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Arthur was born in 1884, probably on 20 September; he had an older sister, Edith. Their parents, William Thomas Ashford and Elizabeth Ann Ashford (nee Presbury), were married in Nottingham in 1880 (registered Oct/Nov/Dec) and in 1881 the young couple were living with William's parents, Thomas and Mary Ashford, at 6 Portland Road, Nottingham. William died six years later in 1887, age 26 (death registered Apr/May/June). Census records indicate that Arthur and Edith were brought up separately and this may date from around the time of their father's death; no trace has been found of their mother after the 1881 census. In 1891 Arthur, aged 8, was living with his maternal grandparents, John and Jane Presbury, at 14 King's Arms Yard, Nottingham. The same year Edith, aged 9, was living with William Severs and his wife Clara at 361 Alfreton Road, Nottingham, and was described on the census return as their adopted daughter although still using the surname 'Ashford'. Ten years later Edith had taken the surname of her adoptive parents and was living with William and Clara at 396 Lenton Boulevard. William was a plumber and described as an employer and could afford to employ a live-in general domestic servant. Arthur, however, was still living at King's Arms Yard with his now widowed grandmother who had two other grandsons living with her, Jack Presbury (21) and Albert Presbury (17), and also a male boarder. Arthur joined the army in 1906 and by 1911 was serving in India with the Worcestershire Regiment. Edith meanwhile had married Charles (Charlie) Richard Smith, a plumber, and by 1911 they had been married for nine years and were living at 361 Alfreton Road, Nottingham, together with a live-in general domestic servant. They were still living at the same address in 1919 when Edith applied for Arthur's 1914 Star.
In 1901 his occupation was described as 'billiard (-)'. When he joined the army in 1906 his occupation was given as barman. There was a family connection with the Central Methodist Mission (Albert Hall).
20 Sep 1914
877585 - CWGC Website
2nd Bn Worcestershire Regiment
He enlisted on 27th April 1906 at Nottingham and in 1911 was serving in India with the 2nd Bn Worcestershire Regiment. He served with the BEF, date in theatre 12 August 1914. He died of wounds on his birthday, 20 September, and was buried by a party from the Liverpool Regiment three days later on 23 September 1914. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the La Ferte-Sous-Jouarre Memorial. He qualified for the 1914 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal.
Nottingham Post notice (abridged), 19 October 1914, ‘Ashford. Killed in action September 20th with BEF, Corporal (sic) A Ashford, 2nd Worcestershire Regiment, age 30 years.’ Article published 26th October 1914 in the Nottingham Evening Post :- “DIED AT THE FRONT. “Rev. H. G Oyston’s Tribute to Nottingham Corporal. “On Saturday evening [24th October 1914] at the People’s Evening in the Nottingham Albert Hall, the Rev. H. G. Oyston described pictures of the various Nottingham regiments in which men from the Albert Hall are serving. “The service yesterday morning [25th October 1914] was conducted by Mr. W. J. Back, the president of the Local Preachers' Mutual Aid Association (whose meetings were held in Nottingham on Saturday at the Albert Hall). The preacher at the afternoon gathering was Mr. J. C. Jepson, of Grimsby. “At the evening service it was announced that the Albert Hall Roll of Honour now contained 230 names. News had been received during the week of the death of Corporal Ashford, of the 2nd Worcesters. The War Office notification was followed by a letter from the Sergeant-Major, who said, “You will probably know by this that Ashford was killed on September 20th. Two companies were sent out to take a position on the other side of a wood. The Germans discovered them as they were entering the wood and opened a heavy shell-fire from their guns, which caused our companies to retire with a loss of 40 killed and the same number wounded. Corporal Ashford died bravely, and a party of the Liverpool Regiment buried him on September 23rd.” “Mr. Oyston paid a tribute to the memory of Ashford last night. This is the second death in the Albert Hall “Roll,” with lour cases now in hospital, all of which are recovering.” Above article is courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918 Nottinghamshire Archives, Acc 7978 Location T007D, Rev Gifford Oyston, Central Methodist Mission, deposit of miscellaneous papers: letter from Sgt Maj Charlston, 2nd Worcestershire Regiment, reference Cpl (sic) A Ashford who served 12 years with the army ('killed on his birthday'), “He had been a clerk in my office in India … Buried by a party of Liverpool Rgt 23/9/14." His joint legatees were his sister and brother-in-law, Edith and Charles (Charlie) Richard Smith.
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