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British Industrial History

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Henry Charles Anstey

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Henry Charles Anstey (1872-1940)

1872 July 6th. Born the son of James Anstey and his wife Esther

1881 Living at 31 Alma Street, Sheppey: James Anstey (age 50 born Rochester), Brazier, H.M. Dockyard. With his wife Esther E. Anstey (age 51 born Liverpool) and their three sons; James Anstey (age 23 born Sheerness), Tinman's Whitesmith; Frederick Anstey (age 21 born Sheerness), Brazier and Tinman; and Harry Chas. Anstey (age 8 born Sheerness).[1]

1887-91 Apprentice engine fitter at Sheerness Dockyard[2]

1891 Living at 92 Berridge Road, Sheppey: James Anstey (age 57 born Chatham), Hammerman, R. Dockyard - Widower. With his son Henry C. Anstey (age 18 born Sheerness), Engine Fitter Apprentice, and his daughter Mary Ashcroft (age 34 born Sheerness), Widow, and his grandsons Reginald Ashcroft (age 5 born Woolton, Lancs.) and Gilbert Ashcroft (age 3 born Woolton, Lancs.).[3]

1895 July 1st. Married at St Jude, East Brixton, to Elizabeth Ellen Wilton the daughter of Robert Wilton

1940 May 17th. died.


1940 Obituary [4]

Eng. Commr. HENRY CHARLES ANSTEY, O.B.E., R.N., ret., who was born in 1872, had a distinguished career both in the Royal Navy and in the engineering profession. After serving as engine fitter apprentice at Sheerness dockyard from 1887 to 1891, he obtained an Admiralty Scholarship and entered the Royal Naval Engineering College, Devonport, as engineer student. He entered the Royal Navy as assistant engineer in 1892 and underwent a special course of study at the Royal Naval College, Greenwich, until 1895, serving during vacations as junior engineer officer on H.M. ships Apollo, Benbow and others.

He was senior engineer of HMS Polyphemus from 1896 to 1899, and was in charge of the machinery of the Angler and other ships until he went, in 1901, to the Admiralty for three years, during which time he was engaged on experiments in the use of liquid fuel, and on internal combustion engines. He resigned from the active list and was placed on the emergency list in July 1904, when he secured the position of manager to Messrs. R. Hornsby and Son, Ltd., at Grantham, where he was engaged in pioneer work connected with the use of oil engines for marine purposes.

In 1910 he accepted the post of engineer-in-chief to the Chilian Navy and soon became head of the Department of Naval Construction in Chile. On his return to England, he rejoined the active list of the Navy, and from 1917 to 1919 held the post of Deputy Assistant Director of Materials and Priority at the Admiralty. He was responsible for the design of a special type of vessel for salvage work, several of which were built for the Admiralty.

On reverting to the retired list in 1919, he was awarded the O.B.E. He then became manager of the copper and brass works of Messrs. T. Bolton and Sons, Widnes[5], and held that position up to the time of his death, which occurred on 17th May 1940.

Commander Anstey was elected a Member of the Institution in 1905, and was also a Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers and the Institution of Naval Architects.


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. 1881 Census
  2. IMechE Application
  3. 1891 Census
  4. 1940 Institution of Mechanical Engineers: Obituaries
  5. Richard Anstey, his grandson, informs that he was manager of their Froghall Works and not of Widnes