Frederick Charles Anstee (b 1899)

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

Frederick Charles Anstee, known as Fred, a member of the Flamstead Anstees, was born on 1 December 1899 in Luton to parents Fred Anstee and Annie Elizabeth Foster. In the 1901 Census he was living with both of his parents at 67 Hastings Street, Luton but by the 1911 Census they had split up and he was living with his father at 24 Milton Road, Luton.

Less than a year after the outbreak of World War One, and despite being well underage, Fred signed up for service with the Royal Navy (Service Number: J36056) on 8 March 1915 (in fact he was already serving with the Navy in some ‘child’ capacity before the war – see below). He served with first ‘HMS Ganges’ as ‘Boy 2nd Class’, then ‘HMS Victory’, and then on ‘HMS Canada’ from 10 August 1915 to 30 November 1917 as a ‘Boy 1st Class’ (during this period he was involved in the Battle of Jutland in May/June 1916).

This brought him to his 18th birthday, at which time he signed up for 12 years of full time service with the Royal Navy. He continued to serve on ‘HMS Canada’ as an ‘Able Seaman’ throughout the rest of the conflict and beyond. By the time he received his ‘War Gratuity’ in 1919 he was serving on ‘HMS Aquarius’; when he received his war medals he was serving on ‘HMS Argus’; and at the time of the 1921 Census he was in Portsmouth with the Royal Navy.

Fred has an entry in the ‘National Roll of the Great War‘ where it states “ANSTEE F. C. AB Royal Navy. He was serving in the Navy when war was declared and being posted to HMS Canada was engaged in patrol duties with the Grand Fleet in the North Sea. During his service he took part in the Battle of Jutland and several minor engagements. He holds the 1914 Star and the General Service and Victory medals and in 1920 was serving in HMS Aquarius – 7 Longmire Road St Albans [his mother’s address]

[Note: Even though the above report sounds bizarre for somebody as young as Fred, it is certainly the same person as it agrees with his Royal Navy Service Report which confirms his date of birth]

Fred served on numerous ships during the rest of his first stint with the Royal Navy in the 1920s, which terminated on 31 December 1928. During this period he married Gladys Starke in 1924 in Portsmouth, having a son Charles Frederick Anstee (b 1926 Southampton – see below). In early 1929 Fred signed up for a second period of service with the Royal Navy, commencing on the ship ‘HMS Warspite’. On 19 February 1933 he was serving on ‘HMS Revenge’ as an Able Seaman when he received a Long Service and Good Conduct Medal.

Around the same time, certainly in q1 1933, Fred’s wife Gladys died in Southampton, so his son Charles boarded the ship ‘Largs Bay‘ on 21 June 1933 at Southampton, a “seven year old scholar bound for Malta, last address in UK 19 Lemon Road, Shirley?“, presumably to join his father in Malta. At some point in Malta Fred then remarried to Luigia Doublet and they had another child Vincent Anstee.

Fred’s second stint with the Royal Navy ended on 30 September 1943 on ‘HMS St Angelo‘, so presumably he was also involved in World War Two, though we have no further details.

At some point after this Fred emigrated to Australia, finally dying on 12 October 1995, buried at Hamilton Lawn Cemetery Hamilton, Southern Grampians Shire, Victoria, Australia.

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