Edward Keene Anstey, a member of the Dyrham Anstees, was born on 1 October 1899 in Caldicot, Monmouthshire to parents William Philip Anstey and Anne Keene. He was sibling to fellow Anstey Heroes George Benjamin Anstey, Mary Caroline Anstey and Philip Roger Anstey. Edward grew up at Caldicot Village then Manor Farm in Rogiet, where he was living with his family at the time of the 1911 Census. However he did not enjoy farming work and so at the age of 12 went to be a Cadet with Captain Cobb.
At some point during World War One, Edward signed up for service with the Royal Navy (Service Number: J36990 and later K36990). Unfortunately we know little about his war story except that a) he appears on the ‘Royal Navy Seamen 1899-1919‘ list; b) his role in the Royal Navy was initially a ‘Telegraphist’; c) on 28 April 1919 whilst at ‘R. N. B. Devonport’ and by now a ‘Leading Telegraphist’, he received a ‘Silver War Badge’; and d) his “medal entitlement [was] issued to the man directly. Returned to stock 15/10/1923“.
After the war, Edward became a Merchant Seaman, where he was working as a Wireless Operator when he was discharged from a ship on 12 April 1926; he was still a Wireless Operator when discharged again from a ship (Number: 160725) on 6 July 1929, both at South Shields.
At some point Edward emigrated to America – the first we find of him mentioned there is in 1920 arriving in New York from Havana on the ship ‘Monterey‘. He gave his ‘arrival relation’ as ‘William Morkey (uncle)‘ of “Stockerridgen, Mass“. He travelled in and out of America on numerous occasions in the 1920s and at some point married Muriel Marie McCarthy (b 1905 California) in San Francisco.
Edward became a naturalised American citizen in 1943 at the US District Court at San Francisco. He made numerous crossings into Canada in the 1940s and 1950s, on one of which in 1949 he confirmed that he was “resident of Inverness, California – born in Caldicot England” – on this particular crossing he was with his wife “Muriel Marie Anstey“. By 1953, the couple were giving their address as “R. G. A Communications Inc, 66 Broad Street, New York“.
Edward remarried Mary Collins in 1966 in Gibraltar and they moved to live in Florida, America. He died in 1988 in St Augustine, Florida and was buried at St Lorenzo Cemetery in St John’s County, Florida – the inscription on his gravestone reading “In Loving Memory Edward K. Anstey Oct 1 1899 – July 31 1988“. His widow Mary was also later buried there.
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