Edwin Anstey, sometimes known as Edmund, a member of the St Gluvias Ansteys, was born on 10 March 1878 in St Mary’s Parish, Truro to parents Alfred George Anstey and Elizabeth Coade. He grew up in Truro, living with his family at 23 Boscawen Row, Truro in 1901 and working as a baker.
On 16 July 1903 Edwin set sail for Montreal, Canada aboard the ship ‘Dominion’ – at this time he described himself as a labourer. However he must have returned soon afterwards because on 15 April 1905 he married Maud Williams in Truro, having children with her in Truro Kathleen Maud Anstey (b 20 September 1905); Violet May Anstey (b 3 September 1906); Elizabeth Anstey (b 19 February 1908); Alfred [Arthur] George Anstey (b 10 January 1910); Ethel Anstey (b 6 April 1912); and Ilene P. Anstey (b 1917). In the 1911 Census the family were living at 1 Jennings Court, Charles Street, Truro where Edwin was working as a fruit grower on a fruit farm.
Fairly early on in World War One, on 12 July 1915 in Truro, Edwin volunteered for service, with the Duke Of Cornwall’s Light Infantry (Chiseldon Cornwall Pioneers) 10th Service Battalion (Service Number: 22889). On his Attestation Form he noted that he was a labourer living at 3 Charles Street, Truro.
He was discharged less than a year later on 6 July 1916 (some sources incorrectly state 6 February 1916) at Exeter, having never served abroad – the reason given was “Sickness 392 (xvi) King’s Regulation (no longer physically fit for war service)“. His Medical Report dated 22 June 1916 gave details “Debility originated in 1910 in Canada. Sent home from Canada as he was too infirm to work for his living. Emaciated, Debilitated. 41 years of age and old for his years. Debility not the result of military service nor aggravated thereby“. His character during his service had been deemed “presumably good“.
Edwin returned to live at 3 (or 23) Charles Street, Truro with his family – he was granted a ‘Silver War Badge’ on 2 March 1917. Later in 1917 he became a temporary porter in Truro, joining the National Union of Railwaymen.
Edwin’s wife Maud died in 1919 so a year later he remarried Mary Ellen Hart in Truro, having further children in Truro Edwin R. Anstey (b 28 April 1921) and Joyce M. Anstey (b 6 September 1923). By the 1922 Electoral Register they were living at 2 Charles Street, Kenwyn and they were still there in 1931, together with two of his unmarried adult daughters from his first marriage, Kathleen and Violet. At the time of the 1939 Register Edwin was a general labourer living at 42 Trelander East, Truro with his wife and two youngest children.
Edwin died in 1968 in Truro.
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