Ernest Stanley Anstee (b 1899)

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

See ‘Anstey: A Complete History From the Norman Invasion to World War One‘ for much more on the Flamstead Anstees. In addition to biographies of various Anstey individuals who make up this sub-branch, the book contains a plethora of Anstey research and statistics, including an analysis of how the Flamstead Anstees fit into the pedigree descendent from Hubert de Anesti, the 12th century originator of the ‘Anstey’ surname.

FL 28. Ernest Stanley Anstee: He was born on 29 July 1899 in Harborne, Kings Norton (or next door Smethwick depending on source) to parents George Ernest Anstee (FL 12) and Agnes Sarah Thursfield.

In both the 1901 and 1911 Censuses, he was living with his family at 99 Three Shires Oak Road Smethwick. Then at some point in 1915, as World War One was raging and despite being only 16 years old, he signed up with the Royal Navy. He stated that he was born in Harborne, Birmingham, Warwickshire and that he was a packing case maker. He was sent straight for training at HMS Ganges in Shotley. Then in September 1915 he was transferred to the ship HMS Victory I, and in January 1916 he was assigned to the ship HMAS Australia.

In February 1917, whilst serving on HMAS Australia, he was “loaned out” to the Royal Australian Navy by the Royal Navy. Then on his 18th birthday (29 July 1917), he formally signed up to join the Royal Navy for a 12 year stint as a seaman (Service Number: J39922). He served on HMAS Australia, attached to the Royal Australian Navy, throughout the rest of the war.

[Note: HMAS Australia spent much of 1916 and 1917 in a routine of exercises and patrols into the North Sea (including training voyages between Rosyth and Scapa Flow and occasional patrols to the north-east of Britain in search of German raiders) with few incidents. During 1918, HMAS Australia on occasion escorted convoys travelling between Britain and Norway. HMAS Australia subsequently formed part of the force which guarded the High Seas Fleet during late 1918 and early 1919, and spent most of her time either at anchor at Scapa Flow, or conducting patrols in the North Sea. On 23 April 1919, HMAS Australia departed from Portsmouth bound for Australia, arriving in Fremantle on 28 May 1919. HMAS Australia was not awarded any official battle honours]

So in 1919, with the war over, he found himself in Australia, where a year later in 1920 he married Gladys M. Hodge in Ashfield, New South Wales – we are not aware of any children of this marriage.

He saw out the rest of his Navy service on the ships Cerebus (to March 1921); Cerebus (II) (to May 1921); Brisbane (to August 1922); Adelaide (to October 1923); Penguin (to November 1923) and then Adelaide again (to November 1925). At this point he was formally and permanently transferred to the Royal Australian Navy, his Service Number was changed to ‘8650’ and his next of kin was confirmed as “Gladys Anstee“.

From 1926 to April 1928 he attended the Royal Australian Navy College, then he served again on the ships Penguin and Canberra until his 12 year stint concluded in July 1929. At this point he enrolled in the R. A. F. R. (Royal Air Force Reserves?), from which he was discharged in August 1935.

By 1966 he was officially an Australian national, still married, retired and living at Garrett Street, Maroubra, New South Wales. He was still at the same address in 1969.

Anybody who would like to add anything to this biography please contact us at

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