|Date of birth:||1891|
|Place of birth:||Southampton|
|Regiment:||Oxford & Bucks Light Infantry|
|Died:||23rd October 1918 aged 27 years|
|Death location:||Vertain, France|
Life before the War
William was one of 4 siblings born to Joseph William and Elizabeth Sarah, nee Morris. One of their daughters died very young and she is unknown.
Joseph was born in Southampton in 1862 and he died in the city in 1919. Elizabeth was born in Wilton, Salisbury in 1863 and died in Southampton in 1932. They were married in Southampton in 1887 and ran the Greyhound Hotel (in Bridge St. possibly) for a time around the 1911 census This may have been the old Greyhound public house near the University of Southampton.
They eventually settled at 73 Wilton Avenue, Shirley.
William’s surviving siblings – 2 sisters who were both born and died in Southampton – were:
Helena Elizabeth b.1889 and d.1920
Emily Ethel b.1894 and d.1950. Married Percy G Rowthorn in Southampton in 1925.
The 2nd Battalion lost 632 men in the first 5 months of the war, many of them during the First Battle of Ypres. A further 400 were lost during the Battle of Festubert, fought in mid May 1915.
1916 brought more casualties during the Battle of the Somme. The Battalion was then sent to the back lines around Arras for some respite in early 1917 before the battle for that town in April / May 1917.
William lost his life when the town of Vertain was captured by the 24th Royal Fusiliers (2nd Div), to which the 2nd Ox & Bucks must have been attached.
He rests in the Vertain Communal Cemetery Extension, France (A, 2). The cemetery holds 52 Commonwealth graves from WW1.
William’s headstone reads: “Only son of Elizabeth and the late Joseph W. Ashton of Southampton. At rest.”
|Published:||5th June 2015|
|Updated:||Insert dates here|
If you have any additional information about the person named above please complete the Comments section below.