Harry Russell Anstee (b 1892)

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 Potsgrove 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 Potsgrove Anstees fit into the pedigree descendent from Hubert de Anesti, the 12th century originator of the ‘Anstey’ surname.

PO 44. Harry Russell Anstee: He was born on 5 October 1892 in Leicester, baptised at Leicester, St Mary de Castro on 18 October 1892, to parents John Anstee (PO 25) and Mary Ann Russell. He grew up in Leicester, living at 20 Hawthorne Street in the 1901 Census, though we cannot locate him in the 1911 Census.

We have struggled to piece together details of his World War One story as we are unable to locate any Service or Medical Records. Most of what we know comes from Electoral Registers and ‘Absent Voter Lists‘, namely:

  • He appears in the 1918 ‘Absent Voter Lists‘ as “4/6279 Pvte 14th Hussars” registered at 79 Rowan Street, Leicester with his brothers Arthur (PO 45) and Harold (PO 52) – so he was still on active service with the 14th Hussars at this time
  • In the 1921 Electoral Register he was still registered at 79 Rowan Street, Leicester, by now with his parents, and still indicated as “absent voter on military service
  • In the 1921 ‘Absent Voters List‘ he is entered at 79 Rowan Street as “536698 Private 14th Hussars” – ditto 1922, 1923 and 1924
  • From the 1927 to 1931 ‘Absent Voters List‘ he is entered at 79 Rowan Street as “536698 Trooper 14/20th Hussars
  • For his services during the war, he was awarded the Victory and British War medals (as ‘Harry Anster’)
  • His name appears on the St. Augustine’s Church Roll Of Honour in Leicester

Depending on when he first joined the 14th Hussars he would have been “involved in most of the actions during the Mesopotamian campaign before moving to Persia in May 1918. The regiment retitled as the 14th King’s Hussars in January 1921 and was amalgamated with the 20th Hussars to form the 14th/20th King’s Hussars in October 1922 in Germany. From 1923 the unit was based in England until 1931

Anybody who can elaborate on this somewhat skeletal understanding of his war story, please contact us at research@theansteystory.com.

In 1923 he married Lilly [Lillian] Lines in Leicester (as Harry R. Anstee) and they had one child:

  • Dorothy Anstee (b 24 June 1924 Leicester, living with family in 1939).

By 1925 they were ‘living’ (registered) at 6 Southgate Street, St Martins Ward, Leicester and by 1931 they had ‘moved’ to 49 West Street, de Montford Ward, Leicester.

[Note: Harry seems to appear in two Electoral Registers between around 1925 and 1931 but it must be the same person surely]

At the time of the 1939 Register he was a “Leveller Boot & Shoe Hand” living with his wife and daughter at 23 John Street, Blaby, Leicestershire. He died in 1963 in Blaby, Leicester.

Anybody who would like to add anything to this biography please contact us at research@theansteystory.com.

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