James Henry Anstee, a member of the Market Harborough Anstees, was born on 22 February 1897 in Leicester, baptised on 20 June 1897 at Christ Church in Leicester, to parents Arthur William Anstee and Fanny Robinson – he was brother to fellow Anstey Heroes Arthur Anstee and Frederick Anstee, growing up in Leicester and living at 61 Colton Street, Leicester in 1901. By the time of the 1911 Census he was living at 83 Stanley Street, Leicester with his family.
We know very little about James’ World War One exploits as we cannot locate his Service or Medical Records. What we do know is the following:
- At some point, probably in 1915 or 1916, he enlisted for service and was posted to the 57th Royal Engineers as a Pioneer (Service Number: 288510);
- In the 1918 Electoral Register ‘Absent Voter Lists‘ both “James Henry Anstee 288510 Pnr 57th R. E.” and his brother “Arthur Anstee 784 R. G. A.” were registered at 83 Stanley Street, Leicester;
- James was still an ‘Absent Voter‘ in the 1919 Electoral Register, so presumably he was still on active service abroad at this time; and
- For his services, he was awarded the Victory and British War medals.
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By the 1921 Census James was back living with his parents at 83 Stanley Street in Leicester – he was still living there in early 1923. Later in 1923 in Eccleshall Bierlow he married Mabel A. Gibson, having a single child Margaret J. Anstee (b 1927 Sheffield).
Also in 1923, according to the ‘London Gazette‘ 4 May 1923 edition, James became a “skilled workman” connected to the Post Office, and by the 1939 Register he was working as a ‘Civil Servant Post Office Telephone Traffic Superintendent’, living with his family at 121 Mattsue Forest Road, Royal Tunbridge Wells.
James died on 24 December 1988 at Arenden Nursing Home in Bristol.
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