The Exeter, Tasmania Ansties

by Gary. M. Ansteychief researcher of the Anstey story project.

Overview of the Exeter, Tasmania Ansties

The Exeter, Tasmania Ansties are a sub-branch of the Devizes Ansties of Wiltshire. The patriarch of the Exeter, Tasmania Ansties is John Frederick Anstie (b 1893 Tooting, Surrey, known as Jack, an Anstey Hero) who emigrated to Exeter, Tasmania in 1912, with his sister Annie Winifred Anstie following soon after.

John Frederick Anstie (b 1893 Tooting)

John Frederick Anstie (b 1893 Tooting in Surrey to parents  Edward Samuel Anstie and Annie Elizabeth Waller), known as Jack, was baptised in Tutbury, Staffordshire in 1897. His father Edward Samuel Anstie died in 1892 before Jack was born, so his mother Annie Elizabeth Anstie remarried Whately Abbotts in Tutbury, Staffordshire in 1896. However, his mother died soon after, in 1898 in Tutbury, so by the 1901 Census Jack was living with his stepfather (a widower) Whately Abbotts in Hatton, Derby.

In the 1911 Census Jack was a clerk visiting the Braidwood family at Holmeglen Wellesley Road Twickenham then a year later in 1912 he decided to emigrate, boarding the ‘Shropshire‘ ship at Liverpool on 12 October 1912, bound for Launceston, Tasmania, Australia. In the 1916 Electoral Roll, Jack was an “orchardist” living at Exeter, Beaconsfield, Wilmot, Tasmania. On 30 April 1917, Jack decided to sign up in Tasmania for active service during World War One.

On his Attestation Form, Jack confirmed his birth location as Tooting, that he was an orchardist, and he gave his next of kin as his sister Winifred Anstie, who had come out to join him in Exeter, Tasmania in 1914 (see below).

Jack was originally assigned to the 3rd Light Horse Regiment (Service Number: 6651) and went for training at the 1st Depot Battalion in Claremont. However by the time he embarked on HMAT A38 ‘Ulysses‘ on 22 December 1917 at Melbourne he was a Private (Service Number: 2543) of the 4th Light Horse Brigade, 13th Light Horse Regiment, 22nd Reinforcements.

Jack disembarked at both Suez and Alexandria in Egypt, as well as Cherbourg, France, for brief training in early 1918 before arriving in Southampton on 15 February 1918. He was mustered as a Gunner at Tidworth on 22 March 1918, then he proceeded overseas to France on 3 July 1918, “marching into” the Australian General Base Depot at Roulles, France the day after. On 16 August 1918 Jack was assigned to the 2nd Australian D. A. C. (Divisional Ammunition Column) in the field as a Gunner and on 24 August 1918 he was “taken on strength 13 Bty [Battery], 5th FAB [Field Artillery Brigade]” in the field.

Note: We are currently unable to ascertain precisely in which battles Jack may have fought in France in mid to late 1918, given that he was frequently changing units – anybody who has such information please contact us at

After World War One hostilities had terminated, Jack was assigned to the 2nd Mechanical Transport Company as a Driver on 8 February 1919, receiving a five month instruction in “Motor Engineering” on full military pay at ‘Mitchels Garage’ Saxmundham, Suffolk.

Jack returned to Australia on 25 September 1919 on the ship ‘Port Denison‘, arriving in Melbourne in November 1919, and he was formally discharged in December 1919. For his services he received the 1914/15 Star, British War and Victory Medals. Jack‘s name can be found on the ‘Exeter RSL World War One Memorial’ in Exeter, Tasmania.

After the war, Jack returned to Sunnybank, Exeter, Tasmania and in 1922 he married Joyce Helen Waller in Victoria, Australia (presumably she was related to his mother Annie Elizabeth Waller). They had two sons Peter John Anstie (b 1925) and Julian David Anstie (b 1927).

Jack was still described as an ‘orchardist’ in Exeter, Tasmania in the 1934 and 1943 Electoral Rolls. He appeared frequently in local newspapers such as the ‘Examiner (Launcaston)‘ where he was usually referred to as “J. F. Anstie of Glengarry” or “J. F. Anstie of Exeter“. Jack was also mentioned in the ‘Calgary Herald‘ on 20 August 20 1958 as “brother Jack of Tasmania“, surviving his brother Alfred Edward Anstie, who had just died in Canada.

Jack died in 1969, leaving his effects to his widow Joyce Helen Anstie and his two sons. He was buried at Carr Villa General Cemetery, Launceston, Tasmania. Joyce Helen Anstie died in 1988, she was buried in Sidmouth Presbyterian Churchyard, Tasmania.

Annie Winifred Anstie (b 1887 Carshalton)

Annie Winifred Anstie, known as Winifred, was born in Carshalton, Epsom, Surrey in 1887 to parents Edward Samuel Anstie and Annie Elizabeth Waller. In the 1891 Census, the family were living at Carshalton; her father was an insurance broker. We cannot locate Winifred in the 1901 Census but in the 1911 Census she was visiting the Braidwood family at Holmeglen Wellesley Road Twickenham with her brother Jack.

Then in 1914 we find “Miss Annie W. Anstie” travelling on the SS ‘Makura‘ (2nd Class) from Vancouver, Canada, arriving in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia in October 1914.

By the 1916 Electoral Roll Winifred was living in Exeter, Wilmot with her brother Jack. By 1918 she was at Parliament Place, East Mebourne; then in 1919 she was staying in Glenelg, Adelaide; and by the 1935 Electoral Roll she was at 7 Manns Avenue, Neutral Bay, Warringah, New South Wales. By 1943 she was back in Sunnybank, Exeter, Tasmania with her brother Jack and his family. Winifred was mentioned in the ‘Calgary Herald‘ on 20 August 20 1958 as “sister, Miss Winnifred Anstie of Tasmania“, surviving her brother Alfred Edward Anstie, who had just died in Canada.

Winifred died 1964 having never married, living at Blackwell Road, West Tamar, Tasmania. In her will she bequeathed everything to her brother Jack‘s wife and her two nephews. She was buried at Carr Villa Memorial Park, Launceston, Tasmania (the same location as her brother Jack above)

Further Details on the Exeter, Tasmania Ansties

We are actively on the lookout for Exeter, Tasmania Anstie experts alive today who are willing to add their findings and knowledge to this project. We are particularly interested in research regarding Exeter, Tasmania Ansties who fought in World War One, preferably with personal souvenirs such as letters sent by the soldiers or military photos etc. 

Anybody who has such expertise and inclination, please contact us at

We have already uploaded bits of information and documentation about the Exeter, Tasmania Ansties, and continue to upload more all the time (see Project Updates), however it is spread over various segments of the website.

The best way to find said information is to enter ‘Exeter, Tasmania’ in the search box at the bottom of this page and a list of relevant pages will appear.

Anybody who finds any mistakes on this page, please contact us at and we will correct it.

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