Isaac Alfred Anstey, known as Alfred, a member of the Washfield Ansteys, was born in q2 1876 in Battersea to parents Isaac Anstey and Ellen Castle; he was brother to fellow Anstey Heroes Henry Anstey and Herbert Bertie Anstey. Alfred grew up living in Wandsworth, then on 7 February 1897 in Lambeth he married Emma Eve, having children in Lambeth and later Wandsworth:
- Emily Annie Anstey (b 1899 Lambeth, baptised 24 May 1899 in Brixton);
- Lillian Louisa Anstey (b 10 June 1901);
- Louisa Ellen Anstey (b 29 March 1903);
- Ellen C. M. Anstey (b 25 February 1905);
- Annie Ethel Anstey (b 1 May 1907);
- Frederick George Anstey (b 13 October 1909, Wandsworth)
- Dorothy Anstey (b 1 October 1911);
- Herbert Edward Anstey (b 2 July 1914);
- Henry Anstey (b 7 November 1916);
- James Anstey (b 1920); and
- Florence Anstey (b 1922, died an infant)
In the 1901 Census Alfred was a coal porter living with his family at 25 Comrie Road, Lambeth, then in c1908 they moved to Wandsworth where in the 1911 Census they were living at 13 Lower Orchard St, Lyham Road Clapham Park together with Alfred’s sister Gertrude (and a couple of doors down from his brother Herbert Bertie Anstey) – Alfred was still working as a coal porter.
Just under a year after the outbreak of World War One, Alfred volunteered for active service, enlisting on 25 May 1915 in Lambeth. At this time he was working as a coal porter for ‘Walter Moore and Company, Midland Railway, Wandsworth Road‘. He was originally assigned to the Royal Field Artillery (Service Number: 5011 or 5811) and posted to ‘153 Emp Coy RHR Fa‘, but on 8 April 1916 he transferred to the Royal Garrison Artillery as a Gunner (Service Number: 195198) and posted to the ‘Anti Aircraft Depot 1 Battalion 1A Res‘.
Alfred was at some point transferred to the 99th Anti Aircraft Reserve Brigade, and he served as a Gunner throughout the rest of the conflict (probably based on the South Coast near Dover) until he was discharged on 31 March 1919 at Dover and returned to live at 13 Saxby Street, Clapham Park. In his medical at the time of his discharge, he was deemed to have “heart trouble, less than 20% attributable to his service“, an ailment which he stated had begun in November 1915. Alfred also noted on his Discharge Form that he had “served in England as a Gunner from May 1915 to February 1919″ (he actually wrote 1914 not 1919 but this must be an error).
By the 1921 Census the family were still living in Wandsworth, then on 24 July 1922 Alfred, still living at 13 Saxby Street, Lyham Road, received the war medals of his deceased brother Henry, agreeing to “surrender them to any person having a better legal claim” (for more on this see the biography of his brother Henry).
Alfred died in Wandsworth in 1934, “aged 56“.
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