Alfred Herbert Anstey, a member of the Dyrham Anstees, was born on 7 August 1898 in Gateshead, Durham to parents Alfred Ernest Anstey (an Anstey Hero) and Eliza French. In the 1901 Census the family were living at 18 Meadows Road, Lambeth and by the 1911 Census they were living at 6 Balfour Terrace, Rodney Road, Walworth.
On 25 April 1916, as World War One was raging and a few months before he turned 18 (he stated that he was 19), Alfred volunteered for active service. At the time of his enlistment he was a motor driver, giving his next of kin as his father at 9 Florian Road, Putney. He was posted to the Royal Flying Corps (Service Number: 26867), working with the “4th Air Am Col” unit.
He embarked for France on 4 March 1917 with “5 Bde H2” then on 1 April 1918, still in France, he was transferred to the newly formed Royal Air Force as an ‘Air Mechanic 3’ (and a ‘Driver’). He returned to England on 26 January 1919, by now an ‘Air Mechanic 2’, having served in France for just under two years and he was transferred to RAF ‘G’ Reserve on 1 March 1919. For his services he was awarded the Victory and British War medals
In 1920 Alfred worked as a mechanic for ‘SS Automobile Ag‘ at 17 London Street, Paddington, and by the 1921 Census he was in Sleaford in Lincolnshire, having just signed up for a full time stint of 12 years with the Royal Air Force on 18 February 1921. His time with the R. A. F. took him to Egypt and Iraq (amongst other places) in the early 1920s, then on 23 December 1925 in Grantham he married Eleanor May Peatman – it is unclear if there were any children from this union though we think not.
On 18 February 1927, after six years of service was complete with the R. A. F., he was transferred to the Reserves and granted permission to live abroad. He sailed for Adelaide in Australia on 28 October 1927 with his wife on the ship ‘Osterley‘, describing himself as a ”chauffeur mechanic“, and they settled at 28 Brand Street, Kensington, Adelaide.
By 1941 Alfred was a mechanic living with his wife at 1a Lapthorne Street, Glenelg. In 1950 an ‘Alfred Herbert Anstey’ was a ‘Postal Officer 4th Division’ in South Australia, and in 1958 he was a ‘Tradesman 2nd Class’, again in South Australia.
Alfred died on 4 September 1972 in Nelson, Victoria.
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