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Edmund Walter Anstice
Captain Edmund W. Anstice in 1947
Born (1899-05-05)5 May 1899
Died 30 August 1979(1979-08-30) (aged 80)
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch  Royal Navy
Rank Vice Admiral
Commands held No. 464 Flight, FAA
No. 463 Flight, FAA
HMS Striker
HMS Fencer
RNAS Lee-on-Solent (HMS Daedalus)
Battles/wars World War I
World War II
Awards Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath

Vice Admiral Sir Edmund Walter Anstice, KCB (5 May 1899 – 30 August 1979[1]) was a Royal Navy officer and aviator who served in World War II and went on to be Fifth Sea Lord.


Early life and training[]

The second son of Major J.C.A. Anstice, he joined the Royal Navy in August 1914, and was trained at the Royal Naval Colleges at Osborne and Dartmouth before seeing service in World War I. He was commissioned as a sub-lieutenant on 15 January 1918. In 1919 he was stationed at HMS President while attending a course at Cambridge University, receiving promotion to lieutenant on 15 February 1920.[1]

Naval aviator[]

On attachment to the Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Air Force (all naval aviation was under the control of the RAF at that time), he attended No. 1 Flying Training School at Netheravon, Wiltshire, from June 1924 until January 1925 before being posted to No. 462 Flight, Fleet Air Arm, aboard the aircraft carrier Furious in the Atlantic Fleet, receiving the RAF rank of flight lieutenant on 1 July 1927. On 1 September 1927 he became Flight Commander of No. 464 Flight, FAA, aboard the carrier Courageous. He was promoted to lieutenant commander on 15 February 1928, and in October 1929 transferred to the battlecruiser Renown.[1]

Anstice returned to Courageous in November 1930 to serve as Flight Commander of No. 463 Flight for the next two years. He was promoted to Navy commander on 31 December 1932, and to the RAF rank of squadron leader on 1 January 1933, and from 26 September was attached to the Directorate of Training at the Air Ministry. On 19 June 1936 he returned to Courageous once more, this time as Senior FAA Officer and Squadron Aviation Officer,[1] receiving promotion to wing commander on 1 July.[2] On 28 July 1937 he was appointed Executive Officer of the heavy cruiser Shropshire in the Mediterranean Fleet, remaining there until receiving promotion to the rank of captain on 30 June 1939.[1]

World War II[]

Anstice spent the early part of World War II, from October 1939, serving at the Admiralty, and was appointed Deputy Director of the Naval Air Division in February 1941. He returned to sea duty in August 1942 serving briefly as Commanding Officer of the escort carrier Striker, before taking command of Fencer until 19 January 1944. In March 1944 he returned to shore duty at HMS Monck, the Combined Training Headquarters at Largs, Ayrshire, where he served as Chief of Staff for Aircraft Carrier Training.[1]

Post-war flag officer[]

Anstice was appointed Commanding Officer of Royal Naval Air Station Lee-on-Solent (HMS Daedalus) as a commodore (2nd class) on 30 October 1945.[1]

In November 1946 he was appointed Director of Naval Aviation Planning for the Royal Australian Navy, and in October 1947 as appointed to the newly created post of Fourth Member of the Australian Commonwealth Naval Board to advise the board on all matters related to naval aviation.[3]

Promoted on 10 July 1948 to rear admiral, he served as Flag Officer of the Training Squadron, then from 26 August 1949 as Flag Officer of Flying Training based at RNAS Donibristle, Fife (HMS Merlin). Promoted to vice admiral on 15 September 1951, he served on the Board of Admiralty, as Fifth Sea Lord and Deputy Chief of Naval Staff (Air). Vice Admiral Anstice retired on 16 September 1954. He died on 30 August 1979.[1]


He was made a Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB) in the 1950 New Years Honours List, and a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (KCB) in the Coronation Honours List on 1 June 1953.[1]

Personal life[]

In 1928 he married Lesley Ritchie, of Sydney, New South Wales. They had two sons.[1] He lived at Inverdunning House in Dunning in Perthshire.[4]


Military offices
Preceded by
Sir Maurice Mansergh
Fifth Sea Lord
Succeeded by
Sir Alexander Bingley

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