Cyril John Anstee (b 1899)

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

Cyril John Anstee, a member of the Ivinghoe Anstees, was born on 4 November 1899 to parents Edward Anstee and Annie Elizabeth Kingham. He was brother to Geoffrey William Stanley Anstee and fellow Anstey Hero Oliver Edward Anstee, growing up living at Gozzard Green, Cranfield and attending Cranfield National Infant School – he was still at Gozzard Green with his family in the 1911 Census.

Despite his very young age, Cyril clearly wished to help with the war effort during World War One, because he joined the Royal Navy as a “boy” in June 1915, aged only 15. He served on the following ships as rank “Boy II“:

  • HMS Vivid I – June 1915 to November 1915
  • HMS Victory – November 1915
  • HMS Venerable – November 1915 to December 1916
  • HMS Victory I – December 1916 to April 1917
  • HMS Attentive – April 1917 to July 1917
  • HMS Victory I – July 1917 to September 1917

On his 18th birthday, 4 November 1917, Cyril signed up for twelve years of full time service with the Royal Navy as an Ordinary Seaman (Service Number: J41814). He served out the rest of World War One on HMS Cochrane which “was based in Murmansk in mid-1918 during the Allied intervention in the Russian Civil War. She became stranded in the River Mersey on 14 November 1918 and broke in two.” Cyril’s Service Record indicates that for his services he was “paid a war gratuity“.

After the war, Cyril served out the remainder of his twelve years of Royal Navy service on a plethora of ships, until being discharged in January 1929, at which point he returned to live in Cranfield and became a “sawyer“.

The ‘Northampton Mercury‘ on 7 August 1931 reported “FARMER FINED. Frederick Walter Savage, farmer, Model Farm, North Crawley, was summoned by Cyril John Anstee, a sawyer, Cranfield, for a common assault at North Crawley on Wednesday…[Cyril] stated that he travelled by motorcycle between Cranfield and Newport Pagnell night and morning and for a considerable time he had trouble to get by some cows owned by the defendant…

Per the ‘London Gazette‘, in 1934 Cyril became a postman in Hertford. A year later in 1935 in Ampthill he married Aoltie Marion Odell. In the 1939 Register Aoltie and Cyril’s widowed mother were living at Astwood Road, Ampthill.

Aoltie died in early 1954 in Cranfield, at which time the couple were living at Gossard’s Green, Cranfield – effects were to Cyril, by this time an “engineer“. The ‘Bedfordshire Times and Independent‘ on 5 March 1954 wrote “ACKNOWLEDGMENTS: Mr. Cyril Anstee wishes to thank all relatives and friends for their kindnesses to him in his sad bereavement; also for the beautiful floral tributes“. A couple of years later in 1956 Cyril remarried to Annie Wooding in Ampthill.

Cyril died on 19 December 1981, still living at the long time family home in Gossard’s Green, Cranfield – as far as we know, he had no children.

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