expeditionary Forces in France as a “Mecrut Div Trainer” / Driver.
Alfred was with the “No 3 Company A. S. C.” in France in January 1915; with “46 M. T. Co 2” in France in August 1915; and he was in hospital for two days in June 1916 having received a “horse kick” whilst with “7 F. A. [or] 142 F. A.“, rejoining “2nd Co 3 D. T” afterwards, again in France (he also was attached to “3rd Co 3 D. T” for a time).
Alfred remained in France throughout the war, although he did find time to return to England on one occasion, being granted leave from 23 November 1917 to 8 December 1917 during which he married Maude Mary Shearman [Sherman] at St Nicholas, Bristol on 1 December 1917 – her address at the time was 9 Waverley Street, Warwick Road, Bristol.
Three days before the official end of the war, on 8 November 1918, Alfred was fined two days pay for being drunk in camp – which sounds somewhat harsh given the circumstance. In his Medical on 15 December 1918 he noted that he was with the “Army Service Corps H. T. 2nd Company No 2nd Reinforcement Training Camp [108th Battalion]“; that he had suffered no disability during the conflict; and that he intended to live at 7 Suffolk Place, Ogmore Vale, his sister’s home.
He returned to England on 20 December 1918, “to resume being a coal miner” and was then transferred to Class Z Army Reserves and demobilised on 18 January 1919. For his services, he was awarded the 1914 Star Medal, as well as the Victory and British War medals.
After his discharge, Alfred returned to live in Bridgend with his wife Maude – they had children Ralph Santos Anstee (b 10 October 1919, living with his parents in the 1939 Register); Margaret M. Anstee (b 25 June 1922 Bridgend, living with her parents in the 1939 Register); Kathleen A. Anstee (b 5 July 1928 Bridgend, living with her parents in the 1939 Register); and Alfred Anstee (b 1936 Eton, died an infant).
By the time of the 1939 Register, Alfred was a “labourer at a gas works ARS” living with his family at 17 Myrtle Crescent, Slough – he died in 1951 in Eton.
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