December 22, 2013

Ashley, Charles

Service number: 25017 | Rank: Private | Regiment: 1st Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment

Died of wounds, October 8th 1918, in India.
Buried at Plot 4, Row 6, Grave 1322, BARRACKPORE NEW CEMETERY, India.


Charles was born to Robert Ashley, but it is difficult to ascertain much about this personal life before the war. He joined the army just after the start of the Boer War and spent eighteen months involved in the fighting in South Africa. After fulfilling seven years in the army he was returnee to civilian life but the army retained as a Reservist.

When war was declared Charles received his call up papers on that same day, 4th August 1914, and he immediately returned to the Norfolk Regiment, with the service number 6783. Within two weeks he was in France. The fighting did not go well for the British at the start of the war and Charles was involved in the retreat from Mons. At this time, on 18th September, he was severely wounded. In being wounded at that time he was reported by the Thetford and Watton Times to have been the first Brandon man wounded in the war. He was so severely wounded that the military sent him back to England to be treated and recuperate. During this time, in the spring of 1915, he married to Ella Elizabeth, nee Whitehead in Islington, London. Charles listed her as his next of kin.

Upon recovering from his wounds he was returned back to active service but was transferred to the Bedfordshire Regiment, and given a new service number 25017. With his new unit he was sent overseas to India. In October 1918, just a month before the end of the war the Thetford and Watton Times reported that he had died. His widowed mother, living in Town Street, had received the news, possibly by Ella. In July 1919 Ella received payment of £140 8s 8d, from Charles’ will.

Charles is buried in Plot 4, Row 6, Grave 1322, Barrackpore New Cemetery, India.