Alfred George Victor Anstee (b 1893)

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

See ‘Anstey: A Complete History From the Norman Invasion to World War One‘ for much more on the Swanbourne Ansteys. In addition to biographies of various Anstey individuals who make up this sub-branch, the book contains a plethora of Anstey research and statistics, including an analysis of how the Swanbourne Ansteys fit into the pedigree descendent from Hubert de Anesti, the 12th century originator of the ‘Anstey’ surname.

SW 56. Alfred George Victor Anstee: He was born on 23 July 1893 in Wandsworth to parents Alfred Ernest Anstee (SW 38) and Laura Margaret Mountain. His father died when he was young and by the 1911 Census he was a general labourer living with his mother and stepfather Arthur Dettmer at 47 Orville Road, Battersea.

He married Louisa Margaret Phillips in q3 1915 at Battersea Chapel, Wandsworth, having two children Alfred J. T. Anstee (b 1921 Wandsworth – see below) and Winifred Louisa Anstee (b 1923 Wandsworth – see below).

Even though we can find almost no documentation regarding his service during World War One we can build a fairly good picture of his war story. Thanks to the below account of his daughter’s wedding we know that he “served with the 23rd London Regiment during the war and saw service in France, Salonika and Egypt“. We also know that his Service Numbers were ‘3735’ and’ 701146′, and that for his services he was awarded the Victory and British War medals. From the birth year of his first child we can be confident that he was abroad from c1916 until at least the end of the conflict.

As such it is clear that he must have been part of the 2/23rd Battalion London Regiment and therefore “landed in France for active service on 26 June 1916, remaining on the Western Front until October 1916, then sailed for the Macedonian [Salonika] Front, where they spent six months. Their next theatre of war was Palestine [Egypt – taking part in General Allenby’s offensive against the Turks in Palestine], where they remained until May 1918, when they returned to the Western Front for the remainder of the war [and saw action around Ypres].

By the 1921 Census he was back living with his family in Battersea and then in 1925 they moved to 169 Lavender Road in Battersea.

In early 1939 tragedy occurred when his son Alfred died suddenly – the ‘South Western Star‘ on 3 February 1939 reported “Sea Scouts At Funeral – Battersea Youth’s Untimely End: Lavender Road family’s bereavement. A company of 16 sea scouts from the 14th Richmond Troop attended St Peter’s Church, Plough Road, Battersea on Saturday for the funeral of one of their colleagues Alfred Anstee of 169 Lavender Road Battersea who died on Monday last week. Alfred Anstee, a second patrol leader, was only 18 years old and an only son. His parents have lived in Battersea all their lives and the family has resided at Lavender Road for the past 14 years. There is a daughter aged 16. Alfred Anstee was a machine minder in the printing trade. He formerly attended St Peter’s Church School. He had never had an illness until the day before his death when he developed acute pneumonia and was taken to St James Hospital where he died” – on the same day the newspaper also reported “MR and MRS. ANSTEE and Winnie, 169 Lavender-road wish to thank all neighbours and other kind friends for messages of sympathy and floral tributes in their sad bereavement“.

By the time of the 1939 Register he was working as an engine driver living with his wife and daughter at 10 Heaver Road, Battersea.

The ‘South Western Star‘ on 25 February 1944 reported “A Naval Alliance: Miss Winifred Louisa Anstee, daughter of Mr and Mrs Alfred Anstee, 10 Heaver-road, Battersea, was married on Saturday at Christ Church, Battersea Park-road to Mr. George William Briaris, son of Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Briaris, 60 Temple Avenue, Dagenham. The bride is serving in the Women’s Royal Naval Service. She was formerly a member of the Girl’s Brigade connected with Battersea Chapel where her parents were married 29 years ago. The bridegroom is in the submarine service. His father served in the Royal Navy during the last war and his brother William is a prisoner of war in Germany. The bride was given away by her father, who served with the 23rd London Regiment during the last war and saw service in France, Salonika and Egypt…fifty guests attended the reception at the house of the bride’s parents…” 

He died on 14 February 1966 still living at 10 Heaver Road, Battersea – probate was to his widow Louisa.

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