Gunner 231489 Walter Aston

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Died of Wounds on Tuesday, 29th January 1918, age 19.
Buried in Grave XXVII. F. 13A. at Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Poperinge, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium.

Royal Field Artillery, 119th Brigade, "B" Battery. 2nd Army.
Formerly 112437 Machine Gun Corps.

Son of Joseph and Annie Aston, of 24, Park Lane East, Tipton, Staffs.
Born: Tipton, Enlisted: Tipton, Resident: Tipton.

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 Tipton Library Memorial.
Commemorated here because he appears on a Tipton memorial.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/433640/

Genealogical Data

1901 Census
2 Lock Side, Tipton, Staffs.
Joseph Aston (43, Canal Boatman, born Tipton), his wife Annie (30, born Brownhills), Joseph's 4 children from his firt marriage: Joseph (19, Bricklayer's Labourer, born Tipton), Clara (17, born Tipton), Eli (16, Iron Worker, born Tipton), Selina (13, born Tipton), and the only child from his second marriage to Annie: Walter (3, born Tipton).

1911 Census
24 Park Lane East, Tipton, Staffs.
Joseph Aston (52, Deck Porter on Railways, born Tipton), his wife Annie (38, born Brownhills), and their 4 surviving children of 4: Walter (13, School, born Tipton), Annie Eliza (9, School, born Tipton), Alfred (6, School, born Tipton), and George (1, born Tipton).

Personal Data

After Walter's death, his outstanding army pay and allowances amounted to £6/18/8d (6 pounds, 18 shillings and 8 pence); this was paid to his father, Joseph, in June and September 1918. His War Gratuity was £3/0/0d (3 pounds exactly), this was also paid to his father in November 1919. The value of the War Gratuity suggests that Abraham had enlisted within 12 months of his death.

Action resulting in his death

119th Brigade, RFA, was initially attached to 38th (Welsh) Division. It became an Army Brigade in January 1917, attached to the Second Army.

Tracing the action of an RFA Brigade attached at Second Army is more difficult as they are allocated where the need is greatest, but we do know that Walter died of wounds at one of the Casualty Clearing Stations at Lijssnethoek where he is buried.

Newspaper Cuttings

Tipton Herald February 1918 (date uncertain).
We have the sad duty to announce the death from wounds, on January 29th, of Gunner Walter Aston, a son of Mr & Mrs Joseph Aston, of 24 Park Lane East, Tipton. He would have been 20 years of age in March, and he joined the army in March of last year when just 19. He had been in France six months. First in the Royal Field Artillery, he transferred to the Tank Corps, and then went back to the R.F.A.
Prior to joining the forces, Gunner Aston was employed at Messrs. Braithwaite and Kirk's, Great Bridge, and before that was with the Birmingham Canal Co., where a brother is employed. His brother, Joseph, was also in the Royal Field Artillery, but was discharged. A brother-in-law has been at the front for 3 years. The father of the late Gunner Aston has been with the Midland Railway Company for 40 years. A memorial service was held at St. Martin's Parish Church on Sunday last. The mother received the following letter from Nursing Sister S.P. Johnson, writing from a Casualty Clearing Station in France, on January 29th.
"I regret to inform you of the death of Gunner W. Aston, 119th Brigade, R.F.A. He was brought here severely wounded in the abdomen and arm, and died within an hour of his arrival. He was too weak and ill to give me his address, but I found it in his bag. I am very sorry that I have no message to send you, he was very calm and brave, and passed away very quietly at 4 pm today. The interment takes place in a military cemetery, where each grave is marked by a plain white cross, bearing his name etc., and are well kept."