Oliver Edward Anstee, a member of the Ivinghoe Anstees, was born on 1 October 1897 in Ampthill, Bedfordshire to parents Edward Anstee and Annie Elizabeth Kingham. He was brother to Geoffrey William Stanley Anstee and fellow Anstey Hero Cyril John Anstee. Oliver grew up living at Gozzard Green, Cranfield, Ampthill, performing a recital at St Peter’s Church in 1910, and by the 1911 Census he was a farm labourer, still living at Gozzard Green with his family.
Right at the beginning of World War One, on 3 November 1914, Oliver signed up for service in Bedford with the Bedfordshire Yeomanry Reserve Territorial Force (Service Number: 1895). On his Attestation Form, he noted that he was living at Gozzard Green, Cranfield and that his next of kin was his father Edward Anstee. He was immediately embodied with his unit, until on 20 November 1914 he was declared “medically unfit not due to military service” and discharged, which is somewhat bizarre as only two weeks previously in his medical he had been deemed “fit for service“.
At some unknown time, possibly in late 1915 when he turned eighteen (we have unsourced information that he served from 1915 to 1919), Oliver again became a Private with the Bedford Yeomanry, this time his Service Number was ‘30814’. Unfortunately we can find absolutely nothing about this part of his war story except that for his services he was awarded the Victory and British War medals.
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After the war Oliver returned to live in Bedfordshire. According to the ‘Bedfordshire Times and Independent‘ on 29 December 1922, on the same day that his father passed away at Bourne End after a very long illness, “Mr Oliver Anstee, his son was taken to the Bedford County Hospital for an operation for appendicitis. He is making steady progress“.
By 1925 Oliver had moved to Hutton, Essex (near Hanging Hill Lane). He married Emily Ethel Oakley in 1928 in Epping, at which time he was living at Brook End Farm, North Crawley, Buckinghamshire. They returned to live at Brook End Farm until at least 1930, having two children Douglas F. Anstee (b 1930 Newport Pagnell) and Sheila E. Anstee (b 1931 St Albans). By the 1939 Register the family were living at Mill Cottage, Purleigh, Maldon R.D., Essex where Oliver was a dairy farmer.
Oliver died in 1975 in Cambridge.
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