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British Industrial History

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William John Anstey

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Engineer Rear-Admiral William John Anstey (1860-1936)

1936 Obituary [1]

BY the death of Engineer Rear-Admiral W. J. Anstey, which took place at his home at Hendon on Sunday, December 13th, the Royal Navy has lost a capable engineer officer who held many responsible positions in the service and who was Assistant Engineer-in-Chief at the Admiralty during the greater part of the war.

He was the son of the late Mr. William Anstey, of Portsmouth Dockyard, and was born in Portsmouth in 1860.

He received his education in Portsmouth and proceeded to the Royal Naval College at Greenwich and was afterwards appointed to H.M.S. ·"Audacious," which was at that time the flagship of the China Station.

In 1889 he returned to Greenwich, and three years later he was put in charge of the drawing-office at Chatham Dockyard. After promotion to chief engineer, he was made First Assistant to the Chief Engineer of Chatham Dockyard, and later was selected for special service at the Admiralty.

In 1900 he was appointed the Chief Engineer of Hong Kong Dockyard. Two years later he became an engineer commander, and in 1904 he resumed sea service as engineer commander in the battleship "Venerable," flagship of the Rear-Admiral in the Mediterranean Fleet. In 1906 his services were utilised in connection with experiments with oil fuel, which at this time was being tried in all classes of ships.

In October, 1909, he was appointed Engineer Manager at Devonport Dockyard, and was promoted to engineer captain in January, 1911. In the same year he was made Assistant Engineer-in-Chief at the Admiralty. He was promoted to engineer rear-admiral, and was made C.B. in the New Year Honours List in 1917.

On retiring from his naval duties in 1917, he was appointed Officer in Charge of Administration in the Aeronautical Inspection Department, in which he served until after the end of the war.

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