Eric Valentine Anstey (b 1894)

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

Many thanks to Julia for her help with this biography.

Eric Valentine Anstey was born in 1894 in Petersham, Newtown, New South Wales, Australia to parents John James Anstey (known as Jack) and Clara; he is thus a member of the Newtown, NSW Anstey sub-branch. He grew up in Newtown, where he was presumably living in c1910.

Soon after the outbreak of World War One, Eric married Alma Nellie Denning in early 1915 in Sydney, New South Wales. Almost immediately after his marriage, on 26 March 1915, Eric enlisted for active service at Stanmore as a Private (Service Number: 2073) and he was attached to the 5th Reinforcements of the 2nd Infantry Battalion, Australian Imperial Force. On his Attestation Form he indicated that he was married and a carpenter by trade, living at 71 Alma Street, Darlington, NSW. He also indicated that he had previously served in the 33rd Infantry.

Eric embarked on 10 April 1915 at Sydney as part of the 2nd Infantry Battalion 1st Reinforcements on the ship HMAT A20, ‘Hororata‘, arriving in Gallipoli, Turkey on 17 June 1915. Within four days he had been admitted to hospital in the Field Ambulance suffering from “cough and dbty [debility?]“. He was in hospital in Mudros for a month, rejoining his unit (2nd Battalion) in Gallipoli on 21 July 1915.

He was “wounded in action SW [shot wound?] elbow” in Gallipoli on 5 August 1915, attending hospital in Lemnos and Mudros and rejoining his unit in Gallipoli on 26 August 1915. In October 1915 he was sent to Headquarters in Mudros as a temporary cook, back with the battalion on the Gallipoli Peninsula on 7 November 1915 and then disembarked in Alexandria from the ‘Huntsgreen‘ ship on 27 December 1915. By this time he was working for the 1st Australian Divisional H.Q.

Eric was mentioned in ‘The Week (Brisbane)‘ newspaper 21 January 1916 edition, where it reported on the ‘133rd Casualty List‘, released on 15 January 1916, which stated “Pte. E. V. Anstey, 2nd Btn., 5th Rfts., rejoined unit, previously reported W[ounded]“.

Eric was admitted to hospital with “septic sores” in Tel-el-Kebir in February 1916, and then sent from Alexandria to Marseilles on HMTS ‘Grampian‘ in March 1916, where he was transferred to Division Headquarters as a Cook. In 1917 Eric was sick in hospital in both February and May (in France) and August (in England) with epididymitis and other ailments. He spent most of later 1917 and early 1918 working in various depots in England for the 1st Australian Divisional H.Q.

Eric returned to Australia 31 July 1918 on HMAT ‘Malta‘, still a Private, arriving in Australia on 29 September 1918, at which point he was discharged from active service on 23 November 1918 “in consequence of medical unfitness“. For his services, Eric was awarded the 1914/15 Star, British War and Victory medals.

Eric and his wife Alma had two children, Alma Hazel Anstey (b 1915 Newtown), and Cynthia Anstey. In March 1922, Eric was “proceeded against at the Katoomba Police Court for plying for motor hire without a license“. Then in October 1930, Eric was charged at Paramatta Police Court with having assaulted a taxi driver. Then in November 1932 at the Sydney Quarter Sessions, Eric appealed against a magistrate’s order of maintenance. At some point Eric had a joinery business and worked on the construction of the Carrington Hotel.

Eric’s death in 1960 was reported in the ‘Herald‘ newspaper: “DEATH: ANSTEY ERIC VALENTINE – June 25 1960 (suddenly) late of Govett Street Katoomba, husband of Alma and dear father of Alma and Cynthia. At rest“. He is buried at Woronora Memorial Park Sutherland, Sutherland Shire, New South Wales, Australia (Anglican Monumental Section AB, Grave 796)

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