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Charles Ashman was born in Old Hill, Staffordshire. In September 1915 he attested into the Army, joining the Army Reserve.

On 21st March 1916, Charles was mobilized and joined the Durham Light Infantry, he was given the service number 4764, and posted into the 3/8th Battalion.

On his enlistment form it states that he resided at 83, Cherry Orchard, Old Hill; he had been employed as a drayman. He was 39 years old, unmarried and had no previous military experience.

Charles listed his father Richard, of the same address, as his legal next of kin.

On 5th September 1916, Charles was transferred into the 1st Battalion, Loyal North Lancashire Regiment and landed in France to join them in the field.

On 10th September 1916, Charles was on bathing parade in the River Ancre, he suffered a lacerated wound on his right foot that then became septic. He spent the majority of that month between hospitals, returning to England on the 30th of the same month. The medical officer concluded that the wound was trivial, and would not affect his ability to be an efficient soldier.

Back in the UK, in December 1916, Charles was reprimanded for being absent from camp (Knowsley Park), being in Liverpool without a pass. He was confined to barracks for 10 days.

On 6th June 1917, he embarked at Folkestone, and landed in France for the second time. Shortly after his arrival he was posted in the 9th Battalion, Loyal North Lancashire Regiment.

On 11th August 1917, Charles was killed in action. Following on from the Battle of Pilkem (a phase of the Third Battles of Ypres), the 74th Brigade were tasked to renew the attack on Westhoek, which had been held up so far. The Brigade successfully took their objective, but sustained very heavy casualties in the process, one of which was Private Charles Ashman.

Charles is remembered on the Menin Gate memorial.


Rank: Private
Service No: 26624
Date of Death: 11/08/1917
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 9th Bn.
Memorial: YPRES (MENIN GATE) MEMORIAL, Panel 41 and 43.

Paul McCormick
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