Edgar Whittingham Anstey, a member of the Milborne Port Anstys, was born on 21 November 1893 in Sherborne to parents Samuel Anstey and Alice Jones; he was brother to fellow Anstey Hero Hubert Claude Anstey. He grew up in Sherborne and in the 1911 Census he was living with his family at Cheap Street, Sherborne.
Edgar was given a temporary exemption from Conscription in 1916 during World War One – the ‘Western Gazette‘ on 7 July 1916 reported “An appeal was lodged by the military against the exemption until Sept 13th of Edgar W. Anstey, baker, who was stated to be practically managing his father’s business through the latter’s ill health. Mr A. F. Grimley for the appellant, asked for conditional exemption – the military withdrew their objection, the appeal for conditional exemption was dismissed, the finding of the local tribunal to stand”
Two months later on 15 September 1916 the ‘Western Gazette‘ further reported “Only One: Samuel Anstey, baker &c., Higher Cheap-Street, appealed for Edgar W. Anstey (21) on the grounds of appellant’s ill-health.- Mrs. Anstey produced a medical certificate relating to her husband’s health. There are plenty of men in Sherborne, and my boy is only one, and will not affect the war one bit, she added.- Mr. Durrant: Nations are made up of ‘ones’. – The Chairman said the Tribunal would give two months’ exemption. Fresh evidence would have to be produced for the case to be heard again.- Mrs. Anstey: Why should he only have two months?- The Chairman: Perhaps your husband will be better by that time.. ”
Clearly Edgar gained no more exemptions because he joined the Dorsetshire Regiment as a Private (Service Number: 26447), probably in late 1916 or early 1917. All we know of his war story is that for his services he was awarded the Victory and British War medals.
Edgar married Kathleen Matilda May Sharp in 1929 in Paignton – we find no children of this marriage and they divorced in 1941, the ‘Western Gazette‘ on 14 November 1941 reporting “A WIFE’S DESERTION Husband Granted Divorce Mr. Edgar Whittingham Anstey, of Higher Cheap-street, Sherborne, was granted decree nisi in the Divorce Court on Tuesday by Mr. Justice Hodson on the grounds of desertion by his wife Kathleen Matilda May Anstey since April 1938. There was no defence to the petition. Mr and Mrs Anstey married in Paignton, Devon on 16 September 1929. Petitioners case was that the marriage was fairly happy at the outset, but later there were differences. On 28 April 1938 when he returned home from work he found that his wife had left the house. She did not return and they have not lived together since“.
At the time of the 1939 Register Edgar was living at Higher Cheap Street working as a general shop manager – he indicated that he was still ‘married’. On 14 October 1949, together with his brother William Reginald Anstey, Edgar was involved in a “Conveyance relating to freehold properties numbered 1, 2, 5-16 in George Street, Sherborne“. In May 1950, still living in Cheap Street, he successfully won a seat on the Sherborne Urban Council.
Edgar died on 4 January 1962 at Cheap Street, probate was to his brother William, a “retired accountant“.
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