Corporal 201470 Abraham Aston

 Aston Abraham 96 363x600

Killed in Action on Tuesday, 9th October 1917, age 26.
Commemorated on Panel 75 to 77 of Tyne Cot Memorial, Zonnebeke, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium.

1st/7th Bn., Worcestershire Regiment. 144th Brigade of 48th Division.
Formerly 3728 Worcestershire Regiment.

Husband of Lily Alice Aston, of 10, Cophall St., Great Bridge, Tipton, Staffs.
Born: Tipton, Enlisted: Dudley, Resident: Dudley.

First landed France & Flanders, post 31st December 1915.
Medal entitlement: British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives did not survive.

Commemorated on the Park Chapel Memorial.
Commemorated here because he appears on a Tipton memorial.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/846481/

Genealogical Data

1901 Census
Tudor Street, Tipton, Staffs.
Henry Aston (44, Ironworker - Labourer, born Birmingham), his wife Maria (40, born Tipton), and their 4 children: Sarah (16, Domestic Servant, born Tipton), Maria (11, born Tipton), Abraham (9, born Tipton), and David (5, born Tipton).

1911 Census
2 House 1 Court, Sedgley Road East, Tipton, Staffs.
Henry Aston (53, Ironworks Labourer, born Birmingham), his wife Maria (50, born Tipton), and their 6 surviving children of 6: Mary (28, born Tipton), Maria (21, Assisting Moulder, born Tipton), Abraham (19, Labourer, born Tipton), David T. (16, Labourer, born Tipton), Joseph (9, School, born Tipton), and George (2, born Tipton).

Abraham Aston married Lily A. Miles in June quarter 1914, registered in Dudley.

Personal Data

There are two A. Aston's with a Tipton connection killed in the Great War, but only one on Tipton Library Memorial. It appears that Abraham was living in Dudley at the time of enlistment so it is more likely to be Alfred Aston commemorated. The address shown on the Commonwealth war Graves site suggests that Alfred's widow moved to Great Bridge after his death.

After Abraham's death, his outstanding army pay and allowances amounted to £8/13/0d (8 pounds and 13 shillings); this was paid to his widow and sole legatee, Lily A., in February 1918. His War Gratuity was £12/10/0d (12 pounds and 10 shillings), this was also paid to his widow in November 1919. The value of the War Gratuity suggests that Abraham had enlisted in April 1915.

Action resulting in his death

The Battle of Poelcappelle began on 9th October 1917, the fourth of a series of “bite and hold” battles launched by General Herbert Plumer during the third Battle of Ypres. The first three battles had been successful, but by October 9th the rains had returned with 25mm falling in 2 days. This affected both manoeuvrability on the battlefield, and the effectiveness of the artillery.

The 1/7th Worcesters were a mile south-east of Poelcappelle attacking in a north-easterly direction towards Adler Farm; 600 yards beyond Adler Farm is the modern-day Varlet Farm. The Worcesters' approach to the jumping-off point had been extremely difficult due to the swamp-like conditions of the Steenbeek and Stroembeek valleys.

On the right of the 1/7th sector, 'B' and 'C' Companies attacked Adler Farm and the trenches to the north of it. A protracted struggle raged around these defences but eventually the defenders were out-flanked and captured; 70 of the enemy surrendered and 50 were found dead.

On the left and centre of the Battalion's attack, there was no such success for 'A' and 'D' Companies. They were attacking Inch House and Wallemolen where the German machine-guns commanded the ground. Every officer of 'A' Company was hit; Captain T.C.F. Harris (of Pedmore) of 'B' Company took command of 'A' Company and led their attack. He was awarded the Military Cross for his actions that day and was later to write the letter of condolence to Abraham Aston's widow. From this letter, we can see that Abraham Aston was a member of 'B' Company who had captured Adler Farm.

Newspaper Cuttings

Tipton Herald November 10th 1917
Corporal A. Aston.
A comrade writing the sad news of the death of Corporal Abraham Aston, of the Worcesters, said he died a hero's death. Corporal Aston fell in action on the 9th of last month. He joined the colours at the beginning of the war, and had seen a good deal of the fighting. He leaves a widow with one child, who live at 1 Oxford Street, Dudley.
Lance Corporal Chater of 'B' Company writes:- "Dear Mrs Aston, It is with the deepest regret that I write to inform you that your beloved husband fell in action on the 9th inst., when attacking a position of the Germans. You will have further details but as I was a pal of Tom's, I thought it my duty to inform you of your great loss. I daresay that it will give you some comfort to know that he died a hero's death, which was instantaneous. It will interest you, in your time of trouble, to know that we took the position. I, as his friend and an old pal, know that he is already missed by the other fellows in his platoon, as he was ever ready to give a helping hand. The fellows, with myself, wish to extend their deepest sympathy to you, and hope that you will try to bear up bravely."
Captain Harris of the 7th Battalion, the Worcestershire Regiment, writes as follows:- "It is with the deepest regret that I have to inform you that your husband, Corporal Aston, was killed on October 9th in an attack on a farm(my note: Adler Farm). Your husband had been with us a long time, and I am sure that we all feel that we have lost a very gallant member of "B" Company. He was not only brave, but always did his work well. Your husband was buried just behind the line along with his comrades who fell with him."

Tipton Herald 12th October 1918
In Memoriam
ASTON. - in affectionate remembrance of Corporal A. Aston. 1/7th Worcestershire Regiment, who was killed in action October 9th 1917; age 26 years. Fondly remembered by his wife and child, late of 1 Oxford Street, Dudley.