Geoffrey William Stanley Anstee, a member of the Ivinghoe Anstees, was born on 7 January 1891 (some sources state June 1890) to parents Edward Anstee and Annie Elizabeth Kingham. He was brother to Anstey Heroes Oliver Edward Anstee and Cyril John Anstee. Geoffrey grew up living at Gossard’s Green, Cranfield, Ampthill then according to the ‘Bedfordshire Mercury‘ 1 July 1904 edition “CRANFIELD: Geoffrey Anstee, son of Mr Edward Anstee, of Broad Green, was bound apprentice to Mr Alien White, watchmaker, etc., for a term of four years“.
In 1911 Geoffrey decided to emigrate to Canada, where in the 1911 Canadian Census he was boarding at District 123 Toronto East, describing himself as an “unmarried watchmaker“. He must have returned to England fairly soon afterwards because during World War One, he was placed as a ‘Reservist’ under the provisions of the Military Service Act, 1916 and he was called up for service on 12 May 1917, to report immediately for duty at Hinkley.
However, according to the ‘Police Gazette‘ (Volume: XXXII No.3338) dated 18 December 1917, “Geoff Wm Anstee, aged 27, height 5 foot 7 inches, having failed to report himself on being called up on Permanent Service on 12 May 1917 at Hinkley, is therefore absentee” – at this time he was described as “a clock maker, last known address Hingham on the Hill, Hinkley” (Classification Register Number: 86192).
We are very unsure what happened next in this case because on 3 September 1917 Geoffrey married Florence Astbury in Kelsall, at which time he was still described as a watchmaker. They had at least one son, Edward Geoffrey Anstee born in late 1918 in Ripon.
As to whether Geoffrey eventually served during the war we have no clue – though we would note that Kelsall, where he married in September 1917, is a good hundred miles from Hinkley, where he was supposed to report for active service in May 1917. Ripon, where his son was born in late 1918, is even further distant! Anybody who can help clarify matters in this regard please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the 1939 Register Geoffrey was still a watchmaker living at Market Place, Middleham, Leyburn R.D., Yorkshire.
He died on 22 July 1945 in Bulmer, Yorkshire, buried at St Mary & St Alkelda, Middleham. Probate was to his widow Florence Anstee and his son Edward Geoffrey Anstee, by then an “architect“.
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