Tipton

Remembers

Private 10693 Walter Astbury


Killed in Action on Monday, 9th August 1915, age 22.
Commemorated on Panel 134 to 136 of Helles Memorial, Turkey.

7th Bn., South Staffordshire Regiment. 33rd Brigade of 11th Division.

Son of Walter Edwin and Annie Maria Astbury, of 48, Ethelfreda Terrace, Church Hill, Wednesbury.
Born: Tipton, Enlisted: Wolverhampton, Resident: Wednesbury.

First landed Balkans, 21st July 1915.
Medal entitlement: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives did not survive.

Not commemorated on any Tipton memorial.
Commemorated here because identified as Tipton on 'Soldiers Died in the Great War'.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/698252/


Genealogical Data

1901 Census
28 Portway Street, Wednesbury, Staffs.
Walter Astbury (41, Iron Worker, born Wednesbury), his wife Mary (37, born Wednesbury), and their 5 children: George (20, Axle Heater, born Wednesbury), Florrie (18, born Wednesbury), May (15, born Wednesbury), Maud (11, born Wednesbury), and Walter (8, born Wednesbury).

1911 Census
4 St James Street, Wednesbury, Staffs.
Walter Edwin Astbury (50, Gas Furnaceman, born Wolverhampton), his wife Mary Eliza (45, born Wednesbury), and 4 of their 7 surviving children of 12: Maud Alice (21, Nut and Bolt Screwer, born Wednesbury), Walter Edwin (18, Fitting Striker at Tube Works, born Wednesbury), William Frederick (9, born Wednesbury), and Beatrice May (6, born Wednesbury).


Personal Data

None Available.


Action resulting in his death

On August 6th the 7th South Staffs took part in the landings at 'B' beach Suvla Bay, two days later the 7th South Staffs took part in an attack on Chocolate and Scimitar Hill which went disastrously wrong. The 'History of the 7th South Staffs' reports 400 casualties, this is highly likely as 118 Other Ranks and 3 Officers were killed, amongst them 9 Tipton men. Walter Westbury, like all 9 of the Tipton men, has no known grave and is commemorated on the Helles Memorial.


A short extract from the 7th South Staffs War Diary of the events of the 8/9th August written by the Second in command of the 7th South Staffs Lt-Colonel A. Tool:
"Most of that night, the 8/9th, we spent in very slowly working our way back to the 33rd Brigade rendezvous. It was not really a very long way, but the dense scrub necessitated "snake" formation, and every time there was a check, which was very often, men dropped down asleep, and had to be kicked up by the officers.

As far as I can remember we were quite punctual at our rendezvous with the 6/Lincolns on our left, but the Borderers, who should have been on our right, were not in sight, and we were sent off and told that they would join in, which they did later on.

The right of the S.Staffs was to direct the 33rd Brigade on the line "Summit of Scimitar Hill - "W" Hill, and Col. Daukes ordered me to go forward with the leading troops and see that direction was accurately kept. To my horror I saw the companies starting to advance in the column of route, but I quickly ran up and shook them out into artillery formation, We had almost reached Scimitar Hill, the Borderers having come into place, when a Subaltern I was walking beside lit a cigarette and promptly dropped with a bullet in his forehead.

A moment later a Lincoln officer ran up to me and reported that Captain Martin, commanding the company I was with at the moment, was killed and that the Turks were just the other side of Chocolate Hill."


Following information taken from History of the Seventh South Staffordshire Regiment (Ashcroft):
9th August 1915
"At 06.00 we reached Hill 70 and at once came under murderous shrapnel and rifle fire. Every single officer in A & D companies (firing line) and in 'B' company (supporting line) were either killed or wounded in the first 10 minutes. At about 08.00 support arrived from the 10th Division, but even with their assistance no headway could be made. About 10.00 our line began to give way owing to the fact the scrub had caught fire, the Turks aided by this were working around our left. This flanking movement was checked by reinforcements of Dublins and Queens.

The battalion behaved magnificently but were overwhelmed by an enemy who had every position of advantage. On the 10th August, the losses in killed and wounded were computed to be well over 400. For three days, the Staffords and Borderers held an old Turkish communication trench running on to Chocolate Hill, and were then relieved by the 32nd Brigade."


Newspaper Cuttings

None.