Ernest Gilbert Anstee (b 1892)

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

Ernest Gilbert Anstee, a member of the Barnet Anstees, was born on 12 November 1892 to parents Frederick Anstee and Annie Potter. He was brother to fellow Anstey Heroes Charles James Anstee and William Benjamin Anstee. He grew up living at Primrose Cottages, Brookfield Lane, Cheshunt, and by the 1911 Census he was a “farmers son working on the family farm“.

The first mention we find of Ernest during World War One comes from the ‘Hertford Mercury and Reformer‘ 15 July 1916 edition where it states that “Ernest G. Anstee cowman and stockman of Cheshunt” had his appeal for exemption [from Military Service] dismissed; however the military were requested not to call him up for one or two months.

The military acceded to this request, not calling him up for service until 20 October 1916, with the Royal Navy (Service Number: F222262). From this point onwards Ernest trained as an Air Mechanic 3rd Class (and later 2nd Class) on the ship ‘President II’ (an accounting base moored at Crystal Palace). Our understanding (though it is slightly unclear) is that on 14 September 1917 Ernest was transferred to the Royal Naval Air Service as an “Airship rigger“, then he was further transferred into the Royal Air Force on 1 April 1918 as a result of the merger of the R. N. A. S. and the R. F. C. into the R. A. F. At some point Ernest was also appointed as a “Class F Reservist“.

By the time of the 1919 Electoral Register, Ernest was registered at Primrose Cottages in Cheshunt – however he was still deemed an “absent military or naval voter currently serving in the Armed Forces” so presumably he was still on active service at this time. By the 1920 Electoral Register he had certainly been discharged and was residing at Primrose Cottages with his brothers.

A year later in 1921, Ernest married Alice Christina Cook in Edmonton – they had a single child Kathleen P. Anstee (b 1923). By the late 1920s the family were living at 12 Fairley Way, Cheshunt. In the 1939 Register, Ernest, his wife Alice, and their daughter Kathleen were living with his brother William at Old Park Farm Cottage, Cheshunt, where Ernest was once again a dairy farmer.

Ernest died on 13 May 1980 living at Allandale Smiths Lane in Cheshunt – the same address as his brother William had died a few years previously.

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