Gunner 94671 Joseph Frank Aston

Aston Joseph Frank 96 315x600Aston Joseph Frank 96 416x600

Killed in Action on Monday, 2nd July 1917, age 32.
Buried in Grave I. C. 2. at Belgian Battery Corner Cemetery, Ieper, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium.

Royal Garrison Artillery, 188th Siege Battery.

Son of the late Richard and Rachael Aston, of Tipton; husband of Laura Aston, of 39, Sedgley Rd. West, Tipton, Staffs.
Born: Tipton, Enlisted: Tipton, Resident: Unknown.

First landed France & Flanders, post 31st December 1915.
Medal entitlement: British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives survived and transcribed.

Commemorated on the Tipton Library, and St. Matthew's memorials.
Commemorated here because he appears on a Tipton memorial.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/92623/

Genealogical Data

1901 Census
Waterloo Street East, Tipton, Staffs.
Richard Aston (53, Groom, born Tipton), his wife Rachel (53, born Tipton), and their 4 children: Louisa (23, born Tipton), Annie (21, born Tipton), Joseph (15, Invoice Clerk, born Tipton), and Stephen (13, born Tipton).

1911 Census
71 Bloomfield Road, Tipton, Staffs.
Joseph F. Aston (25, Coachman, born Tipton), his wife Laura (23, born Coseley), and their daughter Rachel Winifred (2, born Tipton).

Personal Data

Joseph is incorrectly commemorated on the Tipton Library Memorial as JJ Aston. This was a sign-writer error as the 'Staffordshire Roll of Honour' says JF Aston, Gunner RGA.

Joseph attested on 11th December 1915 under the Derby Scheme, but was not called up for service until 6th June 1916.

His address was given as School House, Birch Street, Tipton, but amended to 39 Sedgley Road West, Tipton. He was 30 years of age, 5ft 6in tall with a 35in chest, and employed as a Caretaker and Labourer. He had married Laura Mason on 8th September 1907, and their only child, a daughter Rachel Winifred was born on 16th February 1909.

On 29th July 1916, Joseph was posted to the 188th Siege Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery, who were equipped with four 9.2" howitzers. The 188th Siege Battery departed from Folkestone and landed at Boulogne, France on 30th October 1916.

Action resulting in his death

Joseph was killed by a shell, most likely counter-battery fire as the Royal Garrison Artillery were generally some distance behind the line. He is buried at Belgian Battery Corner Cemetery, just over a mile south west of Ypres in Belgium.

Newspaper Cuttings

Tipton Herald November 6th 1915
Tipton Education: JF Aston resigned as caretaker of Park Lane School.

Tipton Herald July 14th 1917
Mrs J.F. Aston (39 Sedgley Road West, Tipton) wishes to thank many friends and relatives for sympathy shown in her hour of sorrow.

Tipton Herald July 21st 1917
The relatives and friends of Gunner Joseph Frank Aston, R.G.A., of 39 Sedgley Road West (Five Ways), Tipton, have just heard with great regret that he was killed in action by a shell on Monday July 2nd.
The deceased gunner, who had not served in the army before, leaves a widow and daughter aged eight. He joined the army on June 5th of last year under the Derby scheme, and was posted to the Royal Garrison Artillery, receiving part of his training on the east coast. He had two short leaves during training, but the widow had not seen her husband for nearly ten months.
On Friday 6th inst., a letter was received from the deceased. A very nice letter has been received from the deceased's Sergeant:- "The men in the battery are going to put a cross over his grave. I am so sorry for you, but for his sake you must try to be brave. You will be very proud when you remember that he gave the very best he had - his life - to save his country and you from the horrors that we out here know so well. Try and think of him as still alive. God comfort you in your sorrow."
The late Gunner Aston was nephew of Mr Stephen Aston, and was for some years in his employ. He was for a short time caretaker of Park Lane Council Schools, but left to go to the works of Bullers Ltd. in the autumn of 1915. He was well-liked and popular with a number of people in Tipton. His only brother is in the army. His father, the late Mr Richard Aston, died suddenly some twelve or thirteen years ago when taking a brake-load of people for a pleasure trip. Gunner Aston's mother resides at Dudley Port.

Tipton Herald August 4th 1917
On Sunday evening, a memorial service was held at the Refuge Church, Waterloo St, Tipton, for the late Private Joseph Aston, of the Royal Garrison Artillery, whose home was at Five Ways, Tipton. The service was conducted by Mr B Tibbetts of Dudley Port who delivered a very appropriate address. Councillor Joseph Baker also made a few sympathetic remarks and gave the relatives and friends of the deceased a message of hope and encouragement. Suitable hymns were sung and the service was a very impressive one.

Tipton Herald July 6th 1918
In Memoriam
ASTON. In ever loving memory of our dear brother-in-law Joe, killed in action July 2nd 1917. Never forgotten by Phoebe and Job, loved in life, honoured in death.
ASTON. In unfading memory of my dearly loved husband, Gunner JF Aston (Sedgley Rd West, Tipton), killed July 2nd 1917. Ever in the thoughts of his sorrowing wife and child, Winnie. RIP