Death of war hero in river tragedy

Rescuers pictured on the South Esk river-bank during the search for Michael Anstice. (Picture by
Rescuers pictured on the South Esk river-bank during the search for Michael Anstice. (Picture by

AN 81-year-old Lintrathen man, who was a holder of the Military Cross, was named as the victim of a river tragedy last Thursday.

The body of Colonel Michael Anstice OBE was found after a major search of the River South Esk following his disappearance during a fishing outing.

Colonel Anstice had been fishing at Inshewan Estate at about 11 am with a friend when he went missing.

Tayside Police officers – including officers with swift water rescue training – attended, along with Tayside Fire and Rescue, the Tayside Mountain Rescue Team and the Scottish Ambulance Service.

A helicopter from RAF Lossiemouth was also scrambled to assist with the operation.

Emergency services also received assistance from local residents and estate workers in efforts to trace Mr Anstice.

Tragically his body was discovered at about 2.30 pm and recovered from the fast flowing water.

There are no suspicious circumstances surrounding his death and a report will be submitted to the Procurator Fiscal in due course.

Colonel Anstice had lived at Melgam House, Lintrathen, by Kirriemuir, for the past 47 years with his wife, Carolyn.

Born in Devon, he was the elder son of Vice-Admiral Sir Edmund and Lady Anstice.

Following his studies at Wellington College, south of London, he went on to the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst.

A career in the military beckoned and he spent ten years with the 5th Royal Iniskilling Dragoon Guards in Germany, Egypt and the Far East.

He also fought in the Korean War, where he earned the Military Cross for his heroic actions at the Battle of Hook in 1952, when he managed to rescue his tank crew under heavy enemy fire.

After his military career, he joined Jute Industries in Dundee, becoming chief buyer of jute in India and Bangladesh, running several mills.

Some 25 years later, redundancy offered Colonel Anstice the chance to start up a new line of work and he began to make furniture under the Milldens Partnership.

From 1965 to 1967 he commanded The Fife and Forfar Yeomanry and was the Honorary Colonel of the Scottish Horse from 1982 to 1999.

He also ran the Combined Cadet Force (Sports) in Scotland for many years.

Colonel Anstice enjoyed fishing, country sports and working in and around his beloved home, where he and his wife brought up their three sons and a daughter.