CWG: Private Frederick Ashton

Private Frederick Ashton

Frederick John Ashton was born in Taunton, Somerset, in 1892. He was one of eight children to scavenger and labourer Thomas Ashton and his wife Susanna.

When he left school, Frederick found work as a carter, and this is the job he was doing in 1913, when he married local woman Ethel May Lock. The young couple went on to have two children, Olive and Phyllis.

War was on the horizon, and Frederick enlisted in June 1916. Initially assigned to the Royal Berkshire Regiment, Private Ashton was shipped off to France within a couple of months.

During his time there, he was promoted to Lance Corporal, but requested being reverted back to his previous rank a few months later. By this point, he had been transferred to the Labour Corps, the regiment in which he served for the rest of his time.

In March 1918, Frederick was badly wounded, and found himself invalided back to England. He was admitted to the Northumberland War Hospital in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, where his right leg was amputated. Sadly, it appears that the treatment came too late, and Private Ashton passed away on 27th August 1918. He was just 26 years old.

Frederick John Ashton lies at rest in St Mary’s Cemetery in his home town of Taunton.


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