Edgar Elliott Anstee, a member of the Houghton Regis Anstees, was born on 26 April 1889 in Southwark to parents Robert George Anstee, a cooper journeyman, and Marion [Marian] Darlasson – at the time of his birth the family were living at 54 Surrey Street (per his birth certificate). His father died very soon after he was born because in the 1891 Census his mother Marion was a widow and a charwoman living at Paved Place, Christchurch Southwark with Edgar and her other children.
By 1901 the family were living at 51, Beresford Street, Newington, then in 1909 in Southwark Edgar married Violet Mildred Carter, having three children in Camberwell Edgar Cyril Anstee (b 8 July 1912, unmarried in 1939); Edward John Anstee (b 1915, alive in 1921); and Mildred A. Anstee (b 21 January 1922). In the 1911 Census Edgar and Violet were living at 73 Bramah Road Brixton, Lambeth where Edgar was a farrier.
[Note: in fact Edgar appears in the the 1911 Census twice – he also appears with his mother and sister at 52 Grosvenor Terrace Walworth where he was described as working for “New Street Covent? Garden Moss Brothers“.]
At some point after the outbreak of World War One, probably in 1916, Edgar signed up for active service – at the time he was a manager and buyer living at 26 Landell’s Road East Dulwich. He was called up for duty at Woolwich on 13 March 1917 and posted as a Gunner to the 56th Reserve Battery of the Royal Horse & Field Artillery (Service Number: 209753).
On 6 September 1917 Edgar was posted to France, joining the ‘A’ 256th Brigade Royal Field Artillery “in the field” on 23 September 1917 – he remained in France until 11 August 1918 at which point he returned to England. The reason for this was that on 7 July 1918 he received an injury to his right ring finger which necessitated amputation of the finger at the 18th General Hospital on 29 July 1918 – he was still with ‘A’ 256th Brigade Royal Field Artillery at this time, having spent “11 months in the field“.
In a medical examination on 22 January 1919 after the conflict was over, Edgar was assessed as having ‘20% disability’ for pension purposes – during this medical Edgar noted that he was still living at 26 Landell’s Road, East Dulwich; that he “served in France for 12 months and England for 10 months“; and that “the loss of third finger on right hand and loss of grip [occurred] whilst employed as a cook [when] a nail went into the finger“.
Edgar was transferred to Class Z Army Reserve for demobilisation on 22 February 1919, by which time he was with the 57th Reserve Battery of the Royal Field Artillery. For his services he was awarded the Victory and British War medals.
By the time of the 1921 Census the family were living in Camberwell, and by the 1939 Register they were still all living together, now at 53 Headcorn Road, Croydon, where Edgar was working as a Director & General Manager of a Naval & Military Outfitter.
Edgar remarried Eileen M. Saunders in 1956 in Westminster and he died on 14 January 1971, living at 17 Bramley Road, Cheam.
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